If you’re thinking of going down this path, the first question to ask is how much does it cost to self publish a book?
If you’ve got something to say, a story to tell or some knowledge you want to pass down, self publishing a book can be a rewarding experience.
To be clear, I’m talking about self publishing a book to the highest professional standards yourself.
There are self publishing companies that will charge you a large fee to take care of all of this for you. This article examines the real costs of self publishing.
It’s not that much different from hiring tradesmen to build a new granny flat at your home. You’ll need carpenters and painters and plumbers and electricians.
For your self published book project you’ll be hiring editing, cover design and layout professionals.
The main cost to self publish a book can be broken down into:
Let’s look at them in turn.
Self Publishing Production Costs
The main self-publishing production costs are hiring editors, a layout artist and a graphic designer for your cover.
Editing is essential to ensure your self published book is readable. Editing costs vary greatly depending on how much time and work is necessary for the editor. That’s because a first draft that is full of errors will take much longer to edit.
There are three book editing processes which are; Developmental Editing, Copy Editing and Proof Reading.
- Developmental Editing: A developmental editor looks at the actual shape and structure of your story and how it works relevant to the genre you’ve chosen. A good developmental editor will make your book even better, identifying holes in plot, structure and language. You can expect to pay about $1400
- Copy Editing: A good copy editor will ensure your book is free of typos, bad grammar and language inconsistencies. You can expect to pay about $1000
- Proof Reading: A good proof reader has a keen eye for detail and will pick up any missed typos, spelling errors or bad grammar. A good proof reader will cost about $700.
TOTAL EDITING COSTS
Total editing costs for a self published book could cost up to $3100. (estimate based on a 60,000 word/240 page trade paperback).
Bad layout design can make a book unpleasant to read. A good layout designer will make your book a pleasure to read. Layout design involves font selection, spacing, typography and it will differ between a print and eBook. Your costs will vary on content. Layout cost depends on the experience of the designer and the actual content of the book. For example, a heavily illustrated cookbook will cost more to layout than a 60,000 word novel. There are also different costs between eBook and print layout design.
You can expect to pay between $500 to $1500+
A badly designed cover will cost you potential readers. A cover designer will know the conventions of good cover design and will make your book stand out from the pack. A well designed cover takes account of genre conventions and makes your book unique.
Print and eBook cover design also have different costs. A print design requires a back cover and spine.
- A new designer – up to $500
- An experienced designer (2+ years) – $500 – $800
- A veteran designer (10+ years) – $800 – $1500
Now you’ve produced your book and it’s ready to print. You can use an offset printer (which is the most expensive option). You’ll be tied to a minimum print run of 1000 or more books. That’s a lot of inventory to have sitting in your garage if you plan to distribute your self published book yourself.
A much more inexpensive option is POD which stands for Print on Demand. With POD, if a reader buys your book on-line, a copy is printed and shipped to your specifications. Once setup, you can easily order as many promotional copies for yourself as you need.
KDP and Ingram Spark are two companies who provide POD services. We’ll look at their pricing for a 100 copies of a 60,000 word novel, printed as a trade paperback with a glossy full colour cover and white paper.
Cost with shipping (to Australia) is $755.35 (@$7.55 per book). Ingram Spark can even help with distribution into libraries and retailers.
Kindle Direct Publishing gives readers the option of buying an eBook or POD on your KDP page. While the printing cost is cheaper than Ingram Spark, KDP will also take a 40% fee from the retail price of your book..
Cost with shipping $3.73 + $8.27 KDP fee = $12 per book.
To effectively market your self published book does require an investment.
Most new self published authors will spend between $200-$500 promoting their books. You can run a Facebook or Google PPC (pay per click campaign) for as little as $5 a day. (source reedsy.com)
You can save a lot of money by marketing to your own mailing list you’ve carefully grown BEFORE you publish your book. It’s easy to setup a simple blog with wordpress and integrate a basic mailchimp email marketing system for free.
We’ve written a more in depth book on how you go about developing your writing platform right here.GET YOUR COPY
So how much does it cost to self publish a book? As you can see the cost of self publishing a book can be high. There are writers who feel comfortable tackling editing, layout and cover design – and good luck to them. It’s not for everyone and there are a lot of pitfalls.
My advice is to shop around and get a quote.
The highest costs are professional editing. You’ll save money if you edit your book as much as you can before hiring help. That way you’re not paying experts to fix simple spelling and typo errors.
Madhouse Media Publishing has over 7 years experience helping authors self publish books in Australia. We’re passionate about helping authors develop their self published books to the highest possible standards.
Get in touch with us today for an obligation free quotation on how we can help you self publish your book.