The Cost of Self-Publishing

Greetings fellow writers! I’m here to talk to you about the amount of money it takes to self-publish your masterpiece. I also want to throw this out there before I start: There is no one number I can say that will be the correct answer. This isn’t a yes or no question, or multiple choice quiz. Well, I guess multiple choice would be the closest thing, but it would be choice A all the way to Z. So, bear with me, cause some of the things I talk about will vary depending on you.

  • Writing your book. This is a gimme, cause writing your book should cost you absolutely nothing! And if it does cost money… you’re doin’ somethin’ wrong. $0
  • Cover art. There are a billion ways to go about getting cover art. You can do it yourself, but I advise against this (unless you professionally make cover art). Which, that wouldn’t cost you anything, technically. Another way is visiting a freelancing website–like I so foolishly did. A popular site for low-cost cover art is Fiverr. I suggest this with high caution, though. I’ve already explained my frustrations in a previous blog you can find here. And lastly, you can use a professional website that are real experts that know the business well and what is trending and popular at the time. I have a site in mind for my next book, but I’ll keep it a secret for now. I will also disclose the amount I paid for my specific cover so you can get a better idea of what you’re in for. My cover for Fliers was about $110. BUT, if you want to do something more advanced than mine, you can look forward to paying $250-$1000. Aren’t vague answers fun?
  • Editing. I am talking about this with your already clear understanding that there is a huge variety of editors out there. This figure varies even more than the cover art, because a lot of editors are freelancers (at least in my experience). I honestly got extremely lucky with my editor. She was a beta reader of mine and she is also a writer, but then she told me she’s also an editor. So I casually asked what she charges for her work. I got a quote for about $550. She did way more than most editors do at that price. Not only did she proofread the whole thing, she went over sentence structure, flow and helped me revise scenes that needed more clarity. Like I said, I got real lucky with her. So, most editing jobs (GOOD editors) will cost you anywhere between $500-$1,000. This price also depends on how long your book is, and some people even get more than one editor to double-check everything.
  • Advertising/Marketing your book. Again with the variety, there are many ways to go with this. (I feel like a broken record, here) Note: you don’t have to advertise or market your book at all! Yippie! You paid $0. But also, you’ll probably make $0. So, lets assume you do want to advertise. For reference, I advertise mostly on Facebook, cause that’s just the site I’m on the most (and I finally mastered it). But, you can advertise literally anywhere. Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, pay for ads on sites you think will get you recognition, ect. Depending on how much you want to get the word out that your book is coming, is 100% up to you. I started putting ads out a couple of months before my book launch. As I said, I use mostly Facebook, because I feel it’s the site with the most popularity, and I was able to advertise what I wanted. I don’t remember the exact amount I’ve paid over weeks for this, but I’ll guestimate and say a couple hundred bucks (and still going). But I know writers who spend… a lot of money in this department. (like in the $1,000’s.) So with that in mind, you can spend $1-an infinite amount. Because only advertising before and right after your book will not be the only times you market it. Although, that’s when you should do it the most, to up the hype.

Grand Total: $0 – $5,000+

I wish I could give you an exact amount. But truth is, every book is different, every writer is different and everyone’s experience and process is different. Writing a book can be very expensive–especially if you want it to succeed. This is honestly something I wish I knew before getting involved. Not that it would have deterred me, but I would’ve been able to get my dollar priorities in check. So, just some advice, save up! Don’t skimp on your baby. Treat it like a damn princess and give her diamonds and chocolate and ponies. She deserves it. 🙂 ##


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