Chris A. Baird | February 20, 2023
Cheapest Self-Publishing: How to Save Money on Your Next Book

Are you looking for ways on how to save money on your next book? Here are the cheapest self-publishing options that you can choose from.

Are you on a budget for self-publishing? It's a bit tight and so you're not sure if you can do it. Well, stick around because we are going to go exactly through how exactly to save money on your next book.

Check out this related article: 6 Best Self Publishing Courses for Beginners in 2023

So, the thing is that there are several ways of going about doing this. When we're trying to save money as a self-published authors. You're just getting started with self-publishing or maybe you've been doing it for a while but you have a limited budget that you're working on. 

1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

cheapest self-publishing-amazon-kindle-direct-publishing-kdp

One of the options is looking at the cheapest self-publishing companies for new authors. Which ones should you go with? Well, my number one recommendation is always going to be Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP. 

The reason I recommend going this route is that it's free. You don't need to invest any money to sell your books on the platform. As long as the books are formatted correctly and they have guidelines and things like that. 

I teach my clients as well how to go through the formatting process and get covers and these things that you're going to need for your book. You're able to put them onto Amazon KDP without paying anything. 

One of the options is looking at the cheapest self-publishing companies for new authors. Which ones should you go with? Well, my number one recommendation is always going to be Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP. 

The reason I recommend going this route is that it's free. You don't need to invest any money to sell your books on the platform. As long as the books are formatted correctly and they have guidelines and things like that. 

I teach my clients as well how to go through the formatting process and get covers and these things that you're going to need for your book. You're able to put them onto Amazon KDP without paying anything. 

In addition, you have a whole series of customers who have already logged into Amazon KDP. They have their credit cards attached to their KDP accounts. They're eager to buy with a single click, they can purchase your book. 

It makes it almost the easiest place you can imagine for someone on the internet to quickly purchase a book they'd like to get and they're there looking to buy. This combination makes Amazon KDP one of the absolute best places to get your money's worth and to self-publish on a budget. 

2. Apple Books

cheapest self-publishing-apple-books

The second one is Apple Books. The reason Apple Books is such a positive one is because of the users of Apple devices. These tend to be users who have more money than the users of Android. Therefore, when they're going into the Apple Books area, they're going to see your book showing up. 

And they have again the same thing with their money and their account attached. It's not as simple as just clicking the Buy Now button. But they have to type in their Apple ID to make the purchase. 

But it's a very easy low-friction transaction. And the users themselves usually have more money to go about purchasing your books. So, this is a platform you should consider.

3. Barnes & Noble Press

cheapest self-publishing-barnes-and-noble-press

The third one we're going to look at is Barnes and Noble Press. Now, I know a lot of people thought Barnes and Nobles had been destroyed and wiped out by Amazon. But the fact is that they are still around. 

Sales are being made on their platform just like Apple and Amazon. You're not going to pay either to put your books on Barnes and Noble Press. They have a lot of respect and there's a broad reach of the people who do use the platform. 

It isn't exactly as easy and the audience size isn't as large as Amazon. But it's something worth considering. 

4. Kobo Writing Life

cheapest self-publishing-rakuten-kobo

Moving on to number four, Kobo Writing Life. Kobo Writing Life has been a player in the field for a long time. There are a whole lot of things I like about it. 

They even have their reader. Just like Amazon has the Kindle Reader, Kobo has the digital readers that make it possible. Here in Norway, you'll find them even more common in the stores, even the Kindle devices. 

So, if you're going to get your books onto Kobo, this is a great way to get there. You're also going to be reaching an audience that you might not reach on some of these other individual platforms. 

I should say that some of these platforms distribute to multiple sites and some do not so much. Let's talk about some that go a little bit broader.

5. StreetLib

cheapest self-publishing-street-lib

The next one is going to be StreetLib. It has a global network of retailers and libraries that definitely should be considered. Since it has that reach, you'll notice this is the first one. I mentioned the libraries, on the ability to get your books into libraries.

It can be really powerful in terms of helping you find new readers. Especially if you're following my advice on running email lists so that we're bringing these people into your sphere. They like what you're writing, they get on your email list, and then you're able to tell them about your other books. 

You're able to get help with reviews and all sorts of stuff. So, StreetLib is worth considering.

6. Xinxii

cheapest self-publishing-xinxii-self-publishing

The next is Xinxii, a German company. It is sort of like Amazon and they will also get you into libraries and Apple Books which we already mentioned. So, in one sense, some of these sites can be ready. 

They also will get you on to Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and is ally powerful. So, Xinxii is a great one in terms of reaching multiple sites. Without having to go to those individual sites one by one. 

7. PublishDrive

cheapest self-publishing-publish-drive

Then, the next is number seven, PublishDrive. They used to be a lot better of a deal until they started charging a fee based upon if you want to put your books on there. But then they give you a lot more of the royalties for the lifetimes of the book. 

So, it depends upon how many sales you're making. I would recommend testing them out at least in terms of seeing a few of your best-selling books. See what happens when you decide to go wide and not just sell your ebooks for example on Amazon KDP but with PublishDrive. 

Check out this related article: Increase Sales by Changing Your Mindset in Self-Publishing

This is also one that's tempted me. They get your books into retailer’s libraries including Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Apple Books, and Kobo. Now, notice we just said a lot of the ones we had already mentioned, they're able to get your books onto a lot of these other platforms. 

Many of them are interested in getting sales and they charge a fee for people to put books onto their platform. So, they will take a portion of the fee. It's almost as if it's funny, like sometimes when you're dealing with Amazon, they don't care which way. 

Because they're going to make money whether you buy it through their platform directly or these other platforms will sell their books through Amazon. Then, Amazon still gets paid for the sale. So, in the end, it gets back to Amazon. 

But it is worth testing and trying out a number of these. When we are trying to find which ones are the cheapest self-publishing companies. 

Where Can You Cut Costs in Self-Publishing?

The next thing we're going to look at is where can you cut costs in self publishing. This is so important for new authors who are looking to save costs or work off of a budget. 

1. Proofreading

where can you cut costs in self-publishing - proofreading

The first thing you can cut costs is proofreading. One of the ways we can cut costs is you can swap with other authors. Other authors in your same genre are always willing to take a look at your book. 

Maybe in exchange for you reviewing their book. As well as your proofreading it, to see if there are issues. If you're doing the email marketing strategies I talk about, then, you're going to be able to use your readers themselves. 

You are going to be able to use your subscribers to your email list as candidates to proofread your book. To let you know what changes can be made. This can all be done for free. 

You don't have to pay for all of the additional costs of these things. If you don't have the money to pay for massive proofreading and editing these things. You can use digital tools too but you can also just have proofreaders who will do it for free in exchange if you proofreading their books.

2. Formatting

where can you cut costs in self-publishing - formatting

The second way you can cut costs is through Formatting and this is something I teach in my Formatting Made Easy Course. Where I show you at a very reasonable price, one-time, how to go through the whole process. Then, you can use the tools and the skills that you've learned to do all of the books yourself in the future. 

You don't have to pay people. But if you insist on it, you can go on Fiverr and find someone who can do the formatting. But you're going to need to do the formatting again and again. 

There is no book that I put out and I just leave it alone. All of the books need to be formatted. When I come out with a new book, I need to make sure I'm advertising it in my older books. 

When I find new strategies regarding different aspects of the books that I'm publishing, I also need to make sure that I'm implementing those strategies in my old books. It means going back and formatting them again. So, this is something you're going to need to consider. 

Check out this related article: 3 Things To Avoid in Self-Publishing

3. Binding

where can you cut costs in self-publishing - binding

Number three, you're Binding your book. This is something that so many authors overlook. It's the fact that you can choose the type of bindings and some cost a lot more than others. If we are going online and doing the print-on-demand, then the advantage is that you don't have to print in advance. 

The disadvantage is that if you choose the wrong binding because you like this fancy binding, you can find it pushing your price up so high. Your ideal readers will be scared away by the pricing of your books. You do not want to do that. 

When it comes to getting your books out onto the market and trying to find a market that wants to get for example your hardback or your paperback books if you're choosing to buy, these are going to be pricey, so be careful which choices you make. Look at the different price options that you think your target readers are going to be willing to pay. 

4. Going Digital

where can you cut costs in self-publishing - going digital

Number four is Going Digital and this is such an important one. We have to remember that with self-publishing, everything is digital. We're able to take all of our content. The contents of the book, the cover of the book, and all of our metadata. 

It's all just ones and zeros and digital. This means we don't have a garage filled with these books that are manually being printed out. We let the big companies take care of that workforce so we can focus on three things. You know, the usual that I comment on when you're going on all of this. 

Where you're spending a third of your time writing or producing new products and offers, a third of your time marketing your existing offers, and a third of your time learning like you're doing right now. So, when you're doing that, you're able to devote your time properly. 

But since everything's digital, we don't have to deal with things like all the logistics and supply. We're not stuck with a bunch of books in our garage to sell. Rather, they're on these platforms and that saves us a lot of money when we are doing it with self-publishing. 

5. Marketing

where can you cut costs in self-publishing - marketing

Number five is Marketing. Now, why exactly is marketing so powerful? Well, one of the things is that if you're self-publishing, you can save a lot of money on marketing by doing content marketing. That can be done by creating YouTube videos, podcasts, blogs, and an email list as well. 

Email is its marketing but at least those main three: video, audio, and written word in your blog. You can produce them straight down the line. Where you produce a video and you can have the audio taken out to a podcast. 

You can have a transcription made automatically by YouTube and put it into a text that you can use in a blog and your email for that matter, right? So, the price can be free by doing content marketing. 

You're able to get past a lot of the expenses. You're exchanging your time to create this content and not having to spend money. And if you're on a tight budget, this is a fantastic way to save money. 

This is also something I teach in my Content Marketing Made Easy Course. Going through those exact steps of how we do it for free or nearly free. If you do everything for free, you will find that you lose some money. 

But training and education are those key areas where it's only worth spending money on. Trying to get these things under control as I'm able to sit down with my clients 1-On-1 or in a Group Coaching and go through exactly the different ways about that. 

You can hold yourself to a given budget while at the same time managing to get your book to sell and produce more money. It makes it a lot easier to do the entire process. 


So, in conclusion, you can see that there are a lot of cheapest self-publishing solutions for a new author. When you're trying to go about it and how you can save money when going on a limited or a tight budget. It’s worth considering some of the options. 

I'd like to know below in the comments which options work best for you. Is there anything you're trying that you haven't tried that I did not mention here? Also, check out my other self publishing blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions. 

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