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Chris A. Baird | October 14, 2020
How Much Does It Cost to Write and Publish a Book

You want to do self-publishing but you're not so sure if your budget can afford the cost of doing it. Find out how much does it cost to write and publish a book? As well as some helpful tips to help you get started with self-publishing.

Designing The Covers

Today's question has three answers and you're going to want to stick around because the third answer is a secret as to why it's the wrong question in the first place.

Let's get into it. The question that was sent in today was, how much does it cost to write and publish a book? This is an excellent question that many people want to know because if you're considering maybe it's too expensive for you.

Or maybe you can do it cheaper and you're wanting to know if the amount of money that you have spent or plan on spending is the right amount for you. So that is what we're going to answer today so that you will know exactly how much it cost to write and publish a book.

You are going to have the steps needed to figure out the right price for you. You're going to feel great having one or more aspects of self-publishing under your belt. Whether you're just getting started or you've been doing it for a while.

Before we get into the answers, grab a copy of my completely free Self-Publishing Checklist. It will help you make sure you are not skipping any of the key steps to self-publishing.

So, how much does it cost to write and publish a book? Well, let me get a little bit into my own story and specifically looking at the cost of a cover. When I first started self-publishing, I remember I was in Bergen Norway.

Check out this related article here: "How I Wrote My First Book?" (+Self Publishing Tips)

I was starting to write my book. I had written the book and now it was time to order the cover. But where should I order the cover?

I heard so many things about Upwork or Fiverr or maybe I should design it myself. Or maybe I should allow Amazon to do the free cover that they can do for me. But I knew that wasn't the right choice.

I could choose maybe a vector image or own by a designer. There were so many choices and it was very difficult to understand which one was right for me. I knew that if I chose the wrong cover, what was at stake was that I could lose a lot of money.

I had to have it redesigned many times and at the same time, I didn't have anybody who would tell me which choice was the right choice. So, I simply had to try and fail so that I would know.

Perfect Designer On Fiverr

When I first started, I went to Fiverr and I paid $5 for a cover designer and they did a cover for me. But the result was not that very good, it was a low-quality cover that I didn't particularly enjoy. They knew that it wouldn't sell many copies but it was only $5.

Then, I had the understanding, I looked up a little bit and I got in contact with Steve Scott. The suggestion was to use a vector graphic and pay for a designer. Pay for an existing photo and then use it in your thing.

I paid $40 for a photo that would be in my first book's cover. And then I found a designer paid another $5 so they could put that photo that I paid for the vector graphics into my cover and put the title into my cover. The result was a terrible cover that I didn't like at all.

Later on, I went to the point of understanding that I could use Canva to build covers for free. So I designed my cover there on Canva and I then took that cover and put it out. But the sales also were not particularly all that great on that cover either.

So, I went back again and after taking a few more courses and watching some more videos, somebody explained to me the key to finding the right cover designer on Fiverr where they were using a premium photo and at the same time keeping the price reasonable.

The person I ended up finding on Fiverr was Vikiana. That's the exact cover designer that I found and have been using ever since. For hundreds of covers, that cost only $18 and gave me the ability to have a perfect cover.

Ever since then selling tens of thousands of books using these exact covers has worked out incredibly well for me. It has been quite profitable based upon the return on investment for those covers that I have ordered over the years. That really made the difference.

The lesson for me was just that I understood finally that nobody can tell you what the cost of something is going to be. Whether it is going to be cheap or it is going to be expensive. It's just very very difficult because you don't know until you start buying and trying.

The cost may go up, the cost may go down. At the end of the day, we want to see which one is going to work best for us and get us the most sales on our books. So, how much does it cost to write and publish a book?

Check out this related article here: How To Self Publish A Paperback Book On Amazon?

The answer is you can do it at absolutely no cost. It can be done for free, you can write the book for free using free software like Google Docs or Word. Then, we can get the cover automatically through Amazon.

We can let them do the cover creation which is free, it doesn't cost us anything. We can also edit it ourselves, we can write the description ourselves. We can choose the title and the niche, based upon what we're interested in.

Cheap Or Expensive

Don't pay attention to the markets and just put it out there. Then we can try to market the book for free on free groups around the internet for people who are interested in our type of book. Tell them that they can buy our book there.

The second thing is that we can increase the quality of our book. We're going to have to pay some more money as I mentioned before for the cover that will cost you $18. A tool like Jutoh which I use for formatting, it's about $50.

Jutoh is a fantastic software that I and my virtual assistants use to ensure we're producing the highest quality books possible. For editing, you can do things like Grammarly and Word and these programs are for free.

I like to use Open LibreOffice, letting its grammar tools find mistakes in the manuscripts and fix them as we go. So that's another powerful way of ensuring that we are going to have the highest quality manuscripts as possible.

For the keywords, I use KDSpy to find exactly which keywords are going to be good and profitable when I'm writing or ordering specific books. As you can see, my books generally will cost between $100 to $300 per piece. And also the narrator on Audible and things like that so I would say under $300.

Check out this related article here: KDP Publishing: Is It Still Worth It?

Maybe $187 to $200 per piece. The price goes up from time to time. But in general, you'll be able to make your money back if you are following the rules correctly and then start making huge profits on it after a few months.

Now, the secret answer of the day to the question of how much it does it cost to write and publish a book is that it's the wrong question. We don't care how much it costs, we care about our return on investment.

So if it cost you $1000 to make a book but you were going to get back $10,000 was it cheap or was it expensive? The answer is that would be very cheap. If it cost you $1 to make a book and you're going to make no sales, well then I would say it was very expensive.

You also have to keep in mind, your time costs you money. So, why not optimize your books. You should check out my free checklist to make sure you are not making the stupid mistakes that I made when I was trying to learn how to do self-publishing.

Even with the cover design and figuring out exactly what is the best way to get covers that are going to sell for you. How much does it cost to write and publish a book? Go ahead and let me know what you found below in the comments.

I respond to all of the comments that come in. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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