Chris A. Baird | August 27, 2020
how much does self publishing cost?

You might be wondering how much does self publishing cost especially if it's your first time and you don't know anyone who is doing self-publishing. Check out below to know about the secrets that will help you save money when you self-publish.

Today's question has three answers and the third answer is a secret which you will want to stick around for. It will tell you how asking this very question may end up costing you a lot of money.

So let's get into it. The question that was asked today is, how much does self publishing cost? This is a very reasonable question.

If you're considering self-publishing or you've started self-publishing and wondering maybe you're spending too much money or too little money, you would want to know what exactly is sort of the average cost that it's going to take.

If it's going to cost too much then maybe you'd consider not doing it. That's probably what you're thinking about if you're asking this exact question. That is what we're going to answer today.

Check out this related article: Why Not To Self Publish?

But before we get into the answers, check out my free Self-Publishing Checklist. It will help you get started with your self-publishing journey. So how much does self publishing cost?

When I first started, I discovered that self-publishing initially it doesn't cost much of anything. Because I started writing the books but then when I started getting to the cover, that was when I realized that it can indeed cost quite a bit.

At the time, I hadn't taken any courses and hadn't really studied it so much. I didn't realize I was overpaying. I paid like $40 for a stock photo.

I then tried to pay somebody on Fiverr to put together into a book cover. But they were not particularly all that good. At the time was a lousy book cover that decreased the number of sales that I was able to get.

So I had to repeat this particular process over and over. The same goes for formatting, I pay somebody to format my book. When they sent it back, I discovered that when it's in dark mode, it is not readable.

They chose hard coding on the colors so that you couldn't read it at all. Because the colors were blue for the text of the book. But it wouldn't change even if you chose dark mode on your phone.

That was a major problem so I had to do it. Then I had another round, paid even more money to get the formatting done. Only to discover that the table of contents didn't work when you clicked on the buttons.

Then when I discovered I needed to do some changes to the editing and the formatting. I then had to pay even more money because every small change required an additional gig to get that complete.

It was cost, after cost, after cost. I began to see that the prices were rising. And when I started, I had no money really to work with to get the whole project up and running, I was on a minimal budget.

Route To Save Money

Now the irony of it is that if you have more money then you can take courses. You can do these other options. That then helps you figure out ways of saving money and getting things right the first time.

That was a little bit for my story. So how much does self publishing cost? Well, the answer is first it's free. You don't need anything other than a computer to get started.

You can make your covers for free using You can write your book for free in LibreOffice using LibreWriter. It will cost you absolutely nothing to write the context.

You can write your own description. You can come up with your description and you can come up with your own keywords. You can decide what your title should be.

You can push the book out there. You can put the paperback version and formatting the covers for your paperback on KDP Print.

And of course, using GIMP which is free open-source software like Photoshop. Using the template to put the cover in there and make it perfect. That will cost you absolutely nothing.

But the other thing though is that you will save and make a lot more money if you're using the right tools. That's why I would use paid tools for formatting, like Jutoh which then uses Libre Office or Libre Writer.

Also, I would use tools to figure out what the cover should be. I use this person on Fiverr to do my covers for about $20. Very affordable and the covers look fantastic, so that's another option.

I do the description myself. But to find the title that you should be doing in the niche I would be using Kindle Spy. That also helps with the keywords you'll be using to running ads on your thing and I use Publisher Rocket to do that.

These are just a couple of the tools I use. I still do use GIMP when I'm doing the cover templates. You have to pay money to get your hardback books out since you have to order proof on Lulu.

You need an ISBN and pay them their initial fee on Ingram Spark for their review of your book. That will cost money if you choose to go the Ingram Spark route which I highly recommend you do.

Now, these all cost a lot of money. You might be wondering, well that's an easy choice, then I should choose the free option than paying these other ones.

That brings us to the secret question of the day and the secret answer of the day. It is that the cost if you choose the free route, you will discover it is incredibly expensive.

You will choose to use tons of time and you will make very few sales. You will not be paid back for the time that you've invested in making those sales. This is a terrible route.

Choose The Right Niche

You're going to want to invest in tools and courses because you need two things. You need the tools and you need the knowledge. So knowledge can be acquired through looking at free content.

But sometimes paying for a coach which I offer, or going for the route which is getting courses can help find an affordable course. That people have taken that seems reasonable so that's also an excellent route to go.

The other thing is that the tools, you're going to make sure that you find the correct niche. You're going to get that correct title and you're going to choose the correct keywords.

You're going to make sure your book is the correct length when comparing with your competitors. And you're going to run ads against your book.

This will cause you to start seeing sales coming in. You're going to start building an audience. And that audience as someone is a group that you will be able to sell to in the future.

Get reviews and other things that you're going to need to succeed in self-publishing. So the answer is you're going to end up paying maybe per book. The initial set of tools could be a couple of hundred dollars.

Each book will cost maybe $50. Once you have the tools well then you can do books as cheap. It depends upon if you're needing the ink, I would say $50 to $100.

And a maximum of $200 per book if you're paying for it to be ghostwritten. That then increases your price to $400 to $500.

As you can see there are several different routes that you can take here to get your books out onto the market to get them published. If you go the free route, it's going to cost you more money.

Check out this related article: Is It Worth Self Publishing A Book?

Then you're going to make assuming you're following the correct strategies. That's why it's important to listen to people who can speak into what you're doing right now.

To help you cut through having to make the mistakes that I made when I got started trying to do it on a budget. Now, I have a virtually unlimited budget to go about investing in books and in the tools that I need.

Because the money that comes back from the books is far greater. Then the money I need to create new books, that is a situation that you're going to want to find yourself in.

So that your publishing process is making you more money than it's costing you. We can continue that loop onboard and onward as we produce higher quality books and make more money off of those books.

So how much does self publishing cost? Go and tell me what you have found below in the comments. I'd love to read and respond to all of them and check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}