how much does it cost to publish a book

How much does it Cost to Publish a Book?

How thrilling of an experience it already is to be publishing your book! I am excited for you if you are now embarking on the path of publishing. Whether it is self-publishing or traditional, it does involve a cost. 

So, how much does it cost to publish a book? And if you are self-publishing, what are the costs involved? Which areas are there to invest in and which are the ones to handle on your own? 

As a new author, you will have all these questions in your mind. And you want to make sure that your research pays you well before you finally take off to publish your book. 

This article will talk about all these things right from- how much does it cost to publish a book, kinds of costs involved to on what to spend and on what not. 

 But before reading further, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Am I self-publishing for my writing career?
  2. Am I self-publishing for my hobby of writing?
  3. Am I self-publishing because now I have achieved my goal of writing a book?

The cost of self-publishing will depend upon the answers of these questions. If your goal was writing a book and publishing is merely a formality, then you would spend as much as a hobby requires. If you are going for your writing career, you will consider your book as an asset. Hence, any expenditure will be an investment. 

How much does it Cost to Publish a Book?

Technically, the cost of self-publishing via Amazon KDP is next to zero. Which means, you can publish on the Amazon KDP for free. But the cost of self publishing a book in India for new authors will range between Rs. 30,000/- and Rs. 75,000/-. This cost includes the cost of editing, formatting, book cover design, marketing and PR. 

Of course, as an experienced self publishing author, you can always go for a higher range. That will inadvertently offer better and more ingenious services, providing you with a team of more experienced editors, a premium book cover design, advanced formatting and better marketing services to get your book out to sell

NotionPress is India’s leading self-publishing platform, and it has three packages- Guided Publishing, Xpress Package and Free Self-publishing. It tells you how much it will cost you to self-publish a book. 

In this article, I am going to talk about the main costs involved in the journey of self-publishing your book.


The above picture contains various packages offered by buuks.com with all services they provide. 

What are the Costs of Self-Publishing?

If you have thought of going solo, which means that you will be self-publishing, then the cost of self-publishing will depend upon these factors:

  1. Editing 
  2. Formatting
  3. Cover Design 
  4. Marketing 

Editing 

A great deal of the cost of self publishing a book involves editing your book. There are two types of writers, one, who will write the book and spend weeks, months, even years to edit it. Second, who wrote the book and then gave it away to an editor for a complete editing.

If you are the first type of writer, here is how you can perfect your book. If you are the second type of writer, you need to make sure that your book is edited to the most perfect level. There are various types of editing, and the cost of editing will depend upon these factors:

  1. Size of the manuscript– the word length, no. of pages, density of the text
  2. Level of your writing– narrative, structure of the story, any plot or character inconsistencies, descriptive inconsistencies (of the characters and location), Grammar, spelling, capitalisation, points of views, etc. 
  3. Experience of the Editor: Veteran, medium experienced, newbie. 

On an average, the cost of ‘high-end’ editing your book of 60,000 words of Romance genre with a medium experienced editor will be somewhere between $7 and $10.99 (per page) or Rs. 150 and Rs. 250 (per page). 

All in all, it may be a little expensive for you because you are a first time author and investing in becoming a better one. Apart from this, you can find the list of professional and independent experienced editors in India, here.

Book Cover Design 

DIY book cover design will cost you as much as surfing on the internet does, which is nil, unless you buy a premium subscription of Canva or buy images and pictures on pexel.com, unsplash.com, pixabay.com, etc. 

Don’t forget that the book cover design is one of the reasons your book sells. And you actually want to sell your book. While trying out new options and applications to design your book cover is amazing, you would not want to miss out on what the professional designers can create for you. 

  1. A basic yet impressive book cover design is going to cost you from Rs. 2,500/- to Rs. 5,000/- on NotionPress, IndiaMart, BlueRose Publications, White Falcon Publishers. 
  1. A premium book cover design depending upon the genre of the book, complexity the design may require you to spend Rs. 7,000 – Rs. 15,000/- 
  1. If the designer has an experience of more than 5 years, and her/his samples feature the best-selling novels or books, then obviously, the rate will go higher. It may go from Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 20,000/- 

However, there is no limit to creativity. Sometimes, a minimalist approach works best for a book cover design. Here is the list of professional book cover designers and freelancers in India.  

Before you hire a professional, do your research well. Look at all the best-sellers in your genre on Amazon, look for the common details- the colour scheme, text, font, graphics, styling, etc. 

Formatting 

Formatting means enhancing the readability of your masterpiece for the reader. The interior design of your book is typically cheaper than getting a book cover designed. 

You can do it yourself with the help of various applications like CreateSpace, Scrivener, Vellum, MS- Word, GoogleDocs, Draft2Digital, Reedsy, Kindle Create (only for Kindle books). You can know how to format the interior of your book here

How your book will appear to the readers on both print and ebook versions, whether the text of your book is comfortable on the readers’ eyes, if there is enough margin on all the four sides of the page that no word gets missed out. Formatting does all of it. 

You can either do it yourself, as I mentioned above, or you can use the funds you have into giving your book a professional and a more appealing touch by hiring a professional formatter. 

It will cost you from $50 to $300. PressBooks.com charges $99 for formatting the interior of your book without any additional charge if you decide to revise your book in the future. You can also hire a designer which may cost you ranging from $200 to $2,500. 

Again, formatting a book into MOBI, EPUB, KF8, etc. formats will depend upon the density of the text of your book, number of images (if any), whether the book is fiction or nonfiction. 

Here is the list of designers and formatters for refining the interior of your book. 

Marketing and PR

Now, this is where things get trickier than all of the above explained cost of self-publishing a book. Marketing is actually the area where an author invests the most because (s)he wants to sell the book. 

I have an advanced guide on how to market your book yourself, you can check it out to understand the basics and the need of marketing if you wish to make writing your full-time paying and successful career. 

However, a little help from the professionals, and investing in the right thing will always benefit the new authors. Building an author website, author brand, mailing list and its management, ads, giveaways, webinars, podcasts, YouTube channel etc. will magnify your name and enhance your network in the writing industry. 

Photo by Eduardo Pastor on Unsplash

If you don’t wish to do the marketing on your own, and you have the funds to invest into marketing your book, you can hire someone to do it for you. 

The professional charges you somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000 for this. But what are the individual costs of marketing and PR? Take a look: 

Pre- Marketing Costs:

  1. Author Website: $200
  2. Mailing Lists: $300
  3. Content marketing: $1,500

Launching the Book Costs:

  1. Ads: $500- $3,000
  2. Online Launch: $1,000- $3,000
  3. Physical Launch: $3,000 and more. 

Post Publishing Costs:

  1. Industry Events 
  2. Webinars
  3. Podcasts 
  4. Book Signings 
  5. ‘Meet the Author’ events
  6. Conferences, etc. 

All these costs are variable, ranging between $6,500 and $15,000, and more.  

These things take time and money. And marketing may prove to be the most hectic and hence the most rewarding investment. For a new author that you may be, reaching the stage where you can invest in thousands of dollars in promoting your book(s) will take time. 

If you don’t know certain things about the industry and how marketing works, learning new skill sets will not be a bad option to start from. To cut these costs, you can engage yourself in reaching out to more people on social media, online platforms, guest posts, blogging, YouTube channels. This will cost you ranging from $50 to $200. 

Winding up

Self-publishing a book may cost you nothing or may cost a little less than a fortune. But if done right, it proves to be the most advantageous investment an author ever makes. However, the information given above is subject to the industry and market changes. You can add your feedback or knowledge in the comments below. Happy Writing! 

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