what it costs to publish a book

Someone asked me this, and so I wanted to share what you should budget. 

It may be wise to save up the money ahead of time, or you can piece meal it. Buying the cover and then the swag as you write the book, and then editing and blogging services as you finish the book.

Book Cover –– up to $500

Cost is dependent on your artist, their popularity and demand, and whether you are buying an ebook or a full paperback cover. I highly, HIGHLY recommend getting a professional. Your cover can make or break you.


I don’t recommend this option, but for about $10, you can craft a cover yourself by buying a few stock images off of an image site:


I crafted my own cover for a short story, and it turned out all right. But still, the professional ones look waaaaay better.

Swag –– up to $500

Swag is a major part of marketing. It’s how you put your “Brand” out there. Your brand is the title and covers of your books. The more people experience your book cover and title, the more they want to read it.

For TAKING CHANCES, this is what I budgeted for swag:

  • $50 for 200 wristbands
  • $80 for 100 2-inch magnetic buttons
  • $120 for bookmarks
  • $50 for book cover charms + accessories to turn them into necklaces

So my total cost for TAKING CHANCES swag is $300.

Editing –– up to $3000

I’ve talked to several editors who work with indie authors, and their costs range from $150 to $300 to copy edit and assess your work.

That is a good deal when you realize that Kirkus Reviews also offers editing packages that range from $1000 to $3349 for a 50K-word novel:

  • Copy Editing for $.02 a word
  • Collaborative Editing for $99 + $.03 a word
  • Pro Editing Package for $99 + $.065 a word

MONEY SAVING TIP:  Trade beta reading services with author friends that you know and trust and are good writers. They assess your story for characters, plot, wording, and technique. When they are done, you need to do a final polish by reading the story out loud. You’ll discover loads of typos and editing errors (like when you were supposed to delete two words and instead deleted just one). Somehow, your eyes catch more when you have to read it out loud.

At this point, I still recommend sending it to an editor, one that costs about $150 to $300.

Blogging Services –– up to $500

Instead of advertising, use blogging services make. Here’s what many people do to promote their book release:

  • Cover Reveal ($30)
  • Release Day Blitz ($30)
  • Release Day Party ($50 to $150, depending on the service and the party length)
  • Blog Tour ($100 to $300, depending on the service and the length of the tour)

MONEY SAVING TIP:  Organize it yourself! It’s a lot of hard work, but you can make some awesome friendships and fans for life by reaching out to bloggers.

Book Production

Don’t forget the loads of hidden costs in producing a book:
  • ISBN
  • Printing costs
  • Shipping
  • Free Paperback ARC Copies
  • Personal Assistant
  • Professional Author Picture
  • Graphics for Facebook and blog headers
  • Graphics for ads and book quotes 

1 comment:

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