Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WHAT DOES IT COST TO SELF-PUBLISH?

WHAT DOES IT COST TO SELF-PUBLISH?






It is possible to spend next to nothing on the self-publishing process, and it is also possible to spend thousands of dollars. Looking at just the pubbing process, not the marketing, here are the basics:

1.     Editing. Editors are a big expense. You can find an editor for a few hundred or spend thousands of dollars. I’ve never used one. (My critics might say I should have!) Without paying an editor, it is critical that you use resources such as beta readers and writing support groups to be sure your story line flows as it should.

2.     Copy-editing. Again, expensive, but necessary. A copy editor checks grammar, writing style, and obvious errors in your storyline. I paid my last one about $500. You may find one less expensive, but quality matters. Get a good one. This is not a step to scrimp on. Once more, if you cannot afford one, join a critique group or share with other authors of your genre.

3.     Proofing. I do know an author who does her own proofing, but she was an English teacher in her first career and is a rare exception to this rule. It is hard to see your own mistakes, and readers are not forgiving of more than a few errors in a novel.
Some copy editors will do a second run-through, doing the final proofing as part of their fee. The thing about doing it that way is the two processes will be consistent, but the drawback is a second person as proofer may find things your copyeditor missed.

4.     Formatting. I keep vowing to learn how to do this, but formatting
your own work is a skill requiring a lot of patience. Not my strong     suit! To have both versions of a book formatted, eBook and printbook, costs about $300. There are formatters out there who charge less, but the good ones are booked months in advance. This is one step where you can save money by taking the time and effort to do it yourself.

5.     Cover art. This is another expense that is possible to do yourself
if you have a good eye for graphics. There is software out there to make the job easier and many sites that sell premade covers. A good cover artist will charge about $5OO for doing both your ebook and print book covers. You can find some that are cheaper and do a good job. And you can spend thousands of dollars. If you keep it simple, it’s possible to do it yourself, and if money is a concern this will be a skill, like formatting, that is worth developing.

6.     Putting an eBook on Amazon. This step is free!

7.     Print book copies. If you use a print-on-demand service, you will pay for just the books you need. Createspace, an Amazon affiliate, is the most popular because it syncs with Amazon. The cost will vary on the length of the book, but an average novel will be about $6.oo a copy plus postage.

8.     All-inclusive services There are places that will do the whole package for you for a lump sum. My spouse used one for his print book and was very satisfied. He paid about 1k, but I think generally they run more than that. The upside of this is that you only deal with one person, simplifying the process.


Dear Readers,

I have vowed to do my own formatting the next time I publish. There are now templates available to make the task easier and they are not all that expensive. I did find a cover artist I liked who is very reasonable, keeping my expenses for this book to a about $1,000.
One area I never skimp in is proofing. They say attorneys who represent themselves have a fool for a client, and it there is probably a similar adage for writers who do their own proofing, although I’m sure many of you will argue that point.
Good luck with your writing!


Marla

16 comments:

  1. You can use Scrivener to do your formatting. It takes work to learn how to use it, so don't download it when you're super busy, but it's been a lifesaver for me. They have a free trial, so you can try them out before you buy, but it's only about $45.
    It's a great tool for writing and, again, it will format your book for you.
    Here's their link: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
    I promise I don't work for them, but I should because I love them so much!

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    1. Hi Fleur,
      Thanks for the tip! I have heard that too. I do own a copy of Scrivener but haven't attempted to use it yet. Maybe I'll try it for a short story to get the feel of it. I have to admit, I hate learning curves for anything new! (Have never used the GPS on my car that I've had for a year now!)
      Have a great day,
      Marla

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    2. the pc version is much more complicated and you will need to do additional things to get it to look right. The mac version is very simple to use. I write on my pc the import to my husband's mac for formatting.

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    3. the pc version is much more complicated and you will need to do additional things to get it to look right. The mac version is very simple to use. I write on my pc the import to my husband's mac for formatting.

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    4. GOOD TO KNOW! I purchased it for my mac and have yet to use it because of the dreaded learning curve. Have to give it a try, thanks,
      Marla

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    5. I use Scrivener for MAC and it's great. Only problem is, I haven't used it lately and will have to relearn a few things. But I've formatted two eBooks in both Kindle and ePub formats using Scrivener and they came out well. I use Word to format paperbacks and am pretty darned good at it!

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    6. I bought a copy of Scrivener for Mac and have yet to use it! Scared of the learning curve. Sometimes feel like I'm just getting to really know Word!
      But I am learning to do my own formatting, finally and with the help of an author friend, I got the new eBook done by myself. Now I'm on the next step, the print book.This one seems quite a bit harder but I'm getting there!
      No matter how hard it is, it's better than paying someone hundreds of dollars to format for me and then spending hours going over their work! Just refuse to do that anymore, it's insulting. So I plug away. :)
      Have a great weekend, Ann, nice to hear from you.
      Marla

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  2. That's a great idea to start it for short stories. It also comes with a guide - it tells you to do certain tasks to teach you how to use the program. That's a great start also.

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    1. I'm determined to do my own formatting one way or another! Good to know about the
      Scrivener guide.
      Thanks, have a great weekend,
      Marla

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  3. Great post, Marla - useful to see the Indie costs laid out like that and where corners must never be cut!

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    1. Hi AJ,
      Glad you found it helpful. I think it pays to have others do most of it for the first book. As you get more experienced, you can decide where you might be better equipped to do some things yourself.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Marla

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  4. Hi Maria, would you tell me what the software to make book covers is called? Thank you. Great article which I will share on my Facebook page.

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    1. Hi Ange,
      This book designer offers some free sample book covers and tips on how to create a cover. You'll need to share his website on some form of social media. But I subscribe to his mailings, and I've downloaded his free books for helping authors. He's not spammy, and his info is good.

      http://diybookcovers.com/free-sample-thanks/

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    1. Hi Ange,
      I just googled "software book cover. There are many out there, even one that will let you download it free. There are also many ebooks written on the subject. A friend showed me how to do it using power point and that's what I intend to use. Haven't tried any of the other programs.
      There is an ebook called, Create eBook Covers in Power Point that I purchased recently but haven't used yet. If you are at all PP knowledgeable and have it on your computer, you might want to try it.
      Another route is many cover designers sell pre-designed covers. With these you buy the cover and just add your own touches or even just the fonts.
      Good luck! And watch the daily ebook freebies, there have been many great deals on the subject.
      Take care and thanks for stopping in,
      Marla

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