Your Independent Path to Publication

Despite a little bit higher costs many modern writers prefer to bring a book to publication without going through a traditional publishing house, retaining the rights to all their content. The whole process of getting the final product involves book development, its production, and distribution, as well as a marketing effort. It adds much professional value if you know how to put the publication on a resume. To meet the expenses on each stage of self-publishing you should know how much it costs and build a strategy to maximize profits.

How Much Indie Publishing Costs

Book Development Costs

Though you can contrive to spend several hundred dollars, the printed edition will cost you $4,000 – $6,000 on average. Paper quality, graphics, color photos, illustrations, and a hardback raise the ante.

Genre as well does matter for the price you pay as an indie author to experts with deep knowledge and special skills in certain subjects. Look, how self-publishing costs may vary within the genres for an 80,000-word product:

  • Romance $3,819;
  • Sci-fi & Fantasy $4,300;
  • Mystery, Thriller & Crime $4,184;
  • Young Adult $4,132;
  • Non-Fiction, Coaching $6,172.

So you can bargain for $10,000 in the upper end of the range. But take it easy and treat your expenditures on books as a business investment.

Development Stage

You’ve written your own book, but you won’t be able to edit and proofread your product because of your emotional attachment to it. It’s better to leave editing and formatting to the professionals. Aside from conceptual editing, fact-checking, and paper, size, or pricing recommendations, the average editing budget is $1000. The costs include:

  • Developmental editing — about $7 per page;
  • Copy editing — about $5 per page;
  • Proofreading — $3 per page.

Cover Design

The professional approach to competitive publishing and sales dictates that even the high-quality product by an unknown writer needs a standout cover to get sold. Mind, that no one likes amateur products as people judge a book by its cover. When it comes to front and back covers design or interior design layout hiring a pro designer is the best decision.

A high-quality, stylish, complex book cover design can increase sales, although it wouldn’t be cheap:

  • Beginners take $300-$500;
  • Experienced designers ask for $500-$1,000;
  • Talented designers with 10+ years in design cost $1,000-$1,500.
Book Production

Book Production Costs

As soon as the final project is finished, your file is ready for print. You can choose any from the following options:

  1. Print-on-demand.
  2. Offset printing.

Print-on-Demand

Digital printing will cost you $10-$500 per book. The copies created with the help of a digital printer are identical to those created with traditional offset printing. The high-quality copies are printed with advanced inkjet technology as ordered.  You can get any amount of copies on-demand or one book at a time. The advantages of print-on-demand are a tunable book format, the possibility to print and assemble your book fast, and cost-effective price. 

Offset Printing

Volume printing is a traditional method of publishing that can reduce per-copy costs by 40%. But it works only for larger orders without regard to customizations, design, and overseas printing fees. It should be printed at least 1,000 copies, which means that you’ll get lower cost per copy but higher cost at the outset. Among offset printing advantages the writers admit the possibilities of brick-and-mortar consignment retail, in-person sales, event sales possibilities along with options to manage the personal distribution of the book.

Distribution & Marketing Costs

Before you publish a book, try to build an audience and generate demand for it through blogging. Creating a blog is free but it may be your lucky chance to connect with and identify your target audience to build your fan base. Networking through social media is another great opportunity to connect with your audience and remain engaged in the conversation.

To identify the real costs of a particular distribution service you should take into consideration its ease of use, reputation, reliability, and security to protect your content and assure delivery to end-users. It makes sense to count cost-effectiveness dealing with as many of them as you can individually.

Every store is a little bit different and their prices as well. Many companies such as Amazon offer additional benefits such as access to promotions deals available only to direct users or pre-sale through online retailers. If you value time more than cash, using an aggregator may be the best course for you.

The Bottom Line

Writing a book is a time-consuming process that requires hard work but seeing your book in print is incredibly gratifying and worth the effort. As opposed to traditional free publishing, indie one makes you pay to get the content produced and promoted.

Nevertheless, it provides a lot of exciting opportunities and allows you to control all aspects of content before, during, and after its publication and to earn more money in the long run. You should research all service options, create a budget, and find your way to become the author of the best-seller.

gillian grunewald author bio

About the Author: Gillian Grunewald

Gillian is a talented writer with a strong research approach in the career field. Has over 12 years of experience in resume, LinkedIn profile writing, and editing. Education Master of Fine Arts, Writing Eastern Washington University.

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