I see questions on costs to self-publish come up a lot and I wanted to break down what the essential costs are. I heard a quote on a podcast that went “ do you want to have a business, or do you want to have what looks like a business?” I treat my writing like a business and because of that, every potential cost has to make a return. But there are some costs that can’t be avoided when you are starting out self-publishing. Here is my breakdown of the essential things to spend on:
Technically – you can publish for …. $0. You can write something. Use the “FREE” ISBN from KDP, use their “awesome’ cover generator, and hit publish.
However, here are my recommendations on what you should spend on:
What items should you spend on?
ISBNs (I’ve referenced this a few times, but here is my definitive video in the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibL7WRugEyo&t=4s)
The scope and extent will determine the cost here.
But if your book isn’t edited, the reviews won’t lie. The worst thing you could do is spend years working on a book, typing “the end”, hit publish and then get blasted on your reviews. Writing the book is only the first step.
You get what you pay for. And people judge books by their cover. You need a good cover.
When it comes to formatting, you can figure it out. If you just have text in your book and you don’t have images or graphics or illustrations, you can figure out the formatting. It may take you a few tries, but you can do it. If you have any of the items that I just mentioned, ehh could be worth it to pay for formatting. Most services that I have seen out there charge about $60-$100. If you are paying more than that for just formatting in a text-only book, you overpaid. Now if you have graphics and illustrations and worksheets – you should hire a professional.
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Have a great day and now you can get back to writing your book!
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