Often people wonder what it costs to self-publish ones book.
I’ve seen blog and Facebook posts that talk about how much it costs. But the reality is that the cost of self-publishing one’s novel will vary and depends a LOT on a person’s skill level and their access to equipment that some of us simply take for granted.
Theoretically self publishing indeed can cost you nothing. But as we shall see as we go through later posts that depends on what skills you have and where are you starting in the publishing process. I will repeat it simply varies for most people. So let’s break self publishing down into several steps.
- Writing (The actual writing of the book.)
- Editing (Having the book edited so that it competes with similar professionally edited products in the market.)
- Layout and design (This includes cover design, and internal layout)
- Marketing (this includes things like copyright etc, and promotion, helping your readers discover your book)
Writing: Costs will vary
Actually writing the book in most cases should hopefully cost you nothing. You take some paper and pen and get to writing. Or if you’re like me you get on your PC and you peck away at the keys until you complete your manuscript.
But (and I’ve personally encountered this with a person.) what if you write your work on paper, but are not computer literate enough to use MS. Word or other types of word processing programs to digitize your work? What if you have a completed draft on paper but you can’t type? What if you don’t have access to your own PC?
Well here will be the first hurdle or step for a writer like this. Because you simply must digitize your work. The writer whose starting point begins here has several options. Either you must take the time and energy to do it yourself, or you will have to find someone who can take your physical manuscript and type it into a word processor. There is actually a third option. You can buy speech to text conversion software and the ancillary hardware to “type” it out for you. (No clue on the total costs here.) If you need a person to help you type. You can look on craigslist, Fiverr.com , www.writer.ly ,or elance.com to assist you. (this assumes of course a loved one or friend who’s not able to do it for you.)
How much would this cost? I’d say any where from free to maybe a couple hundred dollars. Because if you are taking a physical written draft and giving it to someone to type up for you (i.e.putting it into a word processor.) I can only assume you will want a copy of the document. I doubt you will want to give away your only copy. So assuming a 400 page draft at 10-25 cents a copy– well you can do the math on how much this would be.
Assuming however you at not starting at such a basic level of having no computer access or the inability to type your own document then writing the actual book should cost your nothing. In which case so far so good!
In the next blog in this series I’ll talk about what are the editing costs associated in self publishing.