Self Publishing Expenses

Friday, May 17, 2013
I'm so proud of myself; I think I have the basics of this ebook formatting thing down! I am ready for July when I upload my reprinted editions of Kiss it Better and How to Resist Prince Charming.

Which reminds me, my cover reveal for Kiss it Better is a week from today: woo hoo!

Anyway, I plan to distribute those two books to Amazon, Smashwords (which, if I upload my manuscript correctly will in turn distribute to "Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, and more") and AllRomanceEbooks. Plus, I learned how to make a PDF, MOBI, and EPUB version of my books for reviewers to read it before the release date.

I have all three versions of my YA novella, Bad Boys Don't Play Hero, up on my website if you want to check out my mad formatting skills!!

If you can't tell, I'm really getting into this stuff. I have a new respect for people who self publish. There is so much to learn and do.  But it's really exciting to have all the authority over every step of the project. Oh, the power!!!

And since we're on the topic of self publishing, I found this blog post (here) that breaks down the cost of self publishing. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can do it for free or spend tens of thousands of dollars.

After reading a couple of similar articles, the main consensus is that if you really care about doing the project right but want to be as economical as possible, you'll spend between $500 and $5,000. 

Here is where I think I stand in the expenses department for my September book, Price of a Kiss.

Write Book:
$0 (but lots of time)

Edit Book:
LOW END - $0 Friend who is an English teacher
ME - $280 for a 95K manuscript
HIGH END - $5,000

Proof-read Book:
LOW END - $0 Friends and colleagues
ME - $275
HIGH END - $1,000 or more

Cover Design:
LOW END - $0 "Royalty free or own photos and text only made into a .jpg on Microsoft Publisher"
MIDDLE GROUND - $30 - $300 for a cover artist
ME - Not sure yet, but the base price will be $250 plus the price of images.
HIGHER END - $1,000 or more

Typeset Book:
LOW END - $0 Find templates and free formatting programs
ME - $0 (hee-hee, taught myself!!)
MIDDLE GROUND - $20 to $150
HIGH END - $500 or more

Publish Book:
LOW END - $0. Publish at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
ME - $0 (going the low end route!)
MIDDLE GROUND - no clue, sorry!
HIGH END - according to this blog post linked above "$1400 for 250 copies of your print book from a self-publishing/printing company."

And the post didn't include promoting but you really do need to think about it!
Promote Book:
LOW END - $0. Get a free blog for your website home page and use social networking like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
ME - $205 ($25 Facebook banner, $105 book tour/cover reveal, $25 for book blast release day, $50 for 1 year of website hosting fee)
MIDDLE GROUND - Again, no clue!
HIGH END - This one is honeslty unlimited, so I have not clue.

So, there you have it.  I believe I'll be spending just over a grand (holy cow, that sounds like a lot when you put all the dollar signs together) on self publishing one teeny-tiny little book.

But to not think of how big of a debt I'm putting myself into there, I'm working on a new story!  What do you think of the forbidden teacher/student plot line? I'm making it a college story so there is no icky, pedophile theme in there. There hero and heroine will only be about two or three years age difference. But there is still the unethical factor. So... opinions?

Okay, that's all I have to say today!  Talk more next week. 

(PS: Here's another good post about the cost of self publishing)


  1. Scary...that's why I won't go indie unless it's a re-release. I don't make enough back to spend that much.
    Can't wait to see the cover!

  2. Oh wow! I'm so impressed!! And excited for you!

  3. I know you're excited! Can't wait to see. Those numbers look about right to me.

  4. Holy moly do the prices add up! I don't make that type of money from writing! Can't wait for the cover. I like the idea as long as it's set in college, maybe a woman going back to school and the prof being a few years older than she is... Can't wait!

  5. Re: that story idea, I think in that type of way, where there's a very small age difference, it can be an awesome type of story. Exploring the power in the relationship, the ethics of it like you mentioned, is pretty fascinating. Sounds great! =)

  6. Oooh, even though I personally wouldn't be able to read it- a teacher/student does sound very delightful. I think go for it girl. And as long as we don't have Dr. Phil Show age difference ( I watched one where a 40 year old guy left his family for a seventeen year old gril.... *shivers*), I personally think it sounds great!