The costs of self-publishing vary drastically from the total Do-It-Yourself Authors spending the least amount of money to those who use vanity press publishing options. You’ll hear ranges from $1000 to over $20,000. There is and can be a happy medium in what you spend on self-publishing your book. While you never want to sacrifice quality, you can find a few ways to save.
Here are several ways we believe you can save money and still produce a quality product.
The Costs are in the Mistakes
A lot of the extra costs associated with self-publishing are simply due to the amount of mistakes you make—like printing 500 copies of a book with an error in it—and now you don’t want to sell them!
To avoid mistakes due to errors, hire a book coach to help you through the process. Trust us, the amount you spend on getting support will save you a ton in mistakes down the road. Plus, you’ll get through your authorship journey with a lot less scars and bruises along the way.
Other mistakes people sometimes make: not hiring a professional editor (which can cause your book not to sell), a bad cover design, and believing books sell themselves!
At My Word Publishing we offer “Spot Coaching” programs, where you can buy a package of 10 questions for just $150. It’s an easy way to keep you on track and ensure you aren’t making costly mistakes (or getting ripped off by another professional). You can find out more about that here.
Saving Money in the Editing Process
Editing is typically one of the most expensive parts of the self-publishing process. It’s also the part of the process that you absolutely cannot skip if you want to publish a professional book.
However, you can save money in this process if you:
- Ensure that you’ve truly poured everything into your book before it goes to the editor. Writing a rough draft and handing over your manuscript too early will cost you. If your book isn’t complete, your editor will send you back to your desktop to keep writing. These additional rounds of editing will start to add up. In this process, you want your book to have a clear direction. If you are struggling with this, hire a book coach first, flush out your ideas, then send your manuscript to the editor.
- Be sure you’ve done SEVERAL rounds of editing before submitting your manuscript. Once you’ve completed your own “self-editing”, send it to a few trusted friends or advisors—not to be your editor, but to simply help you find more places where there are errors. The best thing YOU can do as an author is to read your manuscript out loud and backwards—line by line. This will allow you to see easily missed or misspelled words and punctuation errors thus saving you time and money in editing.
Use Print-on-Demand for Book Orders
One of the best parts of being a self-published author today is that we have the great convenience and option of using print-on-demand services. This is where you’ll be able to order any number of copies of your book from 1 to 500 for the same price. Because of the consistency in price, authors can save money on doing a large print run (which costs thousands of dollars). Only order what you need and stick to ordering 50 or so books at one time. You can get a new order shipped to you within a week, so you never have to worry about carrying a whole garage full of inventory and can easily restock.
Watch Your Marketing Dollars
It’s alluring to think about your book being on the shelves of Barnes and Noble or appearing on the Today Show. Every author wants that! But it’s important that you find the right marketing outlets for your book and your work. A big PR firm may have great results with other clients, but is your book topic really something the media wants to hear about right now? And should you pay $3,000 or more to get in front of the media? Remember, on average you’ll be earning $5 per book on your return. That’s a lot of sales for a self-published author to get a good ROI.
Another thing to be cautious of investing in at first, especially when you are short on dollars, are book trade shows. You’ll need to consider the price of attending, as well your travel expenses.
There are many ways to spend your marketing dollars, and unfortunately not all marketing works for all types of books. You’ll want to check out our book marketing tools section for more ideas or grab a copy of Buzz: Your Super Stick Book Marketing Plan to help you sell more books.
Remember to think about the cost of self-publishing like you do any other service –there are those types of people who drive economy cars and those that drive luxury vehicles—which type of person are you and what type of book do you want to produce?
Andrea Costantine is a book designer with My Word Publishing and the author of six books. Andrea believes that having a book is one of the biggest accomplishments of an individual’s life, therefore is her passion to help them share their message, talent, and gifts with the world.