How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book in 2023?
It can cost authors on average anywhere from £750 to £5,000 to professionally publish their book. Why the big difference in price? That comes down to quality. There are a number of cheap ways to get your book published and it all depends on the quality you want to achieve.
The cost also varies depending on the length and complexity of the book, as well as the services you choose to use. There are a number of factors that can impact the cost of self-publishing a book, break down below:
- Editing: This is going to be one of the bigger investments you make when publishing your book. In my view, it is essential that you have someone do professional developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Remember you are competing with traditional publishing companies who will supply this and other self-published authors who have made this investment. Prices for editing can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, depending on the length of your book and the level of editing you need.
- Cover design: As I said above the competition is fierce when it comes to grabbing attention. That’s the way it is online these days. Whether you’re selling a book or a car you have to fight to make sure people see yours over someone else’s advert. A professional cover design is going to help you attract readers and is really the first step in book marketing. Prices for cover design can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.
- Formatting: Or Typesetting as it is also known is again crucial. Don’t try and do this yourself. We see that often and the book always looks like a dogs dinner. There are now so many devices and retailers that all have different requirements. Your book could end up looking terrible if you don’t have a professional do this for you.
- Printing: The cost of printing your book will depend on the size of the print run and the type of paper and binding you choose. When it comes to printing I often ask authors what their goal with their book? Is it a lead magnet for your business? Are you just looking to break even on this book and use it to establish yourself as a thought leader in your space? Alternatively, do you want to make money selling lots of copies and one day secure an agent and a traditional deal? Your goal is going to impact how you get your book printed.
- Marketing: Marketing your book can also be a significant cost, especially if you choose to hire a publicist or advertise online. Then again it can cost you almost nothing if you spend time figuring out social media and how to promote your book on those channels.
In general, it is not uncommon for the cost of self-publishing a book to be several thousand pounds. However, it is also possible to self-publish a book for significantly less, especially if you are able to do some of the work yourself or use low-cost services. When it comes to your budget I always recommend going for quality and investing in your book.
Types of Editing
There are several types of editing that a publisher might do to a book. These include:
- Developmental editing: This type of editing focuses on the overall structure and organisation of the book. A developmental editor might help the author to clarify their ideas, improve the flow of the book, and ensure that the content is coherent and well-organized.
- Copy editing: This type of editing focuses on the accuracy and clarity of the text. A copy editor will check for grammar and spelling mistakes, as well as ensure that the text is clear and concise.
- Proofreading: This type of editing is the final step before the book is published. A proofreader will check the book for any remaining errors or mistakes and ensure that it is ready for publication. We would always advise proofreading even if English if your first language and you are a professional writer.
- Fact-checking: Depending on the content of the book, a publisher may also have a fact checker review the book to ensure that all of the information it contains is accurate.
It is not uncommon for a publisher to do all of these types of editing to a book. The extent of the editing that is done will depend on the needs of the book and the preferences of the publisher and author. We always recommend that authors invest in copy editing and proofreading at the very least.
What is going to impact the cost of editing my book?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of editing a book:
- Length: The longer the book, the more time it will take to edit and the more expensive it will be.
- Complexity: If the book is more complex or requires more extensive editing, it will likely be more expensive. For example, a book with a lot of technical terminologies or historical research may require more time and expertise to edit.
- Type of editing: The type of editing that is needed can also affect the cost. Developmental editing and copy editing tend to be more expensive than proofreading, for example.
- Experience and expertise of the editor: The editor’s level of experience and expertise can also impact the cost. An editor with more experience or specialized knowledge may charge more for their services.
- Location: The location of the editor can also affect the cost. Editors in larger cities or more expensive regions may charge more for their services.
What is going to impact the cost of having my book cover designed?
A book cover is your first bit of marketing. The costs associated with a book cover are the result of a number of elements. These are detailed below:
- Design complexity: The more complex the design, the more time it will take to create and the more expensive it will be.
- Illustrations or photographs: If the cover design requires custom illustrations or photographs, this can increase the cost.
- Experience and expertise of the designer: The designer’s level of experience and expertise can also impact the cost. A designer with more experience or specialized skills may charge more for their services.
- License fees: If the designer needs to license stock images or other elements for the cover design, this can also add to the cost.
- Location: The location of the designer can also affect the cost. Designers in larger cities or more expensive regions may charge more for their services.
Why you should invest in a professional book formatter (aka typesetter)
Typesetting is a crucial part of the book publishing and book printing process. Without a professional typesetter your book could be stuck from day one.
- Aesthetics: A professionally formatted book will have a polished, professional appearance. This can make it more attractive to readers and help to increase sales. People will be less likely to recommend your book if the formatting is off and its hard to read.
- Readability: A professional formatter will ensure that the text is easy to read and that the layout is consistent throughout the book. This can improve the reading experience for the reader.
- Compatibility: A professional formatter will ensure that the book is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms, which is important if you plan to distribute the book digitally.
- Avoid errors: A professional formatter will check the book for any formatting errors or issues that could impact the quality of the final product.
- Save time: Formatting a book can be a time-consuming process, especially if you are not familiar with the technical details. Hiring a professional to do this work can save you time and allow you to focus on other aspects of the self-publishing process.
How much should you expect to spend on book marketing?
The amount an author can expect to spend on book marketing can vary widely, depending on the specific marketing activities they undertake and their budget. Some marketing efforts may be free or low-cost, such as getting reviews from book bloggers or creating a social media presence, while others can be more expensive, such as advertising in print or online media, hiring a publicist, or attending writing conferences and book festivals.
In general, it’s a good idea for authors to set aside a portion of their budget for marketing, as it can be a crucial factor in the success of their book. Some authors may choose to invest more heavily in marketing at the beginning of their career to build a readership, while others may prefer to focus on writing and leave the marketing to their publisher. Ultimately, the right approach will depend on the individual needs and goals of the author.
Amazon Ads to promote your book
Amazon offers several advertising options for authors looking to promote their books on its platform. One of these options is Amazon Advertising, which allows authors to create and run sponsored ads for their books on Amazon.com and other Amazon sites.
With Amazon Advertising, authors can choose the products they want to advertise, set a spending limit for their ads, and select the target audience for their ads. Amazon Advertising uses a pay-per-click model, which means that authors are only charged when a customer clicks on one of their ads.
To create an ad campaign on Amazon Advertising, authors will need to create an account and set up their campaign using the Amazon Advertising dashboard. From there, they can create and upload ad creatives (such as product images and text), set their bid amount (the maximum amount they are willing to pay for a click on their ad), and specify their target audience (such as customers who have shown an interest in certain categories or keywords). Once the campaign is live, Amazon’s algorithms will automatically adjust the bid amount and target audience in order to maximize the number of clicks and sales on the author’s ads.
Overall, Amazon Advertising can be a useful tool for authors looking to reach a larger audience and promote their books on the Amazon platform. It is important to note, however, that the success of an Amazon Advertising campaign will depend on a variety of factors, including the quality of the ad creatives, the relevance of the ad to the target audience, and the competitiveness of the bid amount.
Price promotions for book marketing
Running a price promotion for your book can be a good way to attract new readers and drive sales. Here are some tips for running a successful price promotion:
Set a clear goal: Determine what you hope to achieve with your price promotion. Do you want to generate buzz, increase your sales rank, or attract new readers? Knowing your goal will help you decide on the right type of promotion and how to promote it.
Choose the right time: Consider when to run your promotion based on factors such as your target audience, the book’s release date, and any relevant holidays or events. For example, a promotion around Valentine’s Day might be a good fit for a romance novel.
Select the right price: Decide on a price point that will be attractive to your target audience and that aligns with your promotional goals. In general, a lower price point may be more effective at driving sales, but it’s important to consider the impact on your overall earnings.
Promote your promotion: Make sure to let people know about your price promotion through social media, email marketing, and other channels. Consider offering an exclusive discount code to incentivize people to buy during the promotion.
Monitor and analyse your results: Keep track of your sales and rankings during the promotion, and analyze the results afterward to determine whether the promotion was successful and how you can improve in the future.
Are there any hidden costs associated with self-publishing a book?
If you choose a reputable self-publishing company then there shouldn’t be any hidden costs. Always read any contracts carefully and pay attention to the quotes or estimates provided. Most of all check their reviews. Does the company you’re working with have great TrustPilot reviews? Social proof is so important and you want to see what other authors have said about them.
How much does it cost to print a book?
The cost of printing a book depends on a variety of factors, including the number of pages, the type of paper used, and the type of binding.
The cost to print a book will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the book, the type of paper and cover stock used, the number of pages, and the number of books being printed. In general, the more books you print at once, the lower the unit cost will be.
Here are some rough estimates for the cost of printing a book:
Black and white text-only book: £1-£4 per book for a print run of 500-2,000 books
Color book with a glossy cover: £3-£10 per book for a print run of 100-500 books
Hardcover book with a dust jacket: £5-£15 per book for a print run of 100-500 books
These estimates are intended to be rough guidelines only, and actual costs may vary depending on the specific printing company and the options you choose. It’s a good idea to request quotes from multiple printers and compare prices before making a decision.
It’s also worth noting that the cost of printing a book can be significantly higher if you have a very small print run (e.g., fewer than 100 books) or if you choose more expensive options such as a larger trim size or higher-quality paper. In these cases, the unit cost per book may be much higher, even if the overall cost is relatively low.
If you work with a company such as ourselves we can advise on what options you should select in order to get the best result.
Has the cost of self-publishing a book changed over the years?
The cost of self-publishing a book has changed significantly over the years. In the past, self-publishing a book was a costly endeavor, requiring a large upfront investment in printing and distribution costs. Today, however, self-publishing a book is much more affordable. With the advent of digital printing and online distribution, self-publishing a book can be done for a fraction of the cost. Additionally, there are a variety of services available to help authors with the self-publishing process, such as editing, formatting, and cover design. This has made self-publishing a much more viable option for authors who want to get their work out into the world.
This reduction in price has made self-publishing even more accessible which I think is wonderful for authors.
Hiring marketing experts to help promote your book
Whether or not to hire marketing experts to help with promoting your book is a personal decision that depends on your goals and resources. Here are a few things to consider:
Expertise: Marketing experts can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and may be able to offer valuable insights and strategies that you might not have considered. They can also save you time by handling tasks such as creating marketing materials or setting up advertising campaigns.
Budget: Hiring marketing experts can be expensive, especially if you work with a reputable firm or individual. Make sure to consider your budget and whether you can afford to hire marketing help.
Do-it-yourself approach: If you’re on a tight budget or prefer to take a hands-on approach, you may be able to handle your own marketing efforts. There are many resources available online to help you get started, including marketing guides, social media marketing tools, and online advertising platforms.
Again this is an investment into the success of your book but do your research before deciding to work with someone.