We’re often asked how much it costs to get a book all the way through the process and to the book release. The thing is, this is entirely up to the author. There are tons of different things that can be done, and you have to choose where your money will be best spent. Below, we’ll share some of our tricks for getting a great book on a budget.
So you’ve sat down and decided that you are going to write a book. That’s amazing, and commendable! Once you’re sure that you really want to attempt this, stop. Go get a jar, a piggy bank, heck, grab a Tupperware container. This will be your lifeline, your reminder that you’re working towards something amazing. When you save money you weren’t expecting to save, toss it into your stash. Whenever you have loose change, or a bit extra after all the bills are paid, toss it in. As you write, remember that you’re saving for the moment your book hits the “Published” section.
I use these, you can find them for relatively cheap around August, when school supplies go on sale. All of my bills are fairly steady, so I can generally take a bit out every time I get paid and put it in my stash box. It can be anywhere from $5-$20, depending on what else I have to do that month. No matter what, I put something in. The reason for this is that a lot of times the costs will seem to stack up right around the end, when you’re ready to just get everything done, and having to wait until you have funds can be discouraging.
At a minimum, you’ll need-
♦ A Book Cover – You can make your own book covers or grab pre-mades from cheaper websites, but remember, people DO judge books by their covers. At a minimum for a designer to do a print and Ebook cover, you’ll be looking at $95, for an eye-catching, quality cover.
♦ An Editor/Proofreader – You’ll definitely want a proofreader/editor to go through the work. While friends are great for a first draft to solicit opinions, you want a professional to go through and make sure that common typos and mistakes aren’t present, as well as to help with catching story errors. Most editors charge per word or per page. If you find one offering a flat fee, chances are that those will end up being the cheapest options even if they don’t immediately look like it.
♦ A Formatter – Regular book formatting must follow the specifics laid out by the publisher or printer you’re planning on using, and Ebooks are a headache just by their lonesome. Liliom outsources the Ebook formatting as well, because it’s something best left to the formatters that have experience for the various platforms. You can try to do it yourself, but it’s definitely one of the hardest steps in getting your book prepped and ready. Most formatters charge a flat fee per platform, regardless of word count. If your work requires intensive formatting or special requirements, expect to pay a bit more for their extra time.
♦ An ISBN – Similarly, you can get a free ISBN from print on demand publishers. However, they are then listed as the publisher of your book, and many stores won’t carry POD books. You’re also locked to them, you can’t use the same ISBN to sell your book in other stores. Each format requires their own ISBN as well, so that’s another hike. If you buy your ISBN’s yourself, you’re looking at around $99 each, and you’ll want at least 2 per title, one for the print and one for the Ebook. In this, it’s best to go with a publisher that offers their own ISBNs, so that you have a legitimate publisher associated with your book, and they’re able to offer pricing breaks to the authors they represent.
♦ A Proof Copy – Once you get the book prepped and submitted, you’re required to order a proof copy. You get this at printing cost, so depending on pages it’s not a huge expense, but it is an important one. Holding your proof copy in your hand, you’re able to make sure everything is exactly how you imagined it. This is also the time to break out the yellow highlighter. A lot of times, you get so numb to reading the same thing 20 times in your word processor that you miss things. A proof copy is your fresh reset for your eyes. Many typos or punctuation errors can be caught in this step. Once you know the book itself looks as you want it to, you can then proof the corrected file online instead of ordering another, saving you money!
Now, that’s just to post a book for sale. That’s not advertising, that’s not having an author website to get people interested. That’s not any type of giveaways or print media. All of those things add to your exposure in a market that is already saturated with writers looking to outsell the others.
This isn’t meant to discourage any authors. In fact, it’s to show you that things are always possible. A cover can be pre-paid, and our preferred vendor allows payments. Liliom plans all come with editing, proofreading, and formatting, that way you’ll know that your manuscript is in good hands for our publishing house. We also offer our own ISBN’s. The best part? You can choose your package, and we can get started with just a deposit. We believe that everyone who aspires to be an author should be able to afford to, and that working with our clients to find payment plans they’re comfortable with is the best solution to a long-term relationship.
Our next installment of Book Budgeting will focus on all those extras that can take you from one in a crowd to getting the notice of people you may not have caught attention from before. Stay tuned!