The Cost of Self-publishing a Book

Self-publishing is when an author is in full control of the process of publishing his/her book,  both fiction and non fiction, poetry etc.

The cost of publishing a book will depend on:

  1. The processes that the author is looking to hire expertise for.
  2. The level of skill he would like to hire.
  3. The difficulty level of the task required and the time required to complete the task.

The typical book publishing services will include the following:

  1. Editing
  2. Cover design and illustration
  3. Formatting and interior design
  4. Printing of your book both fiction or technical
  5. Distribution and supply
  6. Creation of E-book and its distribution
  7.  Book sales tracking
  8. Marketing

Each of these services are done at different levels of complexity and skill.  There are two factors that determine cost of publishing a book and how pleasing the outcome is. The factors are:

  • The complexity of task.
  • The level of skilled professional used.

The author needs to decide the following:

  • Which of these steps he has the wherewithal and the inclination to carry out by himself.
  • Which ones he would like to take the help of a professional publisher. This is the first and a very important step.

Once this is decided the next step is to compare cost.

You can list down the services you need to take expert help in and write to the publisher  for their estimation of cost.


Most self-publishing companies will list costs and the parameters within which those costs are applicable. So figuring out an approximate cost is not difficult. Often the costs can be compared across companies but not always. The quality of work done in different areas of book publishing will be different in different companies.

The third step will be to determine which company will, in all likelihood, deliver on its promises.

One company will have a policy to under promise and over deliver. They will ensure quality, ensure compliance of all terms presented to the author. One good way to estimate who is providing quality is to look for feedback from authors. From those authors who have been published by the company in question. Or you can buy a book and judge the quality yourself.

Go ahead and book the publishing services from the company you have zeroed in on.

You are now ready to plunge into the heady world of authorship. Look out for any and all doors that open up and grab the opportunity.