How to approach publishing cost

Your book is an investment

Your book is an investment

Publishing isn’t free. A successful book costs time, talent and money. Somebody must first write the book; in most cases, that’s you, the author. Then somebody must edit your book, and another somebody design the cover, and another somebody design the interior layout, and another somebody print, and another somebody market, and another somebody distribute, and another somebody sell, and another somebody actually send your book to those who bought it. You get the idea. Even if all those somebodies are really just you, somebody has to do all those tasks for your book to succeed.

That’s the problem with self-publishing. Even when it’s “free” it isn’t.

Somebody is going to pay the upfront cost of publishing your book. Unless you’re an experienced “commercial” author with a large book-buying audience and a proven track record, that “somebody” will most likely be you.

But there’s a big difference between who pays the upfront cost of publishing and who pays the eventual cost of publishing.

Ideally, your readers will cover your publishing costs by purchasing your books.

Ideally, your readers will cover your publishing costs by purchasing your books.

If your goal is to get your book published and share your message with the world, and initial publishing cost is not an issue, great! Choose the publisher most likely to steward your message, create a beautiful book and share your message with the world.

If your goal is to get your book published and share your message with the world, and you expect to recoup your publishing cost and build a profitable career as an author, great! Choose the publisher most likely to steward your message, create a beautiful book and share your message with the world.

Publishing your book is an investment.

You’ve already invested (how many?) hours into writing and crafting your message. The objective is to share your message with the world. Is now a great time to do-it-yourself or bargain hunt?

It is possible to publish your book, yourself, for free. Thanks to technology, we have that option. But what’s your goal and how do you want to spend your resources? The more do-it-yourself you go, the more you try to cut corners, the more your chances of your book being the best it can be and reaching its intended audience goes down, down, down.

If your goal is to present your message in the best possible light and to have your absolute best shot at reaching the world with your message, then invest in that goal.


Here are the best resources I have about the cost of publishing:

CreateSpace, when free isn’t

Self-publishing may be short-changing your chances

One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make

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