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The Cost of it ALL

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Self-publishing your book is an investment and you should treat it as such. This means before you sit down to write, you need to decide on what path will you take once the novel is complete. So many new authors get overwhelmed by the process because they went in without some sort of plan. They didn't take a class or attend any kind of writing conference so they were screwed from the word go. 


Now what I am about to tell you is just my EXPERIENCE... so take from what you will and please don'twaste your breath telling me I should be done. Everybody's path is not the same even when everyone is walking the same road. Here are a few things I paid for. And please note that I have made 11k off of this book before I entered it into Kindle Unlimited. 


1. The first thing you should get, while you writing is beta readers. Between 4 to 8 of them. People you can trust and most importantly people that read your genre. This should coat you nothing. 


2. After the novel is finished it's time for step two. You love the book; you'e beta readers love the book. Now it's time to hire editing. The price here is based off of the the length of your manuscript and on how much work you feel needs done to your story to make it as perfect as possible. For example: I didn't know how to read until I was 10-years old so I suck at grammar. Really, really, suck at it. So I attacked the problem with 2 rounds of professional editing and 3 rounds of aggessive proof reading. Cost: $3,335


S/N: being my first rodeo I hired Createspace to help me put a lot miscellaneous stuff together. 


a. Book Cover $734 ($375 of this my screw up)

b. Interior design $324 

c. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number) $25


3. The one thing I wish I had more money to spend on was marketing. In my opinion, for my company to have made a major dent like the big boy, I would've had to spend about 10k on marketing. 



Hopefully this helps a littleScreenshot_20180312-143329.thumb.jpg.0cb374cd871aca78127c92727637e2ad.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is very useful information that you shared @D.E. Eliot I'm actually compiling a similar list of expenses an author should expect if they are self publishing their book.  This is in conjunction with a workshop I gave this past week on self publishing.  You can review what I've started here: https://aalbc.com/nbwc/


Now every manuscript it different, so the production costs will be different as well.  For example I would also caution writers against editors that price based upon a manuscript's length.  Again every book is different; some books need a less work than others -- the pricing should be a function of the effort involved not the simply the length.


Is #10 and #12 for promotional copies for booksellers, reviewers, etc?


Yeah 50% of ones budget allocated to marketing sounds about right.  Though the cost of this over time if you hire a publicist and purchase advertising regularly and crun into integer multiples of the production costs.


It is interesting that you were a late reader and are now a published author -- congrats.  I know a Brother who was functionally illiterate, in college (a football player).  He is now a successful novelist published by a major house.


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  • 2 weeks later...

@Troy yes #10 was exactly that. I even took some of the copies to a few Half Price Books stores... so I got some money back on that. #12 was my cost of shipping from my website for the signed copies. This is where my biggest lesson was learned. I didn't research the cost of shipping with USPS, FedEx or UPS... nope I had a "I think I know everything" moment and priced my shipping at $5. Sounds good to the buyers but for me it was a nightmare. I didn't have the supplies, postages, etc, etc. On pre-orders alone I had over 200 copies go out. Each copy took me $3.17 to ship but the boxes that i shipped them in "AT FIRST" cost me $2.59... so i lost 76 cent on every novel shipped.  

And sorry for the delay... writing my new book. 

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@D.E. Eliot, no need to apologize about a delayed response.


Shipping costs for individuals are high even at media mail rates. This is one reason distribution helps, but is very difficult for indie authors with a single book to secure.


When you get a chance use the printing price calculator to see if I could have save you something on printing costs: https://aalbcprintsbooks.com/product/55x85-books


The price should be competitive even before you factor in discounts offered on other services I provide.







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