If you’ve made the very wise decision to self-publish a book, you will of course want to know how much you’ll need to invest. So, what is the cost of self-publishing a book? Let’s have a look.
The cost to self-publish a book
The following are some indicative costs to self-publish a 40,000-word book. Services and options will differ with different suppliers, but this information will help point you in the right direction. The figures provided cover the range of what you can expect to pay to have your book produced by an experienced professional.
So let’s have a look (all figures include GST, prices in AUD):
- Manuscript assessment (optional): $500 to $1000.
- Developmental edit (optional): $500 to $2000.
- Copyedit: $1600 to $3200. Will be at the lower end if you write well and have worked on your manuscript a lot before sending it to the editor.
- Interior layout: $1600 to $3200. Will be at the lower end if your book is mostly text. Will be at the higher end if you have many different styles of text or lots of images, tables, diagrams, and the like.
- Cover: $400 to $1500.
- Proofreading: $600 to $900.
- Indexing: $600 to $2000.
- ISBNs: Free to about $70 each.
- Barcodes: Free to about $70 each.
- Project management and publishing advice: $1000 to $3000.
- Printing: Giving a price range on printing is very difficult because there are so many variables, but here are some sample specifications and indicative prices. These specifications are very common for a business book:
- Format: A5
- Pages: 200
- Cover board: 240 GSM
- Full-colour cover with gloss lamination
- Text paper: 80 GSM
- Black-only interior
- Perfect binding
- 100 copies: $800 to $1300
- 200 copies: $1300 to $2200
- 500 copies: $2200 to $3500
- 1000 copies: $3500 to $5000
(GSM is grams per square metre, which is the weight of the paper. Usually, though not always, the higher the GSM, the thicker the paper. ‘Perfect’ binding is the most common form of bookbinding. Just about every book on your shelf will be bound this way. Just think of it as ‘standard’ binding.)
Many variables are involved in the process of publishing a book and the investment required will vary accordingly. As with anything, you will also pay according to the level of skill and experience of the service provider you are using; expect to pay less for an editor who has been in the game for just a few years and more for a professional who has 20 years of experience. When you speak to a service provider, they will be able to provide you with costs for your book after some discussion with you and looking at your manuscript.
Why writing a book for your small business is a wise investment
You will have to put some money into your book to have it published, but it’s important to see this as an investment rather than a cost. If you publish to a high standard and promote your book well, it will more than return this investment, usually many times over.
To help you decide how much to invest in your book, think about what it will be worth to your business. If you sign clients up to $5,000 contracts, you only need to sign a few clients as a result of your publishing to cover the investment in your book, and that’s usually easily done.
If the value of each of your clients is lower, think about the publicity the book is likely to generate and the business this will drive for you. An ad in a magazine can cost $10,000. Would a book generate more publicity? For sure. You only need to get one article or review about the book in that same or a similar magazine to receive the same coverage, and then you still have all the other things you can do with the book.
Publish Central exists to help authors share their words with readers. We work to the highest design, editing, and production standards, and partner with the same people and companies as the major publishers to produce our authors’ books. We have been helping self-publishers for almost 20 years. You can explore our packages and our services, or you can simply contact us today to get started on your self-publishing journey.