You’ve written a book, you want to get it on Amazon and KDP, and maybe a few other online outlets. So, how much does it cost to self publish a book? Well, that all depends…
First you need to lay out the book and come up with some cover art. You can achieve this with desktop publishing software like Adobe Indesign, or more likely for the average user, Word Processing software like Microsoft Word. If you can save the document into a PDF you will have the file you need for the interior to upload.
Your cover art will likely be a PDF and need to be high resolution. For instance 300 dpi. If you’re making the artwork yourself try to save into the PDF format which will preserve the quality of the text (something called vector art) as opposed to saving as a JPG file which will make the type part of the picture (called raster art). Vector art will produce clear text on the cover. All the text on the inside PDF will be vector. When you upload your artwork if the resolution isn’t right generally you’ll get an alert. The on demand publishers we recommend have specifications which make clear what the resolution of the images need to be.
So if you can pull this off by yourself, so far your budget is zero. That being said, hiring a Graphic Design Professional is certainly worth thinking about. They also may be able to help you with the ebook version, which is a little harder to do on your own as it requires the ebook format (.mobi is the final format on Amazon but you can upload an ebook) and an interactive table of contents. How much this will cost depends on the designer, but a top notch graphic designer who can design a professional cover and interior for you could be $2000. A discount designer could be a few hundred. Remember though you generally get what you pay for. Read more
Ok so you’ve published your book. Now people have got to see it. Don’t assume thousands of people will just find your book on Amazon and you’ll vacationing in the Caribbean off of the royalties. You have work to do. One of the best means of getting seen besides a companion website with a blog, is to make a Facebook fanpage. You must have a personal Facebook page to create a fanpage. You’ve seen them and probably liked a few of them. The main difference is you like a fan page whereas you friend someone on a personal page. Read more
While there are other options to the two main players in on demand publishing for the independent author have been Createspace and Ingram Spark. Createspace has essentially been Amazon’s in demand publisher of choice. They where the sound choice for paperbacks which were mostly text. Affordable, of decent quality and with a fast turnaround and a no hassle integration with Amazon. Recently they were taken over by KDP publishing which has been where you would upload your ebook to appear on Amazon Kindle. The merger is actually a good thing as it makes matters easier if you are just publishing now. One place for both, instead of two. Read more
How on demand publishing has changed the literary landscape.
Let’s first talk about traditional publishing. A book is mass produced on something called an offset press. This is a large scale production which takes a good deal of time to set up and costs thousands of dollars on average for a ‘print run’. The advantage of traditional printing is if say, 10,000 copies are printed the actual cost per piece is fairly low. The downside is it isn’t really worth using traditional printing unless you print thousands of copies because if you do a small run, what with all the prep time and press time, the cost per piece would be extremely high. You might look at it this way. If you produce 10,000 the cost per book might be $2.00, but if you only wanted 50 books the cost per piece might be $200. Not very practical, huh? Read more
We have heard form many authors over the years how they paid a fortune to have their book designed, and then went with that same company who designed the book for them to have it printed. They are often charged ‘inventory fees’ and their books are brokered onto Amazon and other outlets like Nook. Don’t make the same mistake.
If you need help designing and laying out your book and ebook (which granted can be tricky) use a graphic designer who will do just that for you and then help you post your book onto a On Demand publisher like KDP (formerly Createspace) or Ingram Spark. We recommend the sponsor of this site, Innovation Design Graphics for services for independent authors.
With this type of printing, there is no inventory, the books are printed when they are needed. Yes, even if it is one at a time! You can also order Author’s copies at a great reduced price for your book signings or to sell autographed copies directly on your website. There is essentially not up front cost for the printing of the books.