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How Much Does It Cost To Self Publish A Book
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As with lots of things in life, there is no straightforward answer to the question of the cost of self publishing a book. If you're on a tight budget, the good news is with the advent of platforms such as Amazon Kindle and its printed counterpart, CreateSpace, the price to publish can be as low as zero. Excluding your time, of course. But that's always assuming you can do every part of self publishing your book yourself. So let's take a look at the various elements of self publishing and find out what's involved.
Writing the book
Unless you're rich and famous, the chances are that you'll do this yourself rather than hiring a ghost writer. So the only cost involved is the software that you type your words into. And the good news in that respect is that every computer comes with a basic word processor built in (Write in the case of Windows computers) so providing you've got access to a computer, there's no cost involved in writing the book. You can also download free office software suites such as Open Office and Libre Office.
Editing and proof-reading
There are services out there which will take care both of these options for you. You can use specialist firms or choose vendors on sites like Fiverr. Just be sure to double check the reviews whoever you choose.
You can also do a basic first pass by using the spelling and grammar checker built in to the majority of word processors. It's often on the "tools" menu.
Don't expect a computer spell and grammar checker to find everything or to be perfect. But it's a good thing to use to spot any glaring errors.
Next, read your book yourself. Read it out loud. Because reading in your head is no substitute for reading out loud.
Wherever you stumble, that's where your book needs editing and tidying up.
Creating a cover
If you're graphically challenged, this is worth outsourcing. There are places that will design a cover for your book from $5 upwards. You can also get royalty free images that you're allowed to use - these cost anything from free upwards. Just be sure to check rival books in Amazon to check that your competitors aren't using the same images otherwise that will just look wrong.
One trick to remember with creating a cover is that the first thing most people will see is the small thumbnail in the Amazon results. Which means that you need to double check that your proposed cover looks good at thumbnail size as well as the full size image you're seeing on your computer screen when you design it.
Choosing a publishing house name
Both Kindle and CreateSpace allow you to enter the name of a publishing house.
I made up my own publishing house name when I did this.
Outside the book industry, almost no-one knows the names of the various publishing houses, so one more name they haven't heard of is fine. And it means that most people will assume that you're not self publishing, which is a good hurdle to get over.
Formatting your book
Depending on how good your word processing skills are, you may decide to outsource this part of the process. Again, costs are from $5 upwards (using that Fiverr site again!).
It's important to remember that formatting for Kindle and formatting for print are two different operations. Partly because Kindles don't recognise page numbers.
Then all you've got to do is upload and click the "publish" button.
The overall cost could be as low as zero but, unless you've decided you're going to be the next J K Rowling, it certainly doesn't have to cost more than a handful of dollars to get your book published.
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