Costs of Self-publishing

I’ve just self-published Nyx, my first novel on amazon. I’ve put together a print book and an ebook. Amazon is (hopefully) in the process of linking those two together right now.

Since I got a huge amount of help from writers who have shared their experiences, I thought I’d do the same. I’ll start with the costs of self-publishing. I’ve decided to go the print-on-demand route of CreateSpace.

  • Scrivener (fantastic word processor geared toward novelists. Worth every penny): $45
  • InDesign (required to make interior of printed book look good): $558
  • Professional cover (I used theBookDesigners and am very happy with them): $1,500
  • ISBNs (I bought a package of ten): $250
  • Physical proofs and author copies (so far): $120

Total so far:  $2,473

And I haven’t even done any real marketing yet! I expect to shell out a lot for book copies for reviewers and friends/family. I also plan to dip my toe into the world of advertising, most likely starting with Reddit.

Update 4/10/2013

I just spent $90 to advertise for three days on Reddit Fantasy. I’ll let everyone know how that goes. The ad will run 4/11-4/13

Also, I just bought 100 author copies to give out to friends, family, baristas, and reviewers. I’m operating under the premise that giving stuff away for free will lead to positive word-of-mouth and potentially a lot more sales. Total cost plus shipping: $750

Updated Total: $3,313

Good god. I hope this works.

6 thoughts on “Costs of Self-publishing

  1. I am new to all this, so I am curious if there’s an advantage to purchasing your own isbn versus using the free ones provided by create space?

    • I’m new to this too, but all the googling I did about it convinced me that owning your own ISBNs might be the most prudent way to go. Most likely, it won’t make a damn bit of difference, but my (incomplete) understanding is that if there’s some weird legal trouble down the road, whoever owns the ISBNs is the publisher, and that gives the ISBN owner certain rights. I allowed my sense of I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing paranoia to guide me on this one.

    • Because I was lucky. My wife (Annie Auerbach) is a New York Times bestselling author and was an editor for Disney for several years. She was a HUGE help and absolutely necessary for Nyx to be even close to readable. I’d like to say I could have done it on my own, but that would be wrong.

      I was also lucky in that Aimee Bender (another NYT bestselling author and family friend) took a look at an early draft and made some brilliant suggestions.

      If I hadn’t had access to either of these lovely women, I hope I would have been smart enough to have paid for an editor.

      Sorry the answer to your question is, “I got really lucky,” but that’s what happened.

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