Writer’s Name: Sheri Harrigan
Title: Quality Matters in the Long Run
In order to be a successful self-published author one must face reality. A self- published author bears the cost of every aspect of their career. As a self-published author I look at the expenses as an investment. Publishing books is a business and should be treated as such. Some authors do and some don’t. I believe in quality over quantity. There is no rush to publish a book!
One of the most costly expenses is editing. Depending on the edit and the type of edit, editing may cost between $200-$3,000. Proofreading is a part of editing but a manuscript needs more than that. Seeing that editing is so expensive some people skip this step and self- edit. That is not a good idea especially when editors don’t even edit their own work!
The manuscript has to be formatted after you type it out. You can do it yourself using Microsoft Word or the much fancier program InDesign ($600). Or you can pay someone to do it. Paperbacks and E-Books do not get formatted the same. So if you plan to publish both they have to be formatted separately. This can cost $125 or more for a paperback and $60 or more for an e-book.
Marketing and promotion is up to the author, unless you have a contract with your publisher who says that they will handle it. Marketing and promotion includes things such as a website, a logo, banners, postcards, bookmarks and business cards. Do you need them all? I say yes but it’s up to the individual author. Social Media is great to promote yourself but what happens when you are outside and someone asks where they can find you or your book. Customers don’t like searching for things and a sale will be lost. Depending on where you go or who designs your items expect to pay $100 - $2000.
In order to obtain paperbacks you have to have a printer. The printer you use depends on how many books you want. If you want a large print run then you may need a different company than the author who prints on demand. The cost of books varies depending on size, page length, colors and whether you want hard or soft cover books.
If you plan to ship out books or promotional items expect to pay those fees plus extra for security of your package. UPS, FedEx and USPS all offer a variety of prices for shipping. Check to see which one fits your budget and packaging needs.
Book covers are a must. Depending on the designer you may spend between $100-500 on a cover. And if you publish both print and e-books you need two covers. Beware of people claiming to be cover designers. You want someone who has experience.
Last but not least you have your miscellaneous expenses that are a must. The copyright is $35 for electronic registration and $55 for paper registration. It can be obtained from copyright.gov. If you print paperbacks you need ISBN numbers. The numbers can be brought from http://isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp. If you plan to publish more than one book then the best purchase is 10 for $250. 1 ISBN costs $125.
After looking over all the expenses and fees and you still want to be a self-published author great. But don’t skimp on any of the above things because you don’t have the funds. Like I said there is no rush to publish. Quality matters in the long run!