Self-publishing an eBook or a physical book is a great way to get your ideas, message, or product out there without going through the hassle of being approved by a traditional publisher. The downside of this is that, while you get to keep all the profits instead of sharing them with agents and publishers, you are required to put in a hefty down payment. You’ll have to pay for the writing (assuming you aren’t doing it yourself), editing, design, formatting, printing, and publicity. All of this can add up to a huge sum in the end, and that’s before you wind up making a single dime. Fortunately, there are several ways you can save money on your book while self-publishing. Here are some of our favorites.
Self-edit First, then Get a Critique
Any editor looking to work with an eBook author knows how much to charge. For most good editors, you’ll wind up paying between $0.25 and $2.00 per page. It may even vary based on whether your eBook is fiction or nonfiction. For a two hundred page manuscript, that can really add up!
However, there are ways to avoid spending a lot of time and money on an editor. First, self-edit your book. Then edit it again. Send it to some people you know, either friends or family (or, if you’re lucky, both), who know about writing and how to fix it. Your work should be free from mechanical errors before you send it to an editor. Do you know what happens when you send an editor a book riddled with mechanical errors? They charge you more to fix them, and they don’t get to focus on any actual issues of your book with narration, flow, or content. Self-edit it and get others to edit it for free or in trade, then ask for a thorough critique instead of editing. This will be much cheaper and is just editing advice instead of a thorough edit. If you like the way the editor works, you’re saving yourself the time of checking out another editor.
Many self-publishing websites, such as CreateSpace and Lulu, offer plans to help aspiring authors self-publish. These plans include editing, cover and graphic design, and publicity, all for a “low” price. However, if you know anything about design and marketing, those are useless tools to you; you should market your book your way. There are plenty of tools you can use to make sure your book is presented the right way for you. A ten-minute online tutorial can show you how to format your book properly.
Just because it’s the first website you go to doesn’t make it the best. Carefully look at plans from a variety of different self-publishing websites before making your decision. Many of the smaller houses can offer a better deal than the larger ones but only offer quotes on demand when you call. Don’t be lazy! You can save a great deal of money in the long run if you bother calling and talking to someone about exactly what services you’re going to need.
Self-publishing a traditional book or eBook can be a costly venture. However, you can save money in several ways. Check out a variety of sites to compare prices. Learn to do the layout of your book yourself and read up on marketing so you can avoid the plans many sites offer. Do multiple edits yourself before passing it on to friends and family to help you before you get an editor. These all can keep your costs down.