I found this Bloomberg article on the costs that (can) go into self-publishing really interesting. I don’t think it’s 100% accurate in all cases (for example, some of their steps are skippable or there are cheaper options out there), but it is a good snapshot. Just like the article I found about how much you can expect to earn at each “level” of self-publishing success, I felt this article provided a good benchmark.
- Editing: $500 – $1,460
- Cover art: $200
- Interior design: $0 – $1,400
- Book printing: $6.77/book -> $8,800
- eReader formatting software: $39
- Single ISBN: $125
- Kirkus Review: $550
- Website: $2,300
- Color business cards: $45
- Press release printing: $100
- Facebook announcement: $300
- Direct mail: $1,000
- Distribution: $200 up front (plus a cut)
- One-stop shop: $5,000 – $6,000
Potential total (leaving out distribution and one-stop shop figures): $13,959 – $16,219
Even considering that I wouldn’t do some of the above, or would do them much more cheaply, those numbers are very scary.
If you are self-publishing, what do you expect it to cost? How do you plan on paying for it? Because I seriously doubt most “starving writers” would front even that $5,000 cost, but then, maybe it’s my sensibilities that are off.