Self-publishing: expenses

100_1030It’s pretty easy to get by with plastic in your pocket these days, but most people anticipating a trip are wise to at least estimate expenses. Before you self-publish a book, you’ll want to consider the costs.

From the start, you should be aware of some terms and options. It used to be that if you wanted to publish a book yourself, you had to invest money in a package sold by a company known as a vanity press. Usually this included buying many copies of your own book that might languish for years in boxes in your garage. The advent of print-on-demand (POD) publishing and services like Amazon’s CreateSpace have radically increased your self-publishing options.

Valerie Peterson at AboutMoney lucidly explains the differences between vanity presses and self-publishing here. And Dave Bricker warns about paying the price for confusing self-publishing with vanity publishing in this post at his World’s Greatest Book website.

You don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars to end up with crates of books stacked in your attic, so you’ll want to choose a self-publishing option that gives you control and allows for print-on-demand distribution. But what can you expect to pay?

Kelsey Nelson breaks costs into categories at her The Writer.ly Community website, an article that also appears at the Book Promotion website. The amounts Miral Sattar lists as “The Real Costs of Self-Publishing a Book” might give you sticker shock. Her high-end estimates approach $40,000!

I know people who have produced an attractive product for a considerably smaller investment, but I encourage you to beware of sacrificing quality on the economy altar. Do what you can to make the finished product as professional as possible in appearance.

Your writing may be stellar and sing with literary quality. But if your book looks like it was self-published by an amateur, no one will buy it and read it.

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