You know that writing a book, as rewarding as it is, can cost you a lot of time and metaphorical sweat as an author, but how much does it cost to publish a book financially?

What Goes into the Author’s Cost to Publish a Book?

To put it simply, the cost of self-publishing can range from about $500 to $5,000, but these numbers really depend on your book and the decisions you make along the way.

Traditional publishing can cost less upfront, but the major cost here isn’t money. Instead, the cost is taking the chance that your book might not get a book deal, even after years of going through the process of finding an agent.

If you’re ready to plan your self-publishing budget, read on to find out what the costs are to publish your book.

Cost #1: Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading can add up to be one of the largest costs when publishing a book, and some authors skip these services because they think they can do it all on their own.

However, because most writers can’t spot their own mistakes, it’s necessary to get extra eyes on your book if you want it to be free from errors and plot holes.

This cost can depend on what type of editing you need, your genre, and/or the word count of your book. While some editors charge different rates based on genre, Gatekeeper Press charges based on word count.

Some books require only a light proofread, while other books might require developmental editing. You know your needs and your book best, so choose the services that work for you.

Here are the averages of what you can expect to pay for editorial services:

  • Proofreading –– $200 – $1,000
  • Developmental Editing –– $500 – $2,000

Cost #2: Cover Design

Having a professional cover that represents your book is an essential part of finding the right audience and making a profit. That means having a quality cover is your #1 marketing tool, so make sure the cover you use is really going to sell your book.

The cost of a book cover depends on whether you are publishing your book for print or eBook or both. The genre of your book can determine the cost of your cover as well: a cover for a children’s book requiring illustrations will cost more than one for a non-fiction book that doesn’t.

Another important factor in the cost is the experience and skill of the designer; in terms of designers, you often get what you pay for.

Let’s break it down:

  • Premade covers –– $20 – $300
  • Custom design for front cover –– $100 – $1,200
  • Custom design for front and back cover –– $300 – $1,500
  • Custom illustrated cover –– $600 – $2,000

Cost #3: Book Design/Formatting and Distribution

One unavoidable cost is making sure your book is readable and looks professional by hiring book interior designers or using a service to format your book for eBook or print.

In our digital age, getting your book on most major retailer websites doesn’t cost a fortune and, with the help of distribution services, it can be easier than ever. Interior design and book formatting, on the other hand, can be a little bit pricier.

What should you expect to pay? Here are the numbers:

  • eBook Formatting –– $50 – $750
  • Print Formatting –– $100 – $1,000
  • eBook Distribution –– $50 – $300
  • Print Distribution –– $100 – $600

These prices are averages and depend on the interior designer, your book, and how you plan to distribute it.

Cost #4: Marketing Your Book

The cost of marketing a book is perhaps the most difficult to nail down because every author has a different approach. You can spend less than $100, DIY your marketing strategy, and be successful.

That doesn’t work for everyone, though, and many authors will spend more on marketing services, such as book tours and advertisements, to reach the same success.

On average, authors spend between $100 and $1,000 on marketing. No matter your budget, what matters here is that you spend wisely on marketing. Not every marketing tool will work for every author or book. Find what works for you and your budget.

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book with a Publisher?

When it comes to self-publishing, you should expect to invest money on your book, but how much you spend depends on your book, your goals, and what works best for you.

How much does it cost to publish a book? The truth is that you should be prepared to invest at least a couple thousand dollars.

If you’re ready to talk about the cost of publishing your book, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Gatekeeper Press to learn more about affordable editing, design, and distribution services.