You've written your book. Now what?
It’s easy to get a book onto a reader’s device but confusing to put the whole thing together. It’s the paradox of digital publishing. Putting together a quality book involves not just writing it, but getting it edited, then formatted, then designing a cover, and having a marketing strategy around it.
We often get the question “how much will it really cost to self publish my book if I wanted to hit all the major steps and have a quality, publisher-level product?”
We break it down for you below. To see a full list you can also check out the BiblioCrunch pricing guidelines page.
1. Developmental Editing
Once you've written your book a developmental editor is important. They will evaluate and critique your manuscript, suggest and provide revisions and shape it into a smooth workable piece. They'll look at the big picture and make sure everything flows and is consistent.
1-5 manuscript pages/hour
$45-65/hr based on the experience of the editor.
A manuscript page is 250 words.
A novel can be anywhere from 50,000-130,000 words.
So if you have a manuscript that is 70,000 then on the high end it will cost you
70,000/250= 280 pages
280pages/5pages per hour = 56 hours
Low end is 56x$45 = $2520
High end is = $18,2000
Developmental Editing Subtotal: $2520-$18,000 for a 70,000 word novel
2. Copy Editing
Once your manuscript is in good shape, the next thing you need to do is hire another editor called a copy editor go through and catch spelling mistakes, adjust for grammer, puncutation, and consistency.
Low end: $840
High end: $7000 (if it needs a lot of work)
Calculations based on: http://bibliocrunch.com/pricing-guidelines/
3. Cover Design
People do judge a book by a cover. So it's important that your cover design be optimized for print, digital, thumbnail sizes and how it looks on an eReader. You might have your own images. You can get a premade cover design for about $50.
But if you want to hire someone to make a custom cover design you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$1000. The higher end is for award-winning designers who have done Random House type covers.
Low end: $150
High end: $1000
4. Formatting and Conversion
If you are tech savvy you can setup your book on your own for free using a program called Sigil or Pages. But if you want to pay someone you can hire someone for as little at $199 or a much as $1000 to convert from word or indesign. The costs will usually be $199 if it's a simple conversion. The higher costs are if you have a PDF. PDFs are much more complex to convert.
Low end: $199
High end: $1000 or more based on interactivity and pages
5. Distribution: FREE
You can do this yourself by following our instructions to get your books distributed into the various retailers. However, if you use a third party like Smashwords or Lulu they do take a percentage of each book sold.
Barnes and Noble: http://blog.bibliocrunch.com/how-to-submit-your-ebook-to-barnes-noble/
6. MarketingThis is probably the toughest piece after you've written the book. You can pay someone to help you market and setup blog tours for $10-$40/hr. For $10 you can get a college student, for $40 an hour you can get a professional marketer. We recommend you pay someone at least 10 hours to market and on the high end 40 hours. If you have the time you can do a lot of the marketing yourself.
Low end: $100
High end: $1600
It's a lot of information, but spending money on quality editorial services will already set your book apart from the rest.
To see a full list of pricing guidelines you can check out the BiblioCrunch editorial pricing guidelines page.
Miral Sattar is founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch, an award-winning literary services marketplace that matches authors and publishers with quality, award-winning professionals to get new books and apps to market.
The platform brokers the interaction between a community of rated and reviewed publishers, authors, designers, editors, proofreaders, conversion specialists, marketers and enhanced eBook experts to help create exceptional digital books.
She has worked in the media industry for 11 years, most recently at TIME where she launched several digital initiatives including an iPad and mobile site, mobile apps, a video and podcast channel, blogs, and SEO. Her writing has been featured in TIME, CNN, NY Daily News, among other media publications. She has a MS in Publishing (Digital + Print Media) from NYU and a BS from Columbia University in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You can follow Miral on Twitter @miralsattar.
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