Self-Publishing: What You Should Expect to Pay

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]A[/fusion_dropcap]s with everything, in self-publishing you get what you pay for. And, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t anticipate paying nothing for book design, editing, or printing; if a self-publishing company offers you something for free, expect to pay something at some point, because—after all—these companies are not nonprofits; their mandate is to make money!

Editorial rates vary widely according to the task, the editor’s experience level, the project’s complexity, and the deadline (the same goes for book designers). Some professionals charge a flat fee; others charge by the hour, the page or the word. Remember that these professionals are business entities and must be paid enough to cover their business expenses. Some professionals work for companies that provide the administrative and marketing services for them—a great arrangement but one for which these companies must be paid accordingly. Allow the vendor to see your manuscript and provide a firm quote in writing that includes the amount of time allotted for corrections and the rate thereafter. Feel comfortable asking for references.

Someone will always offer you free services. But unless your aunt is a professional editor and owes you a favor, or your best friend is a renowned book designer, you run the risk of sloppy work as a trade-off for that freebie.

So what about websites offering free book design? By laying out your book using one of their free templates, you run the risk of creating a book that is not unique and can’t compete with professionally-designed books. In fact, these companies count on you getting frustrated or not being happy with the end result, and they will happily provide design services to you for a fee (along with editing, proofreading, marketing and more). Also, be wary of “free” services that include a one-time “set up” fee.

Bottom line: be clear on your goals, do your research, and set yourself a reasonable budget. If your book is meant as a hobby or a gift and will not be sold publicly, you can probably get away with offers of free editing and free online templates. But if your book is meant to compete with the other thousands of books in the marketplace, you should expect to pay.

—Michele DeFilippo owns 1106 Design, a Phoenix-based company that offers cover design, interior design and layout, manuscript editing, and more with expert self-publishing advice and hand-holding every step of the way. Please visit https://1106design.com to download her free eBook, Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing.

 [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

You may like these

Are Print Books Becoming Obsolete?

Are Print Books Becoming Obsolete?

It may seem that print books will be pushed out of the running as the world becomes increasingly tech-driven. We disagree. You may have heard that print sales declined in 2023, but it was only by about 2.6% (take a look at the stats on Publishers Weekly). There will...

read more
Should You Publish Multiple Formats of Your Book?

Should You Publish Multiple Formats of Your Book?

So many authors ask us about the value of publishing in multiple formats vs. just one or two. Often the debate is between eBooks and print books in general, as more and more people think print books are going by the wayside. Some people are so bent on the print vs....

read more
Should You Write a Prologue or an Epilogue?

Should You Write a Prologue or an Epilogue?

The writing community was recently abuzz with debates on whether or not authors should include prologues. Of course, this debate eventually extended to epilogues and even other sections such as introductions and afterwords. These parts are generally believed to be...

How to Illustrate Your Book

How to Illustrate Your Book

Illustrations have the power to bring books to life in ways that words alone cannot. Illustrations can be incorporated into any work. You might see them most often in children’s books and graphic novels, but they can also be utilized in other genres. Not all books...

How to Design a Great Front Cover

How to Design a Great Front Cover

Potential readers will often first judge your book by the front cover, whether you display it online or in bookstores. The more eye-catching it is, the more likely people are to want to learn more about it and possibly buy it. Of course, you probably already know...