There’s a manuscript in your desk drawer or hard drive that has gathered dust over the last few years due to rejections by numerous agents and publishers. You think it’s a good story and want to get it published for everyone to see, but you’re not sure how you can get it done, save for making copies on your printer and sending it out to your friends. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that any more, because the world of self-publishing is begging for you to print and sell your book.
The amount of self-published print and electronic books has tripled since 2006 and comprise more than 235,000 titles. This number continues to grow as established publishing houses slash their costs and the amount of titles they sell on an annual basis. The growing popularity of self-publications has even pushed Publisher’s Weekly to expand their coverage of that piece of the book market. And you can enter into it as well with minimum investment. Here are a few things to consider when budgeting your self-publishing goal.
Editing – You think your manuscript is good to go but there may be some problems in it that you may not have seen during the last revision. This is where a professional editor comes in. Found on sites like Craigslist and Elance, professional editors review your document and note any content and grammatical corrections needed to be acceptable for publishing. Rates for these services vary, but you can get an average estimate through sites like the Editorial Freelancers Association.
Book Cover – Just because you decide to go the electronic publication route doesn’t mean you forego a book cover. Truth is, book covers are more important today for ebooks because of their display purpose on sites like Amazon. This means your cover should stand out from the rest to entice potential readers. Those with skills in graphic arts should be able to produce a cover for their book. Others who don’t have the skills or have a friend who’s a graphic artist may need to turn to professional artists to design their pieces. This can run anywhere from $99 to $399 dollars. Self-publishing companies like CreateSpace do provide customers with the option to build a free cover, but it is through a template that other authors use. Research the market carefully before you determine the artistic budget.
Publishing – There was a time where it would cost an author thousands of dollars books they would need to sell on their own or have them gather dust in their garage. Thanks to publishing-on-demand operations there is no need to do this anymore. For almost nothing, an author can have their book formatted for both print and electronic publication and have it marketed through the publishing house’s online store as well as locations like Amazon. Even the creation of the ISBN number is free at places like CreateSpace and Smashwords. For authors looking for assistance in formatting and other items, self-publishing companies do offer various plans that cost additional money. Review these packages before determining the budget. In addition, you may need to budget in the amount of money you’ll need to purchase copies of your finished product.
Marketing – Thanks to social media and the Internet in general there are plenty of free ways to promote your new book. You can post release dates and images on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinrest, etc., design a free website and blog, and conduct online readings via Skype or Google Hangout. Should the sales of the book be slow, you may need to hire a marketing professional to help you out. On the opposite end of the success spectrum, you may need to consider spending money on a publicist or agent if your book takes off and sells well.