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How Much Should Self-Publishing Cost?

When Simon & Schuster opened a self-publishing service called Archway Publishing, GalleyCat readers began to debate one question–how much should self-publishing cost?

Add your thoughts in the comments section, including editing, design, marketing and other costs. We will continue to share experiences and estimates from other self-published authors as this conversation continues.

For your reference, here are links to the major digital self-publishing alternatives that let you sign up for free: Kindle Direct PublishingBarnes & Noble PubItSmashwordsiBookstore and Kobo Writing Life.

We asked “How much should authors pay to self-publish their novel?” on Facebook; here are some of the responses…

Maria Schneider wrote: “Cover, editing and proofs: 300 to 500 dollars. Anything more than that is highway robbery. Even accounting for them to make some profit, it shouldn’t be over 1,000.”

Coral Russell added “I can publish mine on my own for less than $500.”

Thomas Gregory Ray added: “self publish at Amazon.com KDP for FREE!!!!!”

Cliff Ball wrote: “Nothing, since we can publish our stuff on Createspace for free and only spend $25 for extended distribution. Or, go completely paperback-less and upload to Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple for free too.”

Trista Marie DiGiuseppi Pini wrote: ”I guess I’m lucky because I have close friends who are editors (plus I can edit), i learned how to format eBooks, and I have graphic design skills and can do all my own cover art.  Also it’s only 50 dollars to apply for a local business license in order to get away with selling printed copies, legally.  Publishing my own stuff wasn’t hard. Seems much harder to land an agent, if anything (which I’m currently doing). The only drawback to self publishing that you’d have to sink money into is marketing. Heaven knows I don’t have the coin for that.”

 

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