Posted January 27, 2014 by in What's New in Publishing?

The Cost Of Publishing Your Book

The Cost Of Publishing Your Book

Image by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

You’ve written your book, and now you want to publish it for the world to read. The question many new authors have is “How much does it cost to publish your own book?”

First of all, before price is determined you must evaluate how much time, knowledge and money you have to invest in your project. It is possible to publish on a shoestring budget, but special consideration must be made.

Not every writer has the means to hire an editor, cover designer and printer. Many people choose to self-publish via platforms such as CreateSpace and Kindle, as the costs are minimal. If you are computer-savvy and have great comprehension of the English language, publishing your own book is a possibility. Even if you have the qualities listed, there are still factors to consider to make your book the best it can be.


Note: these figures are simply theoretical, as each manuscript varies. When you hire an editor, they will give you a more accurate quote.

Basic proofreading can range from $3.95 per page and up; copyediting is more in the range of $6.95 per page and up.

Cover Design

This is one of the most crucial steps when you publish your own book. Although the saying is “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” people most certainly do just that. The cover you choose can either make or break your sales, no matter how great the book. Prices vary for cover design, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $25.00 for a pre-made cover to $100.00 plus for a customized cover. The simplicity or complexity of the design will play a big part in the price, but no matter what you choose be sure it is easily viewed as a thumbnail (since this is often the size readers have to go on).


With the number of POD (Print On Demand) options available, printing no longer has to be a substantial expense. Platforms such as CreateSpace will print copies of your book (depending on size, photos, pages, colour, etc) from $2.00 per copy and up. Other POD platforms will vary in price according to their standards.

Sample Cost Breakdown

This is the cost for a hypothetical book that is text only (no photos or diagrams) and 200 pages in length.

  • Editing: $6.95 per page x 200 pages = $1390.00
  • Custom Designed Cover = $100.00
  • POD of 100 copies x $3.50 each = $350.00
  • Total Cost $1840.00 (plus any tax and S&H costs)

Some platforms have a cover design feature integrated into the submission process, and for those who are masters when it comes to editing their own work, professional editing can be waived as well. In addition to the POD services, the platforms used often have a link authors can send to their family and friends or post online. This way, readers will pay the retail cost of the book directly to the POD platform and the author will receive a percentage of the sale in royalties.

If you are able to do a lot of the work yourself, you can publish your own book on a shoestring.

Note: the above figures do not include advertising or promotional materials, as those vary greatly within genres and social circles.


About the Author

As a writer and published author himself, Sam Shiro knows the difficulties new authors face when trying to get their work published. It was with this in mind that he established Tranquillitypublishing.com, a publishing company by authors, for authors.

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William Y.

Marketing manager, editor, and author. I am a bookkaholic who stays up into dawn reading, wakes up groggy and grabs another book to make myself feel human again. I am an avid outdoors-man, but find myself behind a computer more than outdoors these days. I try not to tell many people this, but I really liked the Star Wars book series... Check out all my articles.