How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book?

23 Apr, 2020 Book Writing

Many authors understand that one of the biggest obstacles to writing a book is the ability to follow through to the end. But once your book is complete, you’ll be able to toast to your accomplishment! However, there will be a whole new set of potential challenges to publish and promote it. Do you have a story to share and want to know how much is the cost to publish a book?

Self-publishing has certainly made this process a lot easier. And it has allowed many first-time authors to transform a manuscript into profitable book sales. But there are a lot of elements and cost considerations that go into even the most bare-bones efforts to publish your book.

How will you:

  • tackle your cover design?
  • promote your book?
  • enlist the help of a professional editor?

And with all this to consider, how can you save money and time along the way?

Granted, the cost to publish your book can vary widely and is based on a far-reaching range of factors. You have to consider whether your book will be traditionally published or if you’ll talk to independent publishers. And you’ll need to decide if you want a print version of your book, or if an e-book or audio book is the right fit for your story.

Yet only you can answer these broader questions. But when it comes time to publish your book, here are the different factors and costs to keep in mind to successfully launch your story.


A Break Down of What It Would Cost to Publish a Book

Editing Costs

Even the greatest published authors in the world need a second pair of experienced eyes to review their work and ensure that all grammar, spelling, and content mistakes are caught. A professional copy editor will help ensure your book is both polished and perfect from start to finish.

Your editing costs can vary from:

  • just straightforward proofreading, (which tends to run about $3.00 per page)
  • in-depth developmental editing, (which can be up to $7.00 or $8.00 a page)
  • copyediting, which is a bit of a medium between the two, (and which clocks in at around $5.00 per page)


Like many of the costs associated with publishing a book, the route you’ll want to take depends on a number of factors. These include the following:

1. Your genre.

Is your novel nonfiction or utilizes historical events or scientific facts? Then you will likely need a fact checker to make sure that all of your information is accurate.


2. Your writing experience.

Are you a first-time author and are new to the writing process? You’ll want a more in-depth editor to review your overall content and story, and not just check for spelling or grammar mistakes.


3. The strength of your manuscript.

Is your book a first draft, or have you already gone through multiple self-edits, or enlisted friends and colleagues to review your work? The amount of effort you’ve already put into your book will help determine how much more assistance you’ll need when it comes to editing.


4. The eventual strength of your story.

As to be expected, more experienced editors tend to be more expensive, simply because you are paying extra for a higher level of expertise. If you want your finished book to be as polished as possible, you’ll likely want to enlist the best professional editor you can afford.


Cover Design

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this isn’t always the case!

Think of the last time you perused the shelves of a book store, or scrolled through the books on Amazon or another online bookseller. Chances are, you initially gravitated towards books with an enticing cover, simply because the design was eye-catching or stood out on a crowded shelf.

Suffice it to say, your cover design is important, as you often just have a couple of seconds to grab a new reader’s attention. As such, you’ll want to dedicate some of your publishing budget to creating a great cover design. And this can cost anywhere between $100 to $600 or more.

Luckily, there are ways to mitigate these costs and create a cover that doesn’t break the bank, but will still be eye-catching to your potential readers.

1. Hire a partner publisher or design firm

A partner publisher tackles all of the little tasks associated with printing your book, which includes copyediting, cover design, and even formatting. (See below.)

As such, you don’t have to waste precious time and funds seeking out individuals to cover every aspect of the printing process. You can instead trust that your story is in exceptional and money-saving hands.


2. Hire a freelancer

Freelance job websites are abundant, and make it easy to match authors with a book cover designer. On websites like Upwork, you can simply post your job outline, what you are willing to pay, and allow potential book cover designers to “bid” on your project.


3. Crowdsource

Chances are, you have a number of talented artists and graphic designers already in your social sphere. You can certainly tap into their insight to create an enticing design!

Consider making a request on social media or another crowdsourcing platform to invite people to share their cover designs. Then simply pick your favorite from your own circle of friends and colleagues.


4. Go it alone

There are a number of easy-to-use graphic design software options on the market, such as the Adobe design suite. And you can also use professional and online printers to easily create a design yourself. Some self-publishing printers may even have templates available to make it easy to “drop in” your text and images. This would then help to create a design that aligns with your story and overall message.


Formatting Costs

Every good book requires proper formatting in order to make sure it’s easy to read from start to finish.

Think of the last time you tried to read a book where the text was too small, or in an unusual font, or was not properly laid out from the first chapter to the last. Formatting issues can dissuade readers from picking up your book, simply because it’s difficult to read. So, having a smart looking and well-designed interior is arguably just as important as your cover design.

Regardless of whether you go the traditional printed book route or only have your book available for e-sales, you’ll need exceptional formatting so that your readers can easily dive into your story.

Like all other aspect of publishing your book, your formatting costs can vary widely.   But generally you would pay from $400 to $1,500 or more, based on the following factors:

1. Level of expertise.

Like editing and cover design, a more experienced interior layout designer will likely cost more. Even so, because there are specific guidelines for proper book formatting, you don’t always have to go for the “best” in the business. Maybe you’d prefer to dedicate more of your budget to other important aspects, such as editing or cover design.


2. The length of your book.

Many interior book designers are paid by the page. Thus the longer the book, the more work required to format your manuscript.


3. Graphics, icons, and other additions.

Obviously, a book that has a lot of graphics – like a cookbook – will require more intensive layout skills and attention to detail. Hence it will likely have higher associated formatting costs. A traditional novel or book that is primarily text will be less expensive.


4. Whether you go it alone.

If you have a relatively simple book with just text, then you may be able to tackle book formatting on your own!

Check out free tools like the Reedsy Book Editor to see if you are able to craft the interior design of your book yourself. Just be sure and have a few pairs of unbiased and editing eyes to examine your finished product and final book to ensure it’s readable from start to finish.



An international standard book number (ISBN) is an important addition to any book. It is a 13-digit barcode on the back of your book that allows bookstores, libraries, and other book purveyors to know everything about your story, including the publisher.

This code helps you establish ownership. And while it’s possible to obtain a free code from sites like CreateSpace or Ingramspark, it may limit your chances of bookstores identifying and carrying your book.

A better route is to find a reputable provider like Bowker and purchase a “pack” of ten or so ISBN codes for around $125. This is especially a good idea if you want to publish a printed book, and retain the rights to your book after it is published.

In addition, Amazon also assigns an ISBN number automatically. So if you go the self-publishing route on Amazon, you don’t need an ISBN code for your Kindle or printed book.

NOTE: If you work with a partner publisher, adding an ISBN code is typically included with the overall costs. Actually, it’s one of many aspects that are covered when you want to publish your book.


Marketing Costs

Most first-time authors spend anywhere between $50 to $500 to market their book. And this cost varies based on if they work with a marketing team or marketing expert, or go it alone.

Regardless of how much you need to spend, marketing your book is essential. This is especially true in today’s era of e-books and self-publishers, where there is tons of competition for every genre.

With that being said, there are ways to effectively market your book while cutting costs along the way. If you don’t have a lot of funds in your budget for promotional measures, then consider these easy ways to spread the word about your story.

1. Social media

Social media is a fantastic way to spread the world about your upcoming book among your inner and outer circles. Use your Instagram and Twitter accounts to generate interest weeks before your book hits the shelves. And try to expand your followers, fans and friends before you are published to reach the largest audience possible.


2. Facebook ads

Facebook has one of the most intricate advertising algorithms in the social media realm, and is an easy and budget-friendly avenue for marketing your book. Sign up for targeted ads that can cost around $5 per day or more, and be vigilant to ensure that your expenses for advertising on Facebook remain within your budget.


3. Book reviewers

Reach out to book reviewers, online book clubs, local papers, magazines, media outlets, or other book-centric blogs to see if your book can make waves and be featured. It typically costs nothing for a book reviewer or other book promotion website to share your story, and to offer their feedback to their own audience.


4. E-campaigns, blogs and websites

Create a website, blog, social media page, or other online resource for your new status as an author! Creating your own stand-alone site helps boost your ranking on search results, and also establishes credibility while giving your potential readers an easy way to find, and potentially purchase, your book.


What to Expect if You Want to Publish a Book

Publishing a book is not an easy process. And even if you simply self-publish your story on Amazon or another online bookstore or website, you’ll find that there are a number of challenges along the way to success.

But remember that there is help available for every step of the process. A partner publisher or book coach can go a long way in making the process easier from start to finish!

Do you have questions about sharing your story to the largest audience possible, and crafting a book that you can share with the world? Reach out and contact me today. Working together, we can ensure that we create the highest quality book possible, from the content to the cover design. We can ensure that your finished book is something you’ll be proud of for a lifetime.


Have a Story to Share? Don’t wait!

It’s easier than ever to tackle publishing your book like a pro with the insight readily available through Book Bound Online.

Take a huge step forward in creating a book that will inspire people for years to come, and sign up for Book Bound Online today. This program will give you the essential information to transform your ability to write and publish your book. Find out how Book Bound Online is your best right-at-home resource for sharing your story with the world.


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How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book?
Want to share your story by becoming a published author? Today there are many ways to do so, but here is the cost to publish a book for different budgets.

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