How Much Does It Cost to Self-publish a Book in 2023

Books—a person’s best friend—is so much easier to buy and read than to write and publish. But hey, a little blood, sweat, and tears go a long way, and soon, it can be your book sitting on those bookstore shelves!

Thinking of starting to write or already completed your book but cannot decide how to publish it in your budget? Don’t worry; we got you!

Self-publishing a book for the first time may feel like a plunge into the unknown. But many writers love having complete authority over the work they do as it makes them feel satisfied. Writers prefer to take control of the process and decide which options to consider to produce the masterpiece they had in mind.

As a self-publishing author, cost is one of the important factors to consider. The benefits of self-publishing, like being able to publish on your schedule and with full creative control, come at the cost of having to manage all of the costs of the production of your book. Sounds tough, I know! But it is worth it.

All in all, with a good budget and great skills to edit, format, proofread, and cover design – though you may hire anyone to do it for you – your book has the potential to hit the charts and go out into the market.

In this blog, we will:

  • Discuss the factors affecting the cost of self-publishing
  • Review cost breakdown for self-publishing
  • Provide tips for reducing self-publishing costs

Let’s get started.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Self-Publishing

One of the many benefits of self-publishing is that the cost is frequently considerably less than using a traditional publisher. But when establishing the amount it will cost to publish a book on your terms, there are a few things to consider.

Editorial Services

The most substantive cost behind self-publishing a book is going to be your editing costs. Polishing your book up to the mark where it shines is the most important thing, as the inside of your book matters just as the outside.

Finding a qualified and affordable editor will lead to better books and content, remove barriers that can stand in the way of publication, and provide more value for your readers.

To hire the most suitable book editor for your job, you first need to understand and look into the services your work requires.

Copy Editing

In this type of editing, reviewers will examine your pages and paragraphs to remove inconsistencies in punctuation, grammar, and spelling and improve the overall quality of writing.

Line Editing

It works hand in hand with copy editing. The editors will examine your word choices and writing implications and suggest improvements to ensure your writing is definite and eloquent. Any repetitive phrases are highlighted and improved. Mainly, it is focused on providing clarity and simplification of sentences.


This is the last inspection to find and correct any errors that may still be in your text. This technique is crucial and must be completed before any book gets published.

Book Design

Who doesn’t judge a book by its cover?

Readers searching through online libraries, bookstores, online stores, and just about anywhere else where your work will be sold will rely on the visual aid your book provides as their primary decision for purchasing. Not to exclude the love of aesthetics of the younger generation, the overall book design should be cultivated wisely.

To be successful, you need to treat your cover design like a marketing tool, whether you design the cover yourself or hire a freelancer.

Cover Design

An appealing cover will draw a reader in, spark their interest, and reveal the main subject matter of the book. These are the driving forces behind readers buying your book.

It will be solely your responsibility if you are designing it yourself. However, if you’re collaborating with a cover designer, it will be your task to come up with an idea for how you want the narrative to be portrayed. In this instance, a skilled book cover designer will be your saving grace as they will help you bring that idea to existence.

The secret is to make sure the genre is conveyed to the intended audience!

Interior Formatting

You’ll be giving your work the final touches during the formatting phase of self-publishing, making sure it has all the elements of a professionally published book.

Self-publishing platforms frequently have their own internal formatting and layout tools. Depending on the platform you’re using, the tools you use may change, but the result is always the same.


The technique of typesetting involves positioning content in a manner that provides for a great reading experience on book pages. The spacing between each letter and word, the style of font and size, as well as the margin, trim size, and overall design of a page, are all defined by the typesetter.

You should now have a polished manuscript and a compelling cover; however, there are still additional measures to take before you can combine each of those elements into a masterpiece.

Printing and Distribution

It may seem difficult to market books, especially for authors who self-publish. However, book distribution simply involves putting your finished product up for sale in bookstores or other retail locations.

This does not cover any additional advertising, exposure, or advertising materials for your book.

Print-on-demand Services

With print-on-demand (POD) printing, a book is produced only when a customer places an order. This makes it possible for stores online to list a product catalog for sale without actually having them in stock as well as prints of single or small amounts.

Independent authors who want to sell printed publications have an excellent chance, thanks to the new print-on-demand firms.

In simple words, it mimics asking for a copy of a digital book!

This helps the publishing industry be sustainable and profitable at the same time by reducing paper and carbon waste and aids every publisher in scaling their business—a win-win for all.

eBook Formatting

eBook editing is a common design method that produces an appealing layout for the audience out of the content and visuals in your eBook.

This is an essential phase for every author before they can publish an eBook. It’s identical to interior design and editing for printed publications, but in contrast to book services, it only concentrates on the book’s appearance in the digital realm.

To help to guarantee that your eBook looks outstanding when viewed on any type of eReader, mobile device, and tablet, common formatting for eBooks includes an interactive, re-flowable structure for both words and pictures.

Readers today hold eBooks near and dear to their hearts, just as physical books. Therefore, it’s more critical than ever that publishers offer an excellent digitized book design that’s compatible with all widely used devices.


The interior of the manuscript needs to be formatted and designed to fit the appropriate dimensions for the print distribution of a physical product. Furthermore, you’ll need to get your book printed.

An ISBN, heading, cover, summary and proper book interior formatting are further necessities. This means the interior book content must be arranged for your readership. The specific demands vary based on the type of book, the retailers you are looking to work with for print distribution, along with whatever works for you naturally.

Marketing and Promotion

The simplest definition of book marketing is distributing your book to the public to increase sales.

You must have put a lot of effort into writing your book. Therefore you should put just as much effort into selling it! Because authors are frequently artists and not always marketers, it could appear daunting and out of the ordinary.

So we understand. It could seem a little bizarre initially.

Remember, the primary objective is to establish a relationship with as many readers as possible.

Book marketing methods are crucial to boosting book sales and reaching a specific demographic. The fact is that there is no set method for doing it. You should choose whatever suits you the most. If you’re a first-time author, you might want to concentrate more on discoverability or getting as many people to read your book as you can.

Book Launch Campaign

This is something every author dreams of hosting – and so should you!

Your hard work deserves a little party. This will not only be something fun and socializing for you – considering those dreadful months of slopping away in front of your computer writing your book – but most importantly, it will help your book become the talk of the town!

It’s a fantastic chance to express gratitude for your work and share the thrill of becoming a published author. This event often comes at the point when your long-term marketing strategy begins.

You can also host live book signings, meet &greets and use PR to promote your book!

Social Media Promotions

One of the ideal times to keep up your sales and help your book soar to new heights is right now.

Brag! Chatter! Scream!

Do not let the excitement you built up in the months before the publication of your books fade. Continue to promote your first book even while creating your second. Continue to share uplifting reader comments or influencer endorsements.

Using social media to promote earlier publications is an excellent plan. It helps to build an online presence for your book.

One tactic is to come up with a catchy hashtag that is specific to the subject. The author can set up their accounts on social media and interact with fans and readers there. We cannot stress enough how important it is to build a personal relationship with your readers and make them feel involved.

People also enjoy learning about the processes involved in creating things and some behind-the-scenes since it allows them to feel more connected to them. This is possible everywhere where there’s an audience. Thus, having a presence online is important!

Paid advertising is another way to expose your book to potential customers. In this method, both online and in print newspapers as well as advertising space, can be bought.

Opting for smaller specialty magazines such as business newsletters, weekly or monthly newspapers, other tiny magazines, and industry magazines can be much more cost-effective.

Finding magazines that appeal to your target demographic will need some research, and you’ll need to evaluate whether it’s beneficial to test out a few ads. It’s crucial to get people to see print advertising repeatedly. We wouldn’t advise placing only a single advertisement. If you publish a similar advertisement in the same publication repeatedly, you’ll probably get better results!

Cost Breakdown for Self-Publishing a Book in 2024

Editorial services

The typical estimated estimate for copyediting and proofreading a book is between $1,000 and $3,000. Developmental editing, usually referred to as a more sophisticated work, can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 per book.

Although they can be used with book cover design services to save money overall.

While some editors bill by the hour, others get paid by the word or by the page. Find what works for you and team up with an editor whose work style suits you.

To put these expenditures into perspective, a rough estimate of the costs of editing a literary fiction novel of 75,000 words would be:

  • A thorough assessment of contentcosts around $500
  • Developmental editing costs around $2,000
  • Copyediting costs around $1,700
  • Proofreading costs around $1100

You usually won’t need all of these sorts of editing for your work, so don’t worry if the costs seem to be mounting!

Book Design

A ballpark estimate of an amateur book cover designer might be between $199 and $300 for a single project. Professionals with a minimum of 10 years of expertise in the discipline may provide rates that top $500.

You should engage a professional graphic designer if you don’t have experience creating book covers that appear professional. It is capable of costing anywhere between $199 and $999.

It all depends on your budget and what works for you!

Printing and Distribution

Before self-publishing, distributing your work meant printing 1,000 copies along with a pricey proof version. You would have to pay again to send a second proofing copy if there were any mistakes!

The expense of printing thousands of copies of your self-published book can exceed the budget. The cost of the book proofs only could range from $500 to $1,000.

Your only preliminary expense with print-on-demand is the cost of a single copy of your publication, which may be as little as $10. You will be able to see the complete book, and for the same price as one round of offset, you can proofread a large order in multiple rounds.

Therefore, a rough estimate of Print-on-demand services or at-home printing costs $4–$14 per book.

Marketing and Promotion

You should advertise your book both before it has been completed and after it has been distributed. Although there are many low-cost marketing options, you should plan to spend between $500 to $2,000 on different book marketing strategies.

Tips for Reducing Self-Publishing Costs

If you are having difficulty squeezing into a limited budget, the following are the ultimate tips that can surely help you cut down a significant amount of cost.

These are secrets many authors know yet don’t share. But rest assured—we’ve got your back!

Conduct Thorough Research

It is important to search for the perfect editor that goes hand in hand, not only with your work ethic but also with your budget.

Before starting the search for the editor, identify the services your manuscript requires. Do you only need to get your writing proofread? Or is developmental editing required? You are entirely in charge!

Always sieve through and make a list of the best editors according to your criteria and dig deeper into what they bring to the table. What makes them worthy of being hired? Answer all your questions to yourself until you are completely satisfied with your choice.

You can do this by asking them to provide their portfolio, talk about their experience and provide sample work to give you a bigger picture of their work.

Most importantly, if they have experience editing best-sellers, that should raise a green flag for you!

Utilize Free Resources Available

With the advancement of technology and easy access to many applications, you can simply sit at home and improve your manuscript without even having to pay!

This can include checking the grammar, punctuation, and sentence structures and applying free software available to improve the overall layout of your content. This can help significantly cut down costs – though it may be time-consuming.

Do as Much as You can on Your Own

Editing the manuscript by yourself before submitting it to editors is another significant way to minimize expenses.

Those wanting to receive a developmental edit should pay particular consideration to this! If you hire an editor without carefully revising your book, you’ll wind up overpaying them to tell you the information you already know.

Additionally, self-editing may also decrease the cost of copyediting because your copy editor will have to make fewer modifications!

Choose Cost-effective Service Providers

Furthermore, many people who work in publishing are professionals in a broad range of fields and specialties. Some like grouping a few services and selling them for considerably a lesser price than you would pay if you hired two separate individuals!


You have complete control over the process and budget when publishing independently. There is so much flexibility in publishing a book of your own that you may get started and increase your readership and sales naturally, even if you don’t have the funds to hire professional support or marketing right away!

You can experiment along with your journey to figure out what works and what doesn’t for you and reinvest the profits from your first round into your future ventures into independent publishing.

You’ll figure out how to minimize costs and increase revenue for self-publishing on your own. Be mindful that most writers succeed after a few failed attempts at self-publishing, so whatever it costs now won’t apply when you try again.

It’s your journey—and surely a beautiful one—therefore, enjoy it as you ride through it!

Good luck!