Expenses Associated with Self-Publishing an eBook





Self-publishing an ebook puts you in complete control of its destiny. However, this means you’ll also bear all of the costs of ensuring that destiny is positive. If you’re considering doing this, here’s a listing of the expenses associated with self-publishing an ebook.

Computer and Software


Odds are, you already have Microsoft Word or some other compositional tool. But if you don’t have a good word processing platform, you’re going to need one. Similarly, while you currently might only have a tablet or a smartphone, you’re going to require a laptop computer at a minimum. You’ll also have to get publishing software to make your finished book compatible with the various reader platforms.

Editors and Proofreaders


Once you’ve written a draft of the book and have your thoughts organized in what appears to be a coherent form, you’ll need the services of an editor to ensure they really are. There are actually a number of different types of editors. A development editor will look at the book from the perspective of a reader and offer you advice regarding tone and flow. 

A copy editor will examine it from a technical perspective to ensure your work is free of typos and your writing style is consistent. Finally, a proof reader makes sure punctuation, grammar and spelling are correct. You might also consider hiring a fact-checker to confirm the veracity of your information.

Graphic Artist/Art Director


One of the most important aspects of publishing a book is choosing the cover. As much as the writer in you wants to believe the words inside the volume matter more than its cover, most people will never see those words if the cover inadequately telegraphs the content. 

This is where the services of a good graphic designer/art director demonstrate value. Many decisions go into coming up with a good cover. If you’re inexperienced in this area, you could do your book significant harm trying to go this alone. 


Formatting/Digital Conversion


Here, you’ll also choose whether to attempt it on your own or hire a professional. This decision will figure heavily for writers considering establishing their own ebooks online stores

There are a number of platforms out there to help and most are pretty easy to use. Should you decide to offer physical versions of the book as well, you’ll incur the costs of printing and the setup required to accomplish it. 

The good news here is there are lots of print-on-demand solutions so you can tackle this on an as-needed basis. The cost will vary according to format, whether there’s color involved and the number of illustrations the book contains.

ISBN Registration


While Amazon, Apple’s iBooks and Barnes & Noble have numbering systems for ebooks, you’ll need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) if you want your registration number to be the same regardless of the platform upon which it is offered. Opinions vary regarding their necessity if you’re only publishing electronically, but others feel it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Marketing/Public Relations


Once your book is written, you’ll have to let people know it’s available. This means mounting a PR campaign and marketing strategy. Social media figures prominently these days and managing it properly can be quite time-consuming. Yes, you can do it on your own, particularly if you already have an active blog. But if your time is better spent working on your next book, you might find a marketing professional’s expertise valuable in this regard.


As you can see, there are a number of decisions, experts, and expenses associated with self-publishing an ebook. Making the right decisions in these regards can be a huge determining factor in your tome’s profitability and success.

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