If you’re serious about writing, especially writing a book, then you should consider your writing as a business, even if it’s just part time. And like any business, there will, hopefully, be income. But there will also be some costs. Following are some of them.
In most cases, self-publishing is free, especially if it’s an electronic book (ebook). However, to make your book the best it can be, there are some financial investments you might want to consider.
Hiring a Professional Editor
This may well be the best money you’ll spend on your book. The work your editor will need to do, and the resulting cost to you, will very much depend on the level of your writing, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, how technical it is or how specialized, the length of the book, how much re-writing is required, and finally, the editor you choose. Your cost? Anywhere from a few hundred dollars for simple straightforward editing to several thousand dollars for a more complex work.
If this is your first book, or even your second, you’ll probably spend more money now than for later books. If you learn from your editor what it is that you need to improve, you’ll get better and better doing some of your own editing. However, because it’s very challenging for a writer to see the forest for the trees, a knowledgeable and skilled editor should always be part of your team.
Hiring a Professional Cover Designer
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. When you consider the number of books that are published in a year, you need to be sure that your book’s cover stands out in some way. That might be in a bookstore (for a print book) or even as thumbnail on a website (for an ebook). And unless you’re a designer yourself, this is another opportunity to hire someone to get it right. Of course, you can and should provide ideas or even a sketch. But then it can be fun, and rewarding, to stand back and see what the designer comes up with. The cost? Plan to spend a few hundred dollars. Hint: It’s great to have just the “right” cover design, but avoid trying to achieve perfection—unless, of course, you want to pay for it.
Hiring a Professional Book Designer
Many authors do their own interior book design; things like overall layout, font type and size, chapter heads, graphics, tables, and so on. If your skill-set includes design, you can save a chunk of change and maintain total control of the look and feel of your book. If not, and you hire it out, the cost might be in the few-hundred-dollar range, unless you go for some special design (e.g., a pop-up book).
These three skill areas are the main expenses you might incur in getting your book published. If you don’t want to go through the actual publishing process yourself, which can be laborious, you might choose to hire someone to do the actual work. The cost? Probably in the few-hundred-dollar range. There are other costs associated with trying to get your book sold. These might include: creating a website to sell your book, if you don’t already have one; advertising in various media; and giving talks and attending conferences to publicize your book.
Publishing these days has a lot more options than years ago. And there are many companies and independent professionals that you can team with. Aspiring writers are wise to build a budget that includes hiring some of these talents and skills.
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