The cost of self-publishing

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Writers Corner

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

A friend (not a writer) recently asked me how much it costs to self-publish a book, understanding that I had self-published my last book. It is a question every writer, whether aspiring or already published in a different form, should know about. There are so many aspects of the question that I’m not sure where to start, but I’ll try to expand my brain enough to answer.

The following points are crucial:

1. How many pages is your book?

2. Even if you have conceived a cover, there will still be costs associated with all the artwork involved.

3. Do you have photos? How many? Are they in black and white or color?

4. Publicity: As the publisher, the cost of publicity is your responsibility.

5. Research book reviewers. Newspapers and magazines are the best sources. They usually have someone who reviews books. However, some agencies charge various fees. They may provide a decent review but lack standing in the publishing world. Kirkus is the Godfather of reviews, but even they charge now.

6. Line editing to ensure your P’s & Q’s are in place.

7. Editing for plagiarism and other liabilities. Accuracy is key in non-fiction, and in fiction, especially if you have real settings and characters buried in your story. Nowadays, people love to sue for damages, like money.

These are just some of the basics that you will encounter if you self-publish. As you go along, you will find that prices vary depending on who you use for things you know nothing about. In this instance, the early bird gets stuck with the bill. It’s better to talk to your librarian if you have no other source of such information. However, if you love writing and can afford the costs of self-publishing, go for it. It is a lot of fun, and the things you discover along the way are awesome. Thanks for listening, and I do appreciate your interest and inquiries. Writing is my life. Just sayin’.

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