You’ve heard the saying, “Money saved is money earned.” If you consider it for a minute, you’ll realise how useful this bit of information is when you decide to self-publish your book.
Publishing a book requires spending money, lots of it, and since you’re going it alone, you’ll be responsible for every aspect of the process. You’ll have to create a budget for editing, designing, retailing, marketing and promotions. You can hire a team to with you, but if you have a tight budget, this option may not be the best.
Of course certain aspects of the process should be handled by professionals, but there are some you can take care of — to save every dime you can.
Your book cover is the first thing readers will see when they’re browsing through a bookstore. If the design doesn’t impress them, they’re going to pass quickly and probably never bother having a second look — should they see the book in some other stores.
When I was preparing my book, Not Too Young to Run, for publication, I knew I had to make a strong first impression with my cover. But I didn’t have all the money. This may sound improbable, given the existence of Fiverr where you come across book cover designers who charge as little as $5. Now this is improbable! A professional book cover doesn’t come that cheap.
According to Rocking Book Covers, the price for a professional low end book cover starts from $50 – $200. A notch better is the middle range — from $250 – $600. Then the highest end (which is for big publishing houses) starts from $1000 – $2000.
Imagine being able to save $50 or more. I’m sure that’s a good deal. By the way, here’s the cover I did, courtesy of Canva.
Ebook Conversion and Print Layout
If you must sell your book as a digital product, you’ll first have to convert it into an ebook. Over on the Internet, you’ll find free ebook conversion tools like Reedsy Write, Sigil and Calibre. There are also companies and freelancers that offer ebook conversion as a service, in which case you’ll have to part with your money.
If you were creating a simple ebook, the type that doesn’t contain visual elements, (I doubt if any book lacks visuals.) then the process is straightforward. In fact, if you are publishing with Amazon or Kobo, you merely need to upload your edited manuscript in .doc, docx, .txt or .pdf and their algorithm does the rest. But it isn’t that simple if your manuscript contains tables, graphs, illustrations and other visual designs. Sometimes, in the course of using a free tool, your formatting may be lost. It could even be that you messed with the formatting, and the converter was unable to read your file.
When this happens, you’ll need to hire a professional to do the job. This can cost from a few dollars to hundreds. But you can save this cost if you invest your time to learning how to properly format an ebook.
It’s the same if you are going to print. You’ll need to design a clean layout. That’s going to cost money as well, up to $1000 for a professional design. Most professionals use InDesign, which you can pay for and invest time to learn the curve. It’s worth it, especially if you plan on writing other books in the future.
Learning how to design cover arts for marketing your book can also help you save money. You don’t need to become a Kate Moss or Chip Kid to this, but you’ll need a good grasp of the elements of design.
Again, websites like Canva. Vexels and Template.net offer free templates to get you started.
In the end, when you sit down again to evaluate your budget, you’ll be surprised at how much money you saved.