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How Much Money Does It Take To Publish a Book?

How Much Money Does It Take To Publish a Book?

Getting a book out there in front of millions of readers is not just a dream today. With the means we have today, even new writers can successfully publish a book granted they are willing to invest money and time into it. There are many factors that influence the cost of publishing a book, and quality does cost money. Let’s break down the figures.

The Cost of Publishing a Book

booksThe average amount of money a not-so-well-known author spends on self-publishing falls between £155 and £232. So, it is very doable to spend less than £500 on publishing a book, but it is also true that more experienced writer can end up cashing out up to £16,000 for a single book. Regardless of the budget, there are advantages and disadvantages to working on a tight budget and affording to splurge.

The Cost of Editing

Editing includes copywriting, content editing, and proofreading, and it’s what makes the difference between a mediocre book and a good one. You will obviously need more than a spell-check before publishing your work, so you can’t take editing off your list even if you’re on a budget.

One can hire a new writer for proofreading and copyediting, which can cost less than £80. There are, of course, professional copyeditors which charge about $500 on average.

The Cost of Cover Design and Formatting

You do judge a book by its cover when it comes to published work, so it’s an absolute must to invest in a cover design. Luckily, there are plenty of talented artists that don’t charge a fortune. If you don’t know one personally or you don’t have any recommendation, it’s worth posting a design gig on freelancer websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, and many, many others.

Formatting is also very important when it comes to the design of your book. You’ll want a correct display in whichever publishing medium you go for. The intricacy or simplicity, whether you have images or diagrams, these are all factors that influence the cost of your design.

When in doubt, choose simplicity, especially for digital publishing, because it keeps the costs down. Formatting for print, on the other hand, allows you to be more creative, but the costs are greater. Expect to pay around £155 on average for digital formatting and anywhere between £78 and £1,600 for print.

Getting an ISBN

An International Standard Book Number is something any printed book should have, especially if you want to place it in a library. If you don’t purchase one, you may not be listed as a publisher. A single ISBN costs about £97 but you can purchase 10 for about £194 if you are certain you will continue to publish other books.The ISBN should be printed on the copyright page and on the back of the cover as part of the bar code.

The Cost of Launching the Book

It’s not enough to have the book ready, you should also budget for a small launch. Any event of this kind can lead to a boost in sales. You’ll become visible, and so will your work. If you manage to find sponsorship, the costs can be zero. Some also charge a small entry fee to keep their personal expenses lower, but this may be a risky move. To keep the costs as low as possible, book the venue for a day of the week rather than the weekend when they most likely charge more.

A book launch without sponsorship can cost anywhere between a few hundred pounds and up to $3,864, if not more.


Marketing your book is yet another leg on your publishing journey. In this day and age, there are many platforms where you can promote your work for free. However, it wouldn’t hurt to pay a few pounds to boost your posts on Facebook and reach thousands of people. If you can afford to, you can meet with a marketing specialist to discuss a proper book marketing strategy, but as a new writer, this is highly optional because it can cost hundreds of pounds.

Final Thoughts

Publishing a book is hard work and the process is more challenging than it looks. On a minimum, you will be spending a few hundred pounds but going through all the steps all by yourself with no outside help can cost you thousands. But at the end of the day, what’s most important is to not cut back on quality because a good book will sell.

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