Cost Of Self Publishing on Amazon | Can You Make Money with Self Publishing?

Cost Of Self Publishing on Amazon | Can You Make Money with Self Publishing?

– Are you wondering about the cost of self publishing on Amazon? And is self publishing really
still worth it these days? Well I’m gonna discuss all that and more, so make sure you stay tuned. This is Self Publishing with Dale. And if you would like to learn more about publishing books that sell and building an unstoppable author brand, make sure that you subscribe and turn your bell notifications to on so you don’t miss a single video. Make sure you stick around to the end because I’m actually gonna
provide you with a free resource that’s going to guide you
from point A to point B. And it’s gonna make a lot more sense of some of the recommendations I’m gonna give in today’s video. So I’ve been self publishing for a little over five years now, and it’s actually treated me well. But I have to admit that my first couple of years it wasn’t all
sunshine and rainbows. And I’ve got some good months, and I got some bad months. But I do know one thing for certain. The most of self publishing can come free, but you’re only gonna get
out what you put into it. So that’s why I thought I’d discuss some of the investments
that you can expect when it comes to self publishing
your books through Amazon. So the short answer is going to be this, it’s going to cost nothing to possibly tens of thousands of dollars. Now don’t click away. Stay with me. I’m not saying you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars, but I do know of some
people who have spent that much money so I’m gonna hopefully guide you a little bit
more through this process and it makes a little bit more sense. Is there a right answer? Not by any stretch ’cause
you’re gonna hear people saying it’s going to cost a thousand dollars. Some people are gonna
say it’s completely free. Some people are gonna say
it’s gonna cost $20,000, and that doesn’t even
include the marketing budget as soon as you launch your book. There are some key items that
you’re gonna wanna consider when you get into self publishing books through Amazon and any other platform. And I’m gonna go ahead and
discuss those one at a time. And for the sake of brevity, I’m just gonna go ahead and we’re gonna take ghost writing and we’re gonna put that off to the side. I’m just assuming that the people I’m talking to here right now
are writing their own content. So just keep in mind that if you plan on outsourcing your writing or hiring ghost writers for
your publishing business that is an extra expense on top of the things I’m already gonna discuss. Editing and Proofreading. Now there are various levels of editing that you need to be aware of. If you were just to write your book and put it out onto the market, then chances are pretty likely it’s gonna be riddled with errors. I know you’re proud of your work. Maybe you even had your mom or your cousin go through
and edit the whole thing and get it proofed. But the fact of the matter is if you want it done
correctly you’re gonna need to hire a professional editor. So this is going to come at a cost, unless you find somebody that is willing to do some type of a quid pro quo. But that’s neither here nor there. Developmental Editing. Otherwise known as content editing. This kind of looks at the
big picture of your work. And this is going to be the
more costly of all of them. And it’s gonna be a little
bit more labor intensive because they’re going to be going in and picking your work apart, handing it back to you so that way you can refine
exactly what you’re doing with your work. Generally speaking, runs about
five to 10 cents per word. But there are some editors out there that won’t even focus on the words so much as the project. Basic Copyediting. Now this is when you get down
onto the microscopic level. This is micro editing if you will. This is where it starts to get into that nit picky element of things. But it’s going to really make for a great and pleasant reading experience for your customers. Basic copy editing can run about
two to five cents per word. Again, some editors
will pay for the project and not per word. I just wanna gave you some general ideas of what you’re shooting for. Proofreading. Now here’s where we just put that little bit of extra shine, little bit more luster onto your work. Proof reading’s gonna
be after all the edits. You’ve done a bit of the formatting, and we’re going in and making sure it’s all showroom ready. This can run about one
to two cents per word. However, you may find that
if you build a really good advanced ready copy team they may be able to help you out in the proof reading process. Again though it’s all gonna come down to how professional you want
your manuscript to come off. Hiring out a professional editor and a proof reader will help you out in the long term. So exactly where do you find a good editor or proofreader, this is going to vary. And especially when it comes to the actual pricing and
the cost for you overall. I always recommend look for referrals. Try to get active inside
the indie author community and start to get to know other authors. Read their work. See if it’s good and polished, especially if it’s in your niche. Then you’re gonna wanna see
if you can reach out to them and have them recommend their editors or their proofreaders. Chances are pretty likely
you might find somebody that would work really well with you. I find that most instances, some people think that all
editors are exactly the same. There are some editors that
are very niche specific. In fact, actually my good
friend, James Ranson, he only handles nonfiction
books for business professionals so you’re not gonna see him editing a robo shape shifter
romance any time soon. And so the same thing
could probably be said for those fiction editors. They’re probably not gonna
be handling nonfiction. So you gotta make sure you get good with who you’re hiring, and hire who is appropriate for the job. So the total cost of
editing and proofreading a 10,000 word manuscript, now keep in mind that’s
a short story at best, that’s going to run about $800 to $1200. That’s a minimum. It could possibly cost way more, depending on the experience of that editor and how long this project’s going to take, and of course how much
work your manuscript needs. Interior Formatting. When going into formatting, you need to consider there’s two avenues. You’ve got E-books and
you’ve got print books. Now there are some times where
you can get your print book all formatted really nicely and just have it converted
over into E-book. But in some instances
you may just want to go for something that’s going
to be enhanced type setting that’s really good for
the readers through say Kindle reading devices, and that means that some of that formatting that you
would normally have for print may not translate too well
over into E-book form. Now interior formatting
can cost quite a bit. You can try to just grind it out and do it all yourself, but is that gonna be something that you’re mother’s
gonna pin on her fridge and be proud of? Probably not. So I would recommend definiteyl hiring out somebody that is experienced
in interior formatting. This can cost as little as say $10, now that’s bargain basement, that is some people that are just trying to get their reps
in, maybe over on Fiver or on some type of freelance platform, and this can cost upwards
of $1500 or even more. This depends largely on your vision of your formatting. So as a for instance, Adam Wilber, a former guest here of the show, he spent a pretty good penny
on an interior formatter, and this guy pulled out all the stops. It’s a beautiful interior, highly recommend you
take a look at that book when you get the opportunity. It’s called Creativity: The Magic Formula. Cover Design. Okay so there is three products that you need to take into consideration, E-books, print books and audiobooks. I used to give the recommendations that you could just take your E-book and then just stretch it out over onto your ACX or
your audiobook cover. Eh, that doesn’t translate
very well for good sales. So I always recommend that you get covers that are appropriate to the
specific type of publication. And the same thing can kind of be said when it comes to print books. Normally I would say just take the E-book and you just put it on the front cover. And in some instances that will work. But if you’re distributing onto platforms like Barnes and Nobel Press it won’t work because there are certain guidelines and bleed areas that you have to honor in order to actually publish through them. E-book covers can range about $7 to $500. Print book covers range about $17 to $500 or even way more. And audio book covers
can run about $7 to $500. My best advice would be to
hire a cover design artist that’s going to do all of them. You don’t want to be
trying to piecemeal all of these services together because a lot of your creative vision for what your cover is gonna look like can really get watered down if you’re using numerous sources. My preferred avenue that I’ve used before is Urban Writers. A former guest of this
channel, Marco Moutinho, actually runs a service
called Urban Writers. And they actually put
together really good covers. And I was real happy with their services. In fact, if you are interested,
make sure that you visit my affiliate link at and use the coupon code DALEPUB to get five percent off your order. Audiobook Narrator. Yes, again, I’m gonna go back to the well when it comes to taking into consideration E-books and print books, but remember your audio books as you get ready to launch your book. You don’t want to just says
nah I’m good without it, or I’ll just try to
bootstrap my way there. Try to get all that stuff together and hiring a good professional
audiobook narrator is gonna make all the
difference in your book launch. But as I’ve mentioned in previous videos, when it comes to hiring a
good audiobook narrator, you can go through say
audiobook creation exchange to where there’s two
different types of deals. There is the royalty share. Now there are pros and cons. And generally speaking, I tell
people only use that option if you have to. In fact, I’m gonna leave a link down inside the description
below that’s going to tell you is royalty share worth it or not. You’re gonna hear my candid thoughts when it comes to royalty share and some of my experiences
that were less than good. The other option’s gonna
be pay per finished hour. And as I shared in that other video, that is pretty much
however long your book is, is how much you’re going
to pay them per hour. So if your book is say an hour long, and they charge $150 per finished hour, it’s gonna cost you $150. A good audiobook narrator is going to cost anywhere from $50 to as much as $1200 per finished hour. And I know some of you
fiction writers out there that are putting epic length novels are going I don’t know about that Dale. Again, I said there are some exceptions to the rule when it comes
to the royalty share. And that might be something
worth considering. But I would recommend
that you at least try to get together the funds and hire a good professional
audiobook narrator, or narrate it yourself if you
have the know how to do it. So if we were to look at the maximum cost and being that some of the
recommendations that I gave based on some of the services, it’s going to run you
somewhere in the neighborhood of about $5000 per publication. Now this doesn’t mean that
you have to spend that much. Again, you can find some of
the cheaper alternatives. Or if you’re networking with
other business professionals that have that as a skill, there’s good chance that you can probably do a good exchange. But what if you want to do it yourself? Lets say that you just don’t
have $5000 laying around. That you don’t even have $50 much less $5 or a nickel to rub together. I recommend that you take a look at the DIY publishing course. This is exactly made for you, the person that doesn’t really have too much discretionary expense, but wants to also learn
every facet of the business and try to manage it themselves. If you wanna take a look at that, make sure that you visit the
link inside this video here, as well as visiting In the meantime, the between
time I will see you there.


  1. Editors are definitely not created equal. Sometimes even if you find an editor who does your genre that doesnt mean they will work with you.

    Personally, I had one who came recommended, did my genre, and edited my book. She proceeded to full on crap on my book. Instead of being a professional and telling me much earlier on that she didn't connect with it, she crapped on it, told me that I needed "a ton more work" on it and that I "should have her go through it again."

    Basically, she crapped on it because she wanted more money bc the person who referred me to her spent over 1,000 whereas I spent around 400.

    I highly recommend going to an editor who is willing to look at a sample of your work before going through with the actual payment. That way, they can see if they can connect with your style before anyone is committed.

    Some editors and writers dont connect and there is nothing wrong with that, it happens and we are all human, but please take that extra step to protect yourself and make sure so you dont throw away money on an editor who wants to screw you over or just an editor you aren't sure about.

  2. For formatting, I'd suggest getting Vellum for $250 for will do eBook and Print and looks great. (Only works on Mac)

  3. I hope it don't cost me anymore to do my taxes next year. Hoping that I get a regular 1099 from amazon.

  4. Wow, you just got me thinking about my audiobook cover – and I gotta admit, I'd not given it much consideration, especially the difference in format. Fortunately, I have all the raw art files so I can move and recompose the layers for the necessary proportions. I'm still a couple of months away from releasing the audiobook, but you've gotten me on a better track (again) to be ready. Thanks!

  5. Hi Dale, other than cost, what are some of the reasons someone will publish with Lulu or any other company. Vs going directly to KDP? Is the other platforms? I thought you use other platforms after 90 days. Thank you in advance.

  6. As a new author who is unpublished, where am I supposed to get all of this money? With a 96,000 word manuscript, it seems like if I were to hire people to pro edit and cover design (with money i don't have), there is no way i will recoup my investment with book sales. You're talking $10,000 for an editor on 96,000 words. So I'd have to sell like 7,000 copies of the book on Amazon to break even. As an unknown author, that's unlikely. This information has completely discouraged me from self pub. Looks like it's back to writing query letters!

  7. Just caught up on this one…thanks for the shout-out! And thanks for giving some real talk on editing types and prices. I have taught you well, my young apprentice. 😛

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