I wanted to provide you with some tips on how to get ready for self-publishing and the potential costs associated with it. I’ve self-published three books through Createspace (Amazon) and it’s been a pretty simple and inexpensive process. However, prior to the actual publishing, there are several things that need to be in order which do require out-of-pocket expenses.
Before you upload your manuscript, you need to make sure it’s ready for the market. Your manuscript should have gone through all the editing phases (self-edits, critique partner, betas, professional) and though the critique partners and betas are free, you will likely spend a good amount of money hiring a professional editor, but it’s worth every penny. Once your manuscript is nice and polished, then you’re ready for the next step, which is formatting.
Though I’ve personally formatted all my books, it’s a very tedious and time-consuming process. If you can swing about $65, then I recommend you have a professional format your manuscript. It’s important to know that the manuscript needs to be formatted differently for each format that your books comes in—digital (Kindle) and paperback.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” may be true, but still, we all do it. This is why cover design is so important. If you want your cover to be unique to your book, then I recommend hiring a professional book designer. Sure, you can go to Fiverr and hire someone to find the perfect stock photo, but, creating a cover from scratch is the better option for your book as it will make it easier when it comes to marketing. Standing behind a book cover you love will help you promote with confidence, ultimately resulting in more sales.
Once you’ve gone through above steps and your manuscript is uploaded to Createspace, it’s time to order a proof of your book. Oftentimes, you think it looks perfect when you review it on the computer, but when you see it in person you may realize that maybe a matte cover works better than gloss. This is the time to change it. But like the rest of the items listed above, this too, will cost you. Luckily the proofs aren’t too expensive because Createspace sells the book to you at a discounted rate.
Although you’re able to upload your book to Createspace without purchasing an ISBN (because Createspace can assign one to you at no cost) I don’t recommend this. If you have intentions of putting your book in stores, then you need your own ISBN. The leading company to obtain ISBN in the United States is Bowker Indentifier Services (https://www.myidentifiers.com/) the price of purchasing these numbers range from $125 for 1 or $575 for 100. I recommend the latter because for each book format you release, you will need a new ISBN. So, for instance, Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, all three will require a number of its own.
As you can see, though uploading to Createspace is absolutely free, getting prepared for it is not. Still, the joy and satisfaction you get from holding and sharing your book, is priceless. I encourage you to take that leap and go for it. I hope these tips help you get one step closer to realizing your publishing dreams.
If you would like to read any of my books, I write fiction and nonfiction and all three are available on Amazon. For daily inspiration on writing and self-development follow me on Instagram @marisuggs and for weekly tips, subscribe to my YouTube channel at Mari Suggs.