17 July 2013

SELF PUBLISHING - How much does it cost?

How much does it cost to self publish an eBook and a paperback version?  The short answer to this questions is, very little.  Or, less than you might think.

I recently published ONCE UPON A LIE on Amazon.  Here is what I paid for the eBook and paperback formats:-
  • $190.00  BOOK COVERS - this included 1 full cover (pdf file) for the paperback and 1 eBook cover 
  • $160.00  MANUSCRIPT FORMATTED into a pdf file for the paperback version.
My total outlay therefore has been $350.00USD to have my book selling on Amazon.  Please note:  There is no cost involved in uploading your eBook or the paperback version onto Amazon unless, of course, you choose to use their publishing services.

Amazon has two publishing arms:-
CREATESPACE for uploading paperbacks

What about ISBN's?
Whether you have an ISBN# or not, when publishing on Amazon, you will be assigned an ASIN# for your eBook from KDP, and an ID# for your paperback on Createspace.  

If you choose to buy your own ISBN#, you will need two.  One for your eBook and one for your paperback version.  The cost varies from country to country but here in Australia, one ISBN# costs $40 while 10 costs $80.  Depending on how many books you plan to write, it's cheaper to buy a batch of 10.

So, here is what you need to publish an eBook and a paperback version on Amazon:-
  • your manuscript formatted for an eBook.  (Not difficult to do yourself.)
  • your manuscript formatted into a (pdf) file for your paperback version.  
  • book covers - one for the eBook - one full (pdf) cover for the paperback
  • your bio (this will appear on your books Amazon site)
  • your book blurb (this will appear on your Amazon site too)

So, why am I telling you all this?  Because I thought that there might be some people out there who are under the impression that it costs a lot of money to self publish a book.  There are also people out there who will offer to publish your book for you and charge you a huge amount of money.  Don’t get caught in the trap. Research your publishing options instead because there are many and they are not expensive.

What has your experience been in self publishing?

Self publishing an eBook
Book Cover and ISBN

Get Your Self Publishing Information In One Pocket Guide

This self publishing pocket guide takes you through what you need to do in order to self publish your book.  From information on formatting your manuscript, deciding on a cover and book blurb to decisions on price, ISBN, and choice of categories, it also includes helpful web site links plus marketing and author platform ideas to enable you to start your self publishing journey with confidence.


  1. Thanks for breaking this down. I just won a book cover from Authors Secret so I will be self publishing soon.

    1. I'm pleased that my posts have been helpful to you, Calisa, and congratulations on your win.
      Every Best Wish, Jill

  2. I'm sure a lot of authors will appreciate you breaking down the costs of self publishing. It's very concise and easy to understand.

    1. Thanks, Anna.
      I think the cost varies depending on how much of the preparation work you want to do yourself. I haven't mastered formatting my manuscripts into PDF files yet, but I'm working on it.

    2. Hi Jill - How did you get around all the IRS tax nonsense that makes it so hard for Aussies to publish on Amazon.com? I thought publishing there was extremely difficult for Australians. Am I wrong?

    3. Hi Kevin, If you want to avoid the 30% withholding tax, you need to obtain an ITIN number. I did a post about this here
      You can still publish on Amazon.com without it, of course, but they will withhold 30%. With an ITIN number they withhold 5% only.
      Let me know if you can't find this post and I can repost it. Also let me know if you need any further information by using the Contact Me form.
      Best of luck Kevin.

  3. Hi Jill, I'm trying to start a Kickstarter project to raise money to get my poetry published, I'm so lost, can you please tell me how much I should ask for, also for someone to edit poetry for me, I've reached out to people for help but nobody wants to help me, I really want to succeed in getting my poetry published. Any help is appreciated, God Bless

    1. Hi Angela, It's lovely to hear from you.
      Could you email me at jill.paterson6@gmail.com so that we can discuss your publishing situation?
      I'll try to guide you in the right direction.
      Best Regards