Saturday, September 6, 2014

The cost of self-publishing

Okay, book is done and it's time to take all the finished pages and bundling it up into a pretty package for sale. Oh, you thought the countless hours spent writing and revising it into coherent and intelligible story was all you needed to do? That's cute. 

First and foremost, did you get it edited? No, you edited it yourself? Editing is the hardest thing to do because as the storyteller you know the story and see it happening on the walls of your mind. From painful, extremely painful experience you're going to miss something and when you see it, it will be so blatant and visible that it will stun you. From personal experience I know editing yourself doesn't work. How much does an editor cost? Depending on length novella thirty thousand words to novel length eighty thousand words, $300 to $1,000 which is a fuck load more than you thought it would and now you're starting to see the dollar signs and you're telling yourself you can do this yourself. 

Indies make a mistake and every single one is pulled apart and commented on and deducts from the appeal in the reader's eye. It doesn't matter that there are fat, ugly books sitting on the shelf on Barnes and Noble, those mistakes get shrugged off and practically ignored. You make a mistake or your book isn't as good as you can afford to make it you're going to see it, it will come out in your reviews (the ones you're lucky to get). Think about cost versus benefit. 

Cover, already discussed in another post,  $30-$1000 it's your call.

Okay, okay, cover in place it's written and polished and now time to upload for sale. Okay, now's the time to format. Do you know HTML? I don't even know what the fuck it really is, some kind of code. I have two HTML books for dummies and spent a weekend locked in my room trying to convert my book for upload to Amazon. By the time I was done I had gone through four bouts of tears and spent more hours in a fetal position on the hard fake wood floor than I care to count. If you flinch at the talk of code, you have to pay to have it formatted, if you don't then you can do it yourself (and I hate you). It's the most basic thing and it seems so easy but if you don't know what you're doing it will show and you're going to piss off the reader. Professional formatting cost? Depending on length most run about $150 if it's really long it could hit $200. Thinking about taking a class, aren't you? That's just for Amazon, epub file is the Nook and Apple and Kobo format. I don't even know what it is but if you pay a formatter they will give you both files in the cost. 

Self-publishing isn't cheap, there are always going to be ways to cut costs but consider does the benefit of the cut outweigh what you are getting? I'm going to warn you right now, never work with friends or family and never let anyone do you a favor. Your book and your goals will never be as important to someone else as it is to you. Pay for it and they'll deliver, don't pay it and the frustration could sever or strain ties. Is it worth it, hell if I know. What's the cost of the dream? Maybe, like anything the question is, what is it worth to you?

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