Making the Most of Your Publishing Budget

When self-publishing, costs can easily add up. As you continue to purchase services, hire experienced vendors, and make your book the best it can be, you can suddenly find yourself spending much more than you intended. Unfortunately, this is incredibly easy to do if you don’t set a budget for yourself and stick to it. 

Let’s look at some of the most common publishing services, why they’re essential, and how you can get the most for your money out of each one. 


This publishing component is one that many authors try to skip, and their books ultimately suffer because of it. While it’s not impossible to edit your own manuscript, it’s much easier to miss mistakes in your own writing. Getting a professional editor to look at your book will ensure that your book is the absolute best it can be, and your future readers will thank you for it. 

If you don’t have the budget for an editor to look over your entire manuscript, consider submitting just a few chapters to start. The feedback you receive from this sampling will likely expose your bad habits and allow you to make further revisions on your own. Doing this will likely go much further than hiring a low-cost, inexperienced editor that may miss just as much as you would. 

Cover design

Your book’s cover will be one of the most important factors in getting potential readers interested in your book. They will never know what it’s about or how great it is until they pick it up in the first place, so the cover is crucial. If you aren’t a designer, you shouldn’t be creating your own cover. 

For those on a tight budget, you may be able to find some reasonably priced design options online. If you’re not set on a specific cover design, there are companies that offer pre-designed packages that cost much less than ones designed specifically for you. Occasionally, you may even find contests where you could get your cover designed for free. 


While printing physical books can be a costly affair, some more affordable options have cropped up in recent years. For example, with the increasing popularity of eBooks, authors can now publish digital copies of their books at very low cost. This provides them with an opportunity to gain some interest and excitement surrounding their book before they ever have to pay to have it printed. Not to mention, eBooks allow for an extremely quick turnaround and no distribution costs. 

If you’re set on having printed copies of your books, consider the print on demand (POD) option. This option allows you to print copies of your books as they are sold rather than printing as many as you think (or hope) you’ll sell and paying to store them in a warehouse. Therefore, this is a much more cost-efficient option. 


Once you’ve determined how you will print your book, you must think about how it will get into readers’ hands. There are so many different ways to distribute and sell your book, so the key here is to do your research. The most popular options is Amazon Kindle Direct. This is a free option that allows you to distribute your book to Amazon retailers around the world. 

Other considerations

As you’re determining your publishing budget, don’t forget to also think about your marketing budget. While you will hopefully start gaining royalties once your book is published, there is always the chance that you will have to do a fair amount of marketing before that happens. Make sure to plan accordingly. It’s much better to save now and spend more once you find some success with your book rather than to spend now and hope for the best later. 

If you’re lucky enough to have an audience already, you could consider a crowdfunding campaign to obtain monetary assistance from those eager to see your book published. 

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