Re-post: How much does it really cost to self-publish a book?

How much does it really cost to self-publish a nice quality book, without sending yourself to the poor house? That’s what we’re going to find out today. But before we begin, I wanted to show a sketch of Ikeda that Nicoy drew for me.  Ikeda Cortes looks really good, I’m so loving his eyes. I so can’t wait for the colored version of this, it’s going to be detailed and absolutely amazing. 😀

Art by Nicoy

So, back to the costs of self-publishing. I fixed my previous post, but I wanted to go over this again with accurate costs, since I’ve now added art commissions to the process.

Editing Fees: 

  • $100 for 100 pages
  • $243 for 97,375 words

Book Cover Costs:

  • $0

Art Commissions:

  • 5 characters for $115 (To find quality artists to do book covers/characters just make a free account at Get yourself a Paypal account and start looking for artists doing cheap art commissions. Make sure they have a track record or a history of doing commissions, so it’s not some random guy on the street. Ask around in art chatrooms if you’re not sure what you’re looking for).

Copyright Fees:

  • $35

Createspace Proof Fees:

  • $4.99 for proof I found out that I need to sell my book at $9.99 for $4.99 will give me a $-2.13.  Proof costs $8.71.
  • (Remember, Createspace has a Customer Satisfaction Guarantee! If your book’s pages or image quality is poor, call them up and get a total refund. However, they will not fix random typos you find in your book, so you need to make sure you can pay. They’ll fix 80 typos for free I think, but after that you’ll be paying through your nose).

Kindle Fees:

  • $0 (Love this site! Takes only one day to upload your book, but make sure you have the right kind of software to do this. If not, I’d hire a professional instead. Or you can Google it! There’s free sites that offer you guidelines on how to do this with PDF files and so on. Read them carefully and don’t rush through it. You don’t want to make a mistake and sell half a book, now do you?)

TOTAL = $497.99 

TOTAL = $501.71 if I decide not to get the special $99 ISBN # at Createspace.


That should be the accurate costs of everything right now. I think I had $504.99 as the last estimate in my old post… before it was $527 or something without tax. So, I was a little over the original costs, but that’s good! At least I was thinking ahead. 🙂

How much money did I save exactly?

What I didn’t need at Createspace:

  • $99 for special ISBN# (Barnes & Noble has stopped selling Amazon titles).
  • $39 for Author’s Plan. That was discontinued.
  • $25 for Expanded Distribution. However, they charge you more to make and sell the books. So, that’s bad.  You’ll be making -1 dollars. I tried it on their special Pricing Calculator. 😦
  • $69 to convert books into Kindle format.
  • Book Cover – cheapest one is $149 (I can make my own stuff!)
  • Interior Design- cheapest one is $249 (Download the free Createspace MS Word templates and copy/paste text. Then, convert it to PDF files. Read all their guidelines first to match trim/bleed margins. In fact, you can do your own interior design. Very simple and easy to read instructions!)
  • Editing Feescheapest is $120 per 10,000 words that is $0.012/word by the way.  Got my own freelance editor baby!)

  • $50 to convert book to pub or mobi file. (not worth it, since Kindle is free).

  • $0 dollars to convert, but it takes 2-4 weeks to approve your book. If it doesn’t meet format or content guidelines it’s rejected automatically. Not worth it, because in order to format the book, you have to download their free ebook. Reading that was a freaking hassle. Not easy to get through. It’s a full book people! If you want to pay someone at the site to do it, I think it’s around $50 bucks. You can have your book on Nook, Kindle, and many other formats, but they have strict guidelines you have to meet.

TOTAL I SAVED = $1,848.50 to be exact

That’s a lot of money right there. However, there’s much worse sites than Createspace to tell you the truth. What sites to avoid like the plague. – I don’t care what anyone says about how great Lulu is, but they’re all either delusional or totally crazy. The cheapest self-publishing services (Best-Seller Package which is a joke!) at lulu is $729 bucks! And that doesn’t include marketing and there’s no guarantee either that your book is even going to become a best-seller. The highest package is the Laureate Publishing Package, which is $5,000 freaking bucks. Good luck with that one. 😐 Oh yeah and it costs more if you do everything separately. You probably only save $50 for the Best-Seller Package, which is ridiculous since you’re going to spend nearly $729. $50 is nothing… maybe if they dropped $400 of that it would be much more of a savings. Don’t hold your breath. – this is a legit site, but so not worth it. Whatever you do, please DO NOT call or ask them for information. Once you ask for a free brochure and give them your information, they will NOT STOP CALLING YOU! I’ve had 10 Xlibris employees call me for nearly 2-3 years now. They’re still calling me. Every month someone new calls my old cell phone, wondering if I’m going to self-publish with them or if I need any help to just call them back. Biggest mistake of my life! I’ve asked them to stop calling me and to take me off their list. They’re worse than telemarketers.

Cheapest publishing package they have is Basic, which costs $649.

Their highest one is Platinum $15,000!!!! 

6 thoughts on “Re-post: How much does it really cost to self-publish a book?

  1. Hi, I just started following you.
    I’ve been trying to write different books for ages but keep giving up on them… I’d like to change that. I think it’s great that you’ve stuck with it.
    I agree about DeviantArt, there are a lot of great artists dying for commissions.

    • Thank you so much for following me! I truly appreciate it. 😀

      I would say never give up on your dreams and keep at it! Writing/editing is never easy, but neither is self-publishing. If you want to do it right, take it one step at a time. I didn’t get here overnight. Sometimes it takes years, but if you’re determined and you work hard, you can do anything you put your mind to. I just hope my blog has enough information to help you, so you can learn what I’ve learned and to not make the same mistakes I’ve done. Hopefully, if things go well, you too can become self-published as well!

    • You’re welcome! Hope my experience can teach you what it’s like to be self-published. It’s not as easy as it looks. 😀

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers!

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