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Book Editing Cost

This is a topic near and dear to Charles D’Amico (The founder of Blue Handle Publishing and the Book Puma Services Platform). The easy answer is anywhere from $150 to $2,500 (minimum) if you self-publish and really look for deals and lower-end services. The truth is that this cost can easily exceed $10,000 and there are even services out there that will cost you $50,000. The editing industry has a range of costs from the discount bin to the penthouse in downtown Manhattan.

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Book Formatting cost

Self Publishing

This cost can range from roughly $200 to over a couple thousand dollars. This is because manuscripts are different sizes, and the amount of work to be done varies. There are plenty of templates to be found online, and we even have some helpful formatting tips on our Book Puma Services Platform.

Traditional Publishing

If you work with a traditional publisher, book formatting, like editing and other services, costs nothing up front to the author, but it does cost in the life of the book. The more a publisher thinks they have to put into the book the less royalties an author is going to make. Typically, an author gets paid an agreed-upon advance by the traditional publisher, makes that money, but nothing until the sales of the book exceed the amount of the advance. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be edited, formatted and marketed. It’s not just about writing a book, but the audience for it, the timing and more.

Hybrid Publishing

The cost to format your book with a hybrid publisher, like editing, is baked into the price (included), which means they will charge you a package fee. They will work on your book, help you get it ready and market it for an overall fee. This also means you are fronting a large portion of the cost. Costs to hybrid publish range anywhere from $5K to $20K. Blue Handle is not a Hybrid Publisher, but a traditional small press that hopes to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.

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Book Cover design cost

Self Publishing

Cover design depends on how much you bring to the table with ideas and details. If you have a plan and are just looking for someone to help bring it to life you can keep the cost down. The average cover design can run you between $300-800. If you are looking for original art, say hand drawn for fantasy fiction or another genre that tends to push the boundaries on artistic influence, this cost can be much higher.

Traditional Publishing

Once a traditional publisher decides to sign you as an author with a royalty advance, the cover design costs nothing from the author’s end. It may cost nothing up front to the author, but it can cost in the life of the book. The more a publisher thinks they have to put into the book the less royalties an author is going to make. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be marketed. It’s not just about writing a book, but the audience for it, the timing and more.

Hybrid Publishing

Once again, like editing and formatting, this cost is often baked into the price you’ve agreed to pay your hybrid publisher, which means they will charge you a package fee for all of it. They will work on your book, help you get it ready for distribution and market it. This also means, as an author, you are fronting a large portion of the cost. These overall costs can range anywhere from $5K to $20K, and you would need to speak with your hybrid publisher about how much time/money is actually spent on the cover to land on the exact cost of your cover design. Blue Handle is not a hybrid publisher but a traditional small press that hopes to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.

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Book Publishing cost

Self Publishing

This cost should never be $0, because you should always copyright your book and use the ISBN services through a company like Bowker. If you are only looking to use your book for marketing and you aren’t concerned with it, then technically you can do it for nothing, but that isn’t the smartest move, especially if your book starts to gain traction. You always want to protect your work so if it kicks off, you can make money in the long run.

Traditional Publishing

The costs of publishing traditionally are low, provided that you get noticed and form a contract with a traditional publisher, which can be very hard to do. The marketing costs and time and money spent leading up to that depends on the author. There is no right answer to this question. However, once you are signed with a traditional publisher there is no financial liability on the part of the author, unless they take it upon themselves to do some of their own marketing initiatives alongside that of the publisher. Typically, a traditional publisher will handle the editorial, printing, marketing and distribution costs of a book once they sign a contract with you.

Hybrid Publishing

The actual cost to publish a book with a hybrid publisher is baked into the price (included), which means they will charge you a package fee for editorial, printing, marketing and other services. They will work on your book, help you polish it and market it. The cost of publishing your book depends on which hybrid publisher you choose and the agreed upon overall fee. This means that you as an author are fronting a large portion of the cost. These costs can range anywhere from $5K to $20K. Blue Handle is not a Hybrid Publisher, but a traditional small press that hopes to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.

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Book Printing cost

Self Publishing

That cost can be as little as $4 to $6 a book if you are printing a standard fiction novel without pictures and following standard margins. You can easily upload your book into the Amazon or IngramSpark portal to get the exact cost and order books on demand when you need them, though this process often takes 2 weeks (it’s not quick).

Traditional Publishing

This costs nothing up front to the author, but it can cost in the life of the book. Once a traditional publisher decides to sign you as an author with a royalty advance, the printing costs nothing from the author’s end. You are leaving it up to the publisher to make printing decisions (initial amounts etc.), so it is difficult to determine the cost of printing from the author’s perspective when signed traditionally. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be marketed. It’s not just about writing a book, but the audience for it, the timing and more.

Hybrid Publishing

When working with a hybrid publisher, the printing cost, like all other costs, is often included in the overall price which means they typically charge you a package fee. They will work on your book, help you get it ready and market it for a set amount. This means, as an author, you are fronting a large portion of the cost and this amount can range anywhere from $5K to $20K with hybrid publishing. Blue Handle is not a Hybrid Publisher. We are a traditional small press that wants to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.

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Book Shipping cost

Self Publishing

If you are self-publishing, the cost is based on USPS (which is usually the cheapest). Media Mail shipping is a cost-effective way to send educational materials. Media Mail rates are limited to the items listed below: Books (at least 8 pages), etc. This cost is often $3-$5 for one book. It’s calculated by size and weight, along with the distance it’s traveling. Most of the cost is in the size and weight, the distance just changes time (if domestic).

Traditional Publishing

Once a traditional publisher decides to sign you as an author with a royalty advance, the shipping costs nothing from the author’s end. You are leaving it up to the publisher to handle shipping logistics, so it is difficult to determine the cost of shipping from the author’s perspective when signed traditionally. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be marketed, so the publisher covers the distribution costs.

Hybrid Publishing

Shipping costs with hybrid publishers are often baked into the price (included), which means they charge you a package fee. They will work on your book, help you get it ready and market and distribute it. This also means you are fronting a large portion of the cost. The costs for hybrid publishers can range anywhere from $5K to $20K, depending on which hybrid publisher you choose. Blue Handle is not a Hybrid Publisher, but a traditional small press that aims to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.

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Book Marketing cost

Self Publishing

If you are self-published it should cost what you can afford. Growing an audience for a book takes time, especially if you aren’t already involved in social media or other platforms that draw attention. If you’re self-publishing, and wondering when to start getting involved with social media, the answer is the time is yesterday. When you’re self publishing, you should find a monthly number you can afford and commit to it for a year, and allocate the proper budgets for spending on Amazon advertising, social media advertising and email blasts.

Traditional Publishing

This costs nothing up front to the author, but it can cost in the life of the book. Once a traditional publisher decides to sign you as an author with a royalty advance, the marketing costs nothing from the author’s end. You are leaving it up to the publisher to make marketing decisions and establish a budget, so it is difficult to determine the cost of marketing from the author’s perspective when signed traditionally. Traditional publishing is an investment in the work you created to be marketed. It’s not just about writing a book, but the audience for it, the timing and more.

Hybrid Publishing

The marketing cost when working with hybrid publishers is often baked into the price (included), which means they will charge you a package fee. They will work on your book, help you get it ready and market it. This also means you, as an author, are fronting a large portion of the cost, anywhere from $5K to $20K. Blue Handle is not a Hybrid Publisher, but a traditional small press that hopes to encourage, support and develop great writers as a way to grow and improve the industry.

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