I have five published books and hundreds of columns in multiple platforms to my credit. I learned to publish the hard way. Let me briefly summarize my experience and the lessons for other authors.
A book before it goes becomes available to readers goes through the following steps:
1) Editing: I recommend that the author edits his/her book five times. The first couple of passes are focused on structure and presentation next three are on language, clarity, and ease of reading.
2) External editing: Even after five edits, the book should be edited at least twice by an external editor. Your book needs to be looked at by a fresh set of eyes that the external editor brings to the table. The cost of a good editor ranges from anything between $1000 to $5000. If you get a book deal from a publisher you can save this expense. The final editing and book production is taken care of by the publisher
3) In case, you are unable to get a book deal and an external publisher, you will have to take the self-publishing route. Book production is a complex activity and goes through a series of steps-
a) The edited text has to be converted into a format that will enable it to be printed like a book. In a print edition, the inner margins are smaller and the outer margins are a bit larger, the images have to be placed at the right places, table of contents, and other pages like Bibliography, word index, Author bio, book inner jacket, outer jacket all these are designed using multiple software.
For e-version of the book, the formatting guidelines are different so that the book can be conveniently read on a Kindle, or any other mobile or other devices.
b) Book covers have to be designed for each edition- print or electronic (Kindle, etc.) Specifications of covers differ from publisher to publisher platform. (Amazon, Google Play, Kobe, etc., )
The cost of formatting and preparing the book for print and ebook varies from $700 to $1000.
c) If you want to produce an audiobook, then there are additional costs of narration and book cover design. This process is a bit more complicated and I will leave this part for another time.
d) Book distribution and marketing are additional and essential costs. These vary from platform to platform. Distributors electronic and others normally take anything 30% 40% of the list price of the book as commission. Marketing costs are additional. These are recurring costs that an author should budget for. Depending on the title and the author these costs would vary. At the minimum, it is best to budget $200 per month on this account.
This is just a summary. The costs given above are tentative and will vary with the number of pages of the book, the genre, the author’s popularity, and other factors.
If you have a title to be published, the self-publishing way, you can reach out to us. We do non-fiction titles and can take care of editing, production, publishing, and marketing.