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  • Writer's pictureIan Brooks

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book?

ready to get published typewriter

The cost of publishing a book pertains mostly to those looking to get self-published. There are two different ways to publish a book. The wrong way and the right way. The wrong way involves writing your book or novel and then putting it up on Kindle or Audible or some other platform of your choice. And then you wait.

The right way to do it is more complicated. The right way is by writing your book, then self-editing it. This is when many new steps have to be introduced when it comes to self-publishing. Beta readers should be hired to give first thoughts on the book. A professional editor needs to give your manuscript a good polish. You will want to have a good cover that makes your book stand out. A proofreader will ensure there are absolutely no spelling mistakes. And then there’s marketing. Both on the platform you have chosen to publish through, Google and Social Media.

The price of publishing your book will also depend on the length of your book as editors and proof-readers charge by the word. And it may be worth getting your book properly formatted. And if you want illustrations you will have to pay for them too. Oof, what an exhausting list.

Some people publish a book for next to nothing. For others it could cost up to €10,000. The typical cost seems to vary somewhere between €500-€4,000. Here is a rough breakdown of the costs for a 60,000-word novel published through Kindle.


An absolutely crucial part of the self-publishing process, editing costs can’t be avoided. If you want to self-publish a quality book, you need to spend that little bit of money on it. There are different types of editing, such as developmental editing, copy editing and line editing. The price should work out at around €750.


Typically, proofreading costs less than editing. This is when someone reads through a book looking for errors such as spelling mistakes. This should be available for €350.


Perhaps an overlooked part of self-publishing, formatting your book professionally means that it will be readable and attractive to the reader. €100.

Cover Design

Getting a cover professionally designed is a shrewd investment. After all, the first thing any reader sees is the book cover. If it’s appealing and eye-catching, it’s likely to sell. Getting someone to design your book cover will cost around €200.


The price of illustrations will vary depending on how many you want in the book, but it could cost around €50 per illustration. If you want, say, ten illustrations, it will set you back €500.

Beta Readers

You don’t have to have a beta reader but they do help in giving early feedback. This could cost around €80.


This is such a major part of self-publishing. Even if you have written the greatest book the world has ever seen, no one will read it if they don’t know about it. Marketing means purchasing and developing a website, running ads on social media, Google and participation at book fairs and events.

The figures here can vary wildly, but we’ll work them out to be €2,000 annually.


In total, the cost of the above comes to €3,980 and that’s not even including things like printing costs, the cut distributors will take, ISBNs, book trailers and audiobook production. Incorporating all of these steps just makes the costs go up and up and up.

This might sound scary, but it shouldn’t be. After all, you’re up against traditional publishers who have massive budgets and know-how of these processes. Plus, if your book is good, then you will be able to recoup the money you spent on it and more!

Of course, you could just play it safe and do it for nothing. No one will read it but at least you’ll be safe. Hmm, sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it?


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