Sunday, May 21, 2023

The Cost of Publishing


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

It is a common question I get from writers, “Does your publishing program have a financial cost?” The answer is not simple and the reality is every type of publishing costs--even self-publishing. Thousands of new books are published every day through the Amazon Kindle program. The costs can be minimal but then you have to reach your audience and sell the book. I often say that making books is easy but selling books is a completely different story.

As an author, you will have to weigh the cost for your path. Ive met authors who have paid over $10,000 to self-publish. By the time, they hired an editor, a cover designer, a layout designer the pages, it cost to get their book into the market. As this friend who spent $10,000 told me, when he looked back, he wished he had gone with Morgan James Publishing because then his book would be in bookstores and not just on Amazon but over 1,800 online bookstores. If you go the traditional route, you will need to create a book proposal and possibly find a literary agent (unless you meet a publisher at a writers conference). 

Even if you traditional publish, you will need to spend time marketing and reaching your audience. Whether your publisher gives you this information or not, understand the majority of the marketing (80%) will be up to you.

As you make your choice about the publishing path, I encourage you to get advice and help from others but be aware that advice could cost you. Recently an author emailed me who had three independent publishing contract offers and wanted my help in a phone call. I responded and was willing to help--but not for free. 

Admittedly I have a lot of free online information through my blog, free ebooks, my newsletters and other places. Yet when you are looking for my specific help for your contracts or publishing advice, I encourage you to expect to pay something for that help. From my decades in this business, the cost is minimal for the savings and value you will receive.

I compare such a request to having a friend who is a physician and youve gotten ill and need a prescription, you would not expect this friend to help without charging. Why would you expect it for a publishing question? Yet this author wrote me assuming I would call her, freely giving my counsel without charge. It is not a realistic expectation. Even if you publish with an independent publisher like Morgan James Publishing, it will cost you.

The road isnt easy but success and selling books is possible on any of these paths. The exploration process costs nothing other than your time. What process do you use to count the cost of publishing? Let me know in the comments below. 


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