Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to publish my book?
Where are you based?
How much does it cost to publish a book?
This depends on a great many factors — how many words in your book, how much editing and preparation is required, how many ‘complex’ elements it has, such as illustrations, footnotes, verse, text boxes or an index, how much you want to spend on the cover design and, of course, how much you budget for marketing. Then there’s the question of whether you want it as a print book, ebook or both.
If the manuscript is ready for publication (there will usually be costs such as editing or illustrations to get it to this stage), most books would typically cost in the range of $4,000–$10,000, depending on the factors above, to get from manuscript to publication. Printing costs would typically be about $3–7 a unit for small quantities (one or more) using print-on-demand (POD). In fact, most self-publishers should avoid ordering large quantities of books unless they have distribution, a sales force and firm orders in place.
Finally, there’s promotion. While there are a great many free options open to self-publishers, it’s best to allocate a budget to support your promotional efforts. It doesn’t have to be large — and to start with it shouldn’t be since you’re usually best to test and have some money in reserve when you know what’s working. But it will open up more options for you.
Please note that our full service approach goes well beyond just producing the book files so it’s important to consider the total project requirements. Receiving a box of books is not “getting published”!
There are no hidden costs, commissions or margins in our service. These can be used to make the initial cost appear low but will inflate the costs over the whole project. A common example is printing where some services will sell authors a large print run, or offer their books at a small discount from an inflated retail price. Our approach is to let you set your own retail prices and pass on printing at cost (the same prices publishers pay). If you’d like to get a better idea of the total likely costs for your book, contact us for a free, no-obligation quote.
What is print-on-demand (POD)?
“Print-on-demand” refers to a printing system that lets you economically order paperback or hardback books in black and white or colour, as you need them, as few as one at a time, rather than having to print hundreds or thousands. It’s the system we recommend in most cases for self-published books.
Unlike local printshops, the systems we use provide worldwide distribution as well as printing.
This allows you to produce a bookshop-quality printed edition which can be easily sold online to readers anywhere in the world. And we can extend coverage to allow wholesale supply to more than 30,000 bookshops and libraries around the world. You can also order copies to sell from your website, for events, book signings, etc, at the same low cost price, typically $3–5 per unit plus freight.
Because printed editions have very different layout requirements from ebooks, there are extra costs associated with the cover and text sections of your book. The word count and number of illustrations, if any, will also have an impact on cost. If you already have a printed edition, it’s usually straightforward to adjust your existing book layout for POD.
For longer print runs (typically 750+), you would probably use offset printing which will lower your unit print cost. The same systems we use for print on demand will generate the files for offset printing. However, unless you have a sales force, plus warehousing and distribution facilities in place, this is unlikely to be a good option for most self-publishers.