The Real Cost of a Book

How much does a fiction book cost? Up front, it seems like a minimal expense. $0.99, $4.99, maybe even $7.99. Few are over $20, even for brand new hardcover books. But how much does it really cost? How much does it take to create a novel?

There are quite a few costs associated with bringing a book to life, least of all the cost of living while writing the story. That in and of itself is not cheap, but for now, let’s focus on the actual quantifiable costs directly associated with book production.

Editing is a huge expense. And by huge, I mean quality developmental editing (aka: editing for the basic story) costs at a minimum $1000. Good developmental editors are hard to find and they do not come cheap. You might be asking why we need developmental editors. The simple fact is that writers are often too close to their stories. We carry the story in our head, in much more detail than makes it onto the page. We need trained eyes to help us refine the written story and make it as powerful as we want it to be.

There are also the costs of line editing (basic grammar, etc), which is done separately from developmental editing, and proofreading (the final check for typos before publication). Both of those can cost several hundred dollars each.

A war is coming. Which side are you on?

A war is coming. Which side are you on?

Cover Design
A good cover is essential to selling a book. The cover is the first thing a reader sees. It is the first glimpse one gets into what the book is about. Simple cover art from a skilled graphic designer costs a minimum of $150. If you want custom art? It’s nearly $500.

Post-Publication Costs
Expenses don’t end once the book is published. All authors must market their books if they want to be even remotely successful. The cost of this ranges widely, but my average yearly advertising budget runs about $2000.

If you were wondering why authors are turning to crowdfunding nowadays to help fund the costs of writing a novel instead of footing the bill themselves, I’m sure you now understand the reason.¬†Writing is just like any other business. To publish a book successfully, it requires three very important things: time, money, and dedication.

Thank you for helping me support my book writing habit and being a part of my writing and marketing team. =D
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Happy Reading!

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