How Much Does it Cost to Self Publish…

Well, folks – I am going to be honest with you. It’s not cheap. I will tell you that up front. Although there are ways around it – especially if you are young and new and don’t have a steady source of income that allows you to save up for these pricey items (trust me, you will need to save up). So today I am going to break down how much I paid (or in some ways would have paid) in order to get The God Queen up and running and in your hands.


  • Scrivener

Everyone has their preferred word processor. I first heard about Scrivener from author Veronica Roth (author of the Divergent series). I decided to take a look and honestly, I am a huge fan. I have had it for years and even recently invested in the app version so I can access my work from my iPad. It’s a great tool, but not for everyone.

Initial cost of Scrivener: $70 (~61€)


  • Editor

After doing a lot of research, I was actually introduced to my editor through another writer friend I met through IAC (Indie Author Central). If you are interested in knowing who she is here’s a link to her site Writers Untapped. I give a 100% endorsement, she is worth her weight in gold!

But how much did she cost?

Well, I was lucky enough that she was willing to look at more than the normal 3,000 sample most editors ask for before they give you an estimate. Her package for me included a developmental edit (with light line edits) as well as a copy edit, a Skype date (super helpful since I live in Germany and she….well…doesn’t), as well as homework/recommendations of books in my genre to help me with planning down the line as well as other books on the craft. Her copy edits range in price based on how much grammar work your manuscript is going to need. I went through about 4 rounds of betas before I met up with my editor and it showed because I got the lowest price. Thank your beta readers, folks!

My editor cost me: $2,835 (~2500€)


  • Formatting

Formatting is making sure your book fit within the confines of either your ereader or book. If you don’t format correctly, the words can get lost in the binding or the paragraphs don’t line up the way they’re supposed to. Readers notice this, make sure it’s done well.

But how much did it cost?

Well….I got super lucky here as I got Vellum as a birthday present and it made my formatting a breeze!

Cost of formatting: $0 (~0€)

Cover Reveal 1

  • Cover Artist

Again, I did this on my own with the help of my fabulous sister who is a designer. You should check out my blog post about my inspiration and where I found my images. I loved making my cover, but I know it’s not for everyone. You do have to make that decision yourself, but if you can afford it and have no background in design – I suggest you do it. By doing it myself, I also saved my wallet from spending about $500 (sometimes formatting is also included in the price)

Cost of book cover $0 (~0€)


  • ISBN

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and every book and each of its forms requires one. That means that the paperback for The God Queen requires one and the ebook requires another. One will cost you $125 and I needed three (paperback, EPUB and MOBI ebooks). HOWEVER, there’s a special bulk price that will lower the price to about $29 each. How? Well, you buy 10 ISBNs at about $295. Since I plan to do a trilogy, this is package will be useful for the future books.

Cost of ISBN: $295 through Bowker (~258€)

Cost of ISBN: 180€ through German-ISBN (~$205)


  • Copyright Registration

Technically you own the copyright to your book once you put pen to paper. But I have been working on this book for far too long to not want paperwork. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand ten years in the pharma industry has taught me “if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen.” So while I know I don’t need it, I did it anyway.

Cost of Copyright Registration: $55 (~48€)


  • IngramSpark

I actually went with both Amazon and Ingram Spark for my printer services. I will delve into the why in another blog post. Amazon is free but Ingram charges you for their services. If you want your books sold in book stores – you need to use Ingram.

Cost of Ingram Spark: $49 (~43€)


  • Miscellaneous

Now I did spend some money for some bits of marketing ($29 for one month at PlaceIt for mock-ups) and for each of my Advance Reader Copies I will have to send out during my presale. But this is where it varies – you can do as much or as little as you want based on your budget. I haven’t started sending ARCs yet, so I don’t have a price at the moment.

PlaceIt One Month Subscription: $29 (~25€)

Total Amount Currently Spent: ~$3,243 (~2.847€)

There you have it, folks. Here’s a quick run down of what I have spent (or saved). Everyone has different priorities about what they would rather spend their money on. And they are all entitled to it. The important thing is to try and produce the best work possible. Obviously, as a debut author you will want to save money where you can…until you can figure out future ROIs. But at least you know how much The God Queen is currently costing me…

What about the rest of you? How is your budget looking? If you had limited funds, what would you spend your money on?

In the meantime, if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you probably already know this. If you want a behind the scenes peek of my upcoming novel, The God Queen, then sign up for my newsletter! Just click the subscribe button below!


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