What Does it Cost to Self-Publish?
Absolutely nothing. But your book will disappear without a sound. Or a reader.
In actuality, to self (or indie) publish your book, you should budget $4,000 to $10,000.
I know that sounds like a crazy number but I'll spell it out for you and what you'll be getting for your money. Also remember that these costs come in stages over time and the higher costs, like editing, are almost always billed in installments. So take a deep breath. Better to be prepared and informed than broadsided by these realities.
So what are the costs, anyway, just what are we talking about? For substantive and copy editing (also known as proofreading) the cost depends on the word count and, to some degree, on the level of your writing and the genre of the book. So let's use a nice, round word count here of 80K words.
But wait! That's less than six grand! Ah. Right. But that's before we add PR and Marketing.
PR and Marketing:
From $100 to $5,000 (check Bibliocrunch) Notice that is is only a priority if your goal for the book is to have it read (and sold!) as widely as possible.
Where to find Reviews and Pre-Publication Services:
Cost of review from Kirkus: $425
Cost of review from BlueInk Reviews: $396
Cost of review from Publishers Weekly PW Select: $149
Is it Possible to Get These Costs Down?
You might be able to get deals, here and there. The adage "you get what you pay for" very much comes into play but it could be the case that you know a GREAT cover artist and can get a good deal, or a trade, even. Never say never. But editorial costs, beta read reports, etc. are generally in the cost ballpark as above.
Can You Walk Me All the Way Through the Editorial Piece of This Process?
Yes. I not only complete the substantive (or developmental) edit, but I will then connect you first, to beta readers that I trust and who deliver professional reports and then to copy editor/proofreaders who are available, affordable and recommended.