All the elements in producing a book

How Much Does Publishing a Book Cost?
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How Much Does Publishing a Book Cost?

Here we’re talking about how much it costs to self-publish a print book, not an eBook.

There are a million types of book marketing costs, but for production, it’s straightforward. If you want to mainly DIY and write for a sideline, you can use a free layout tool (like Reedsy editor) and buy a cover design from a high-rated cover designer on Fiverr.

Amazon KDP is free to upload your titles but competitor IngramSpark costs US$49.

However, if you want in-store retail distribution, don’t use either, find a book distributor instead. (The costs for this include printing & shipping a bunch of books that may not sell).

Here, let’s suppose you want a professional finish. Editing is usually the largest cost, or writing coaching if you want support from near the start of writing. (This can include structural help). The editor helps to determine whether it will be comprehensive editing or copy editing. You’ll probably have some idea too, for example, if you can’t keep track of repetition and topics are jumping, you’ll know you need more in-depth editing.

The next largest cost is book design, which is a good way to judge a book’s professional standards.

Why Have Professional Book Design/Typesetting?

One day I was at an event and I picked up a book that was about LinkedIn. I looked inside and noticed that all the line spacing, called leading, was all single. That book would be hard to read. It is more usual to have at least 4 points between lines (e.g. 12pt type, 16pt leading).

Points are the standard measurement for line spacing and typefaces. (Note the word ‘font’ means the particular weight (e.g. bold) and style of type, not the kind, like Minion Pro.)

Typical Book Production Costs – Australia

ItemWho?DescriptionUnit PriceLine Total
Book cover  Ngirl Design
Including front, back, spine, 2 mockups, unlimited revision, and 3D shot.You provide graphic image:  $330 incl. GST

Stock graphics cost from $6 – 12.
eBook DesigningOpal Editing  – Fully designed in easily downloaded PDF (option 1) – With ePub and navigable TOC (previewed) (option 2)Standard $90 or
Fancy $200


Book formattingBAACreation of print book to style (matched to cover). Done in InDesign. Artwork is print ready.$400 – $1,000 quoted, including client liaison
Copy EditingPower of Words  Line editing of all grammar, punctuation, spelling, and help with clarity for reader3 cents per word in most cases. Total words x .03 
Comprehensive EditingPower of WordsStructuring chapters, referencing (style), suggestions to keep to readership level, focus on consistency of message, pages needed (front matter/back matter), plus Line editing on revision round 2.Around 7 cents per word.
$1,750 – 25K words.
$2,990 – 45K words. Two rounds.  
Printing (from 1 copy)IngramSparkPrinting includes perfect bound paperback, B&W interior, colour cover. From 64 pp to 250 pp.
(Colour interior: arrange with book printer)
From $3.50 to $7.50 per book, depending on size and print order quantity. Ship & handling varies. 
Proof copy  Proof copy sent to author Averages $30, including P&H   $30
 ISBN reg.Thorpe-Bowker New registration: $55
Each ISBN: $44, pack of 10 $88 – 100
Suggest pack of 10 $143 
These costs can vary a lot, depending on which providers you use for your book and in which country they live. AUD costs.

It could cost around $5,000 to produce a book professionally, using Australian talent. However, you can save some cash if you take up our Diamond Editing Edge (medium length $3,000 – 3,500) + publishing add-on package. This is not featured on this site but the publishing production is described.

The Costs of an Editor

When choosing an editor, it pays to select someone who has done a university course in communications or languages. There are editors on Kindle Community Boards charging 1 cent a word, however, I suspect they are more looking for mistakes rather than creating a solid work, a great work.

There is also the costs of advertising, and some OPTIONS are mentioned here:

When I get design done for my books, I try a book cover designer on Fiverr. I can fix it myself but you probably cannot, so contact Narelle (NGirlDesign), Red Raven books or similar.


So, how much does publishing a book cost? It obviously depends on your quality level sought – amateur, fun publishing or professional, career publishing.

The Content Wizard: How it Helps Professionals
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The Content Wizard: How it Helps Professionals

It’s just fine to do indie publishing on your own, but here at Business Author Academy, we’ve found that there are so many elements to get right. The process of self-publishing a quality book can be both daunting and time-consuming, particularly for businesspeople.

There are subsidy publishers and editors of all kinds, and some plainly don’t care about results… so what makes our offering different?

Define the Purpose of Writing your Book for Business

There are several problems with taking your expertise to market. The largest one is not dedicating time to it.  While writing a book or program is unwieldy and time-consuming up front, if you’ve got a big PURPOSE for writing a book for business, boom, motivation problem solved. This could be helping a charity close to your heart or shining the light on a problem that’s been a past source of agony for you.

Problem: One Offer, Low Revenue Base

Independent consultants and coaches need to grow income from more than just services, to diversify some away from their TIME. When someone is sick, their billings stop—and so does their income. Also, it’s really hard to sell the business or spin-off assets left and right with one-to-one services. 

To create more streams of income, you must offer books, audiobooks, an online training course/s, keynotes or group work, presentation, and if you’re game, online memberships or apps. (I don’t recommend creating an app). 

For the base of all this, a visual model is recommended in order for people to understand easily what your system stands for. Sometimes it’s not a visual tool; it could be a set of acronyms that are steps. (Renee Hasseldine says the ideal is 3 to 7 steps for an educate model.) 

A worthy goal is both rewarding spiritually and will eventually repay your time and investment into learning and creating.


Rule 1:  Any products added must make a gross profit of 30% 

Look at your business model and see if you already have a gross profit. Any new product or package you offer must have this profit margin built in. It’s just good business!

Rule 2:  Employ better branding and positioning, make 1-to-1 rare and lucrative, and add bonuses for packages or online programs. 

Laser-focussed branding and positioning will help you attract higher-level people, so you can increase your value. Ensure all your content marketing material is speaking the same message to your niche segments (or one niche).

bonuses for your reader


Rule 3:  Add online systems that solve problems for selected people, rather than working more consulting hours

You can set up a sales system that starts from a low-cost buy (e.g. a book) and offer various up-sell products for more in-depth needs. You can do this with Samcart (link below). 

Group training might be more effective profit-wise than even one-on-one coaching and you can still add the ‘personal touch’. Denise Duffield-Thomas does this very well, with her Money Mastery group events.

more profits from writing

Rule 4:  Break down the steps and make better Intellectual Property

Communicating of your key message — your IP that has the highest value — is often hard for the professional. So much to offer!  Begin by breaking it down into simple steps or a visual model. This can really help to write the book / training program.

Recommended Solutions:

1. Create authority and credibility with a well-produced book and a clear message, thus attracting clients to you.

2. Add to that with an online course and an audiobook

3. Getting some friendly sales but not enough income?  Add to that with a membership site or an up-selling system. Try Samcart Basic to help sell, online. It’s $19US a month instead of the $99 a month mentioned on their website pricing page.  I am not an affiliate.

4. I use Memberpress here for Book Creation Success club, and it’s fantastic. You need to have WordPress first, and it’s an extra cost for developing the course pages or just use the normal WordPress block editor. 


Remembering your Purpose for Writing a Book

Along with this, it’s important to remember your purpose all the way through the process of book publishing. It’s no good spending all your time on your book and nothing on promoting it on your blog, in media interviews, in podcast guest spots, or other ways. Remember the 5 marketing things every day that Jack Canfield & M V Hansen did when promoting Chicken Soup for the Soul.

If you keep in mind the purpose of reaching your audience with your impassioned message… no doubt you will succeed.

Book Writing Outline

There is a chasm between how novice and expert authors outline and write their book. Now, a lot of people writing a non-fiction book approach their writing like this:

Have an idea, start brainstorming, attack it with gusto, have too much content, rearrange it, find an angle, hire an editor, editor does a review and two rounds of changes, mould a final book, write blurb, hope it sells.

I used to be one of those people, so hey, I get it. But then I thought, what if I put some planning and research into those steps… would that help?

Producing a Book, with VA Help

1. Producing Your Book Costs Time and Money

Writing a ‘serious’ book takes a really long time. Producing a book takes, in some cases, even longer. In one case, it took 72 hours to proofread, layout, produce, administrate and convert the eBook for a self-published client book. 

If you want a copy editor to do a ‘quick run-through’, remember that she or he must take it to a publishable standard. Editing a book properly takes quite some time, but this depends on whether your book needs structural editing help, developmental suggestions (a manuscript review)–or simply a copy edit. It is not just your budget that constrains this editing; it’s also the skill level of your editor. 

So, a 30,000-word non-fiction book may take between 22 hours and 30 hours for me to line edit in one pass. I’m good at spotting things that don’t sound right. So, a client-focussed editing project might cost between AU$1,400 and $2,000 for a 30,000-word book, for a rough idea. Overseas editors might charge less, but you might not know if they are up to standard.

Author VA to help produce book

Producing and Marketing a Book with Virtual Assistance

Self-publishing processes and book marketing takes much time to learn. Many novices Google to find a solution and end up with a basic author services package that costs $2,000 – $3,000. This normally doesn’t cover the marketing angle! There are a few good Australian self-publishing companies whom I recommend, e.g. Publicious (small, Gold Coast) and Fontaine (large). Under no circumstances should you just choose a company you clicked on the Google ad of, without further research. 

So, perhaps spend 2-3 hours researching and interviewing a local freelance book editor, marketing VA, and book designer. It’s worth it. A Virtual Author Assistant will free up your time. There is a small group of Australian virtual author assistants on FB and although it’s a closed group, you can apply and say you’re a client. 

You can also try to find an author VA on the global VA Directory. The worst place to find an Author VA would be Upwork or similar; I think you know why. 

The best thing an author can do is to focus on benchmarks that they want to achieve.

Book Production or Marketing Tasks  to Outsource

Some of the fiddly and time-consuming things an awesome Author VA can do:

* Fill out all the ISBN details at Thorpe, once collated. 

* Ensure the book’s Search Inside (Amazon) is working and upload PDF preview or widget to website. 

* Communicate with your book designer on some matters, like the PDF and upload problems you don’t want to handle!

* Fill out meta data at your Printer/POD, and send your final PDFs

* Advise on and/or create a website book sales page, if they have this skill

* Set up your Amazon author page at Amazon Central.

* Set up your Goodreads author profile and claim any books you’ve written

* Set up a BookLife, Scribd and BookBub profile and book title (optional)

* Integrate book promotion images and ideas into your social media postings

* Update your social media profile headers to include the book and author image.

Keep Focussed on your Outcomes, Not Production

What do you want to do with your book? There are lots of ideas for utilising it: 

  • Sell it at training and speaking events? 
  • Give it away as a prospect offering (ensuring to capture contact details)? 
  • Send it out to referrers?  
  • Keep it low-priced for new subscriber offers on emails? 

If the multitude of things in the ‘Tasks to Outsource’ list above sounds like it is worth it to outsource (your hourly rate being at least twice theirs), then offloading means you can focus on strategy and relationships.

Building relationships with similar others and educational portals in your niche is a wonderful thing. Focussing on your Linkedin and blog content can pay off too; not forgetting trade magazine articles, Women’s Network articles, etc.

Preparing a 1-sentence pitch about your book’s thesis can also come in handy, when someone asks for your expertise.

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