publishing a book taking notes
Photo by Judit Peter on

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 formattingPower of Words or Graham AbrahamCreation of print book to style (matched to cover). Done in InDesign.
Artwork is print ready.
$400 – $1,100 quoted, including client liaisonAvg. $600 
Copy EditingPower of Words  Line editing of all grammar, punctuation, spelling, and help with clarity for reader3 – 4 cents per word in most cases. Total words x .03 or .04 
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, I first try myself. If that doesn’t look great, I see if I can get a book cover design done on Fiverr. I can change it myself but you probably cannot, so contact Narelle (NGirlDesign) or similar. I have referred many people to either option and also Graham Abraham for designing a history book.


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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.