How to publish on the cheap concerns writers who might not have the money to do what they love and publish all of their books. You could have twenty books to publish, but the costs involved are prohibitive. There have been articles written about how much it costs to self-publish a novel, but I want to say that the costs needn’t be so high.
Some people will say you need a professional cover designer. They will tell an author their book needs a professional editor, copy editor, and/or proof reader. The costs can certainly climb in this situation. There are free options here or near to free, including critique swaps and doing your own research with grammar. Learning how to use Adobe software, like Photoshop. Watching videos on YouTube about how to publish and format.
I love to save money and something I’ve found that’s really cool about going down the cheapest avenues is that you learn how to do things for yourself. You actually get better at everything you do and you get in to the mindset that you can do this—whatever it may be.
Don’t believe everything you read on the web. That’s a good rule to follow, but when you read the necessity of hiring a professional cover artist who charges $500 for a book cover, you have to ask yourself whether that decision makes economic sense.
Having no money can be a gift, because it gives you the opportunity to try to do it all by yourself. It’s not easy of course, but there are heaps of rewards for doing it this way.
- You save money.
- You don’t have to pay anybody to fix something on your website or pay to fix errors in your newly formatted book.
- You can add whatever you like to your formatted book without having to pay $50 for each symbol or picture.
- You learn how to create your own author logos, how to add graphics to your website, how to create your own website so you are never disappointed—if you’re not happy, there’s no back and forth with a reluctant designer to get them to fix it.
- You learn as an author you don’t just need an editor hat. You need a designer, business person, marketer, promoter, formatter and proof reader hat.
- You can create your own book trailers.
The sky is the limit, really. If you want to learn how to do something, the Internet is an endless resource.
Ultimately, I’ve been disappointed by artists who charge high prices. I find the work isn’t worth the money. Plus, every time you’ve figured out they’ve done a lacklustre job, you’re so sick of emailing them about corrections that you just take it on the chin.
Hugh Howey has touched on how cheaply you can self-publish on Amazon. You don’t need to pay for an ISBN for an eBook. You just get a free Amazon ASIN. You can pay for quality images, which is a lot cheaper than $500, and you can learn how to create your own book covers and format eBooks with YouTube tutorials. All it takes is patience, a lot of determination and a lack of funds. Like I said, sometimes being hard up is actually a gift.
You probably won’t try doing everything cheaply if you have enough money to pay, but I wanted to let others know self-publishing can be inexpensive. Have you ever bought something at the shops, then realised you didn’t really need it? Then you recalled those times when you were more budget conscious, and you made better financial decisions. You weighed everything—plus made things on your own—like sewing your own clothes or knitting.
Personally, I created my own website with a professional theme. Then I watched YouTube tutorials about how to create eBook covers. I also researched formatting, email subscriptions, widgets, excerpt pages . . . you name it, the list goes on and it will continue to go on as I grow as an author.
An author of many hats.