The Smart Self-Publisher’s Guide to Cost in the UK: A 2023 Update

Self-publishing is becoming popular in recent years, allowing authors to ditch the traditional routes of publishing books. Now many authors want to take charge of their publishing matters as well. The main reason to do that is cost cutting. Starting off as an author itself is challenging. You have to go through different hurdles in writing. But the problem doesn’t end here. They usually trap themselves in scam ghostwriting service providers or publication companies which eventually force them to break the bank with their hefty charges that don’t seem to end. That usually encourages new authors to take publishing matters into their hands. However, the majority of publishers are unaware of the cost associated with self-publishing.

Self-publishing in the UK can be a cost-effective way to bring your book to the market, but it’s important for authors to understand the costs involved in each step to ensure a smooth publication journey. 

To help you make an informed and smart decision, we have compiled some advice to this guide for you to understand the cost incurred in self publishing in the UK in 2023.  

Book Editing 

There are many other costs that you should consider too. Other than marketing, distribution and printing cost, you may have to spend on editing and proofreading costs. In the UK, the charges can vary from £900 – £3000 depending on the experience of the editor. You may also choose a less experienced editor to keep your cost low. There are many freelancer sites like fiverr and upwork you can use to find a good and reliable person for your book editing. 

Book Design & Formatting

While formatting is considered an easy job to do, it’s actually not. Authors hire people for the formatting of their book to make it more appealing and managed. Without book formatting, your book is just a manuscript. 

Once your book is ready, it’s time to get a cover designed. Without a good cover, your book is pretty much useless. Like I say, “People do judge a book by its cover”. Depending on your budget, you can hire a designer for your book. The complexity of the design and other factors can affect the rates. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £300 to £800 for a full book design and formatting.

Printing Cost

First cost that you have to bear when self publishing is printing. There are two printing options available in the UK that are widely used: Traditional offset printing and digital printing. 

Traditional Offset Printing

Traditional offset printing is the conventional method of printing where a large number of books are printed at once. This makes it cost effective but has its own setbacks too. This printing can be good if you’re a professional author and is well known to the audience because this increases your chances of good sales of your books. Otherwise, printing for smaller units will be pretty expensive. 

Digital Printing

What happens usually is you set a number of units to print and most of the time you couldn’t sell them all. This way you end up losing a big chunk of money. That is exactly where digital printing helps. Digital printing is an effective method of printing because it uses digital technology and prints books on demand. It’s much more cost effective if you want to print smaller units in the beginning and have faster turnarounds. 

While choosing a printing option, consider factors like print quality, your requirements, number of units and costs of shipping. One thing you should consider is your format. Before, printing decides for what platform you’re going. You can choose to go for hardcopy, audiobook and ebook. 

Most authors spend around £2000 – £5000 on average to self-publish their book. 

To give you some idea, here’s an average amount author have to pay to self publish your 500 pages book:

  • Cost of book printing (each): £8-15

Distribution Cost

Once your book has been printed, you’ll need to distribute it to reach your target audience. There are several distribution channels available to self-publishers in the UK, including online retailers, bookstores, and libraries.

Online retailers such as Amazon offer a range of self-publishing options, with varying costs for each. For example, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform offers free book distribution, while the Expanded Distribution option costs a fee per book.

Bookstores and libraries can also be a great way to reach your target audience, but you’ll need to factor in the cost of marketing and promotion to make it happen.

When choosing a distribution channel, it’s important to consider factors such as the target audience, the cost of distribution, and the reach of the channel.

Marketing Cost

Marketing is an important part of the self publishing process, while helping you build your readership and reach your audience effectively. For marketing in the UK, You can go for several marketing channels including social media, email marketing, influencer marketing etc. 

Social media is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, but it takes time and effort to build a following. Email marketing can be a more direct way to reach your target audience, but it may also require a larger budget. Book events, such as signings and readings, can be a great way to build a following, but they can also be expensive to organize.Influencer marketing can be pretty expensive too, but it can get you to a new readership audience. 

Your marketing success depends on the strategy. It can be influenced by factors like your audience, budget and goals. Make sure to plan beforehand and give yourself a budget before diving into it. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from £500 to £5,000 on marketing and promotion.

Wrap up

This blog will tell you about why self-publishing in the UK can be expensive, and how careful you can plan it and budgeting, it’s possible to keep costs low and still produce a high-quality book. By choosing your self-publishing services carefully, investing in professional editing, design, and formatting, and promoting your book effectively, you can achieve success as a self-publisher and get in the best.

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