How Much Does Writing A Book Really Cost?

By on July 8, 2017
How Much Does Writing A Book Really Cost? - Writer's

Starting to write your novel can be a truly exciting feeling for any author. The knowledge that you’ve got a book inside you just waiting to be written, the excitement of the story that’s waiting to burst forth, and the anticipation of the highs and lows to come can all be thrilling.

However, something that many novice writers don’t consider is how much it costs to write a book. It’s easy to think that you won’t have tp spend any money crafting your novel, but in reality, this is far from true.

The facts are if you want to write a novel that sells, while there is much you can do to that you won’t have to pay for, there are some inevitable costs that are well worth considering before you commit yourself to the mammoth task that is writing and completing a book.

So what are the costs that every writer should be prepared for?

Your time

OK, so technically there is no reason why you can’t write a book in your spare time and continue to keep your day job as a way of paying the bills. However, it takes a great deal of effort and time to complete a novel - and your time is precious. While you can’t pay yourself for your writing until you start selling your book, or get a publishing deal, it is worth considering how much time you can spend writing your book, and how much that time is worth.

Professional editing

If you want your book to sell well you need to have it professionally edited. There are different kinds of editing services out there, from a simple spelling and grammar check to a hugely in-depth analysis and critique of your novel. At the very least your book should be well-written and error free before you can expect people to buy it, and even if you are eagle-eyed when it comes to finding mistakes, it’s always better to employ the services of a professional for ultimate peace of mind.

Your book cover

Unless you are a professional designer, creating your own book cover spells disaster for your book. It immediately looks unprofessional and readers won’t want to spend their money on it. A professionally designed cover gives a good first impression and means your book is far more likely to be accepted by the trade too.

Getting an ISBN

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and is important if you intend to sell your book in print form and want to get it into physical bookshops and libraries etc. If you only want to produce an electronic version of your book you don’t need to have an ISBN, but otherwise, you do need to purchase one.

Printing and distribution costs

You may wish to pay a professional printer to print copies of your book and then distribute them yourself, or you may wish to use a print on demand service so the costs are covered by the sale price of your book. Either way printing costs are important to factor in when you are pricing your book and setting sales goals.

Marketing your book

If you have self-published your book you need to do everything you can to get it noticed. There are a huge number of options and services out there to help you market your book, from businesses who will promote it on social media, to buying advertising space on popular, relevant websites. While you can do a lot of marketing yourself, a professional will have a huge range of contacts which means press pickups, social media hype and even radio interviews are possible - all of which will help to get your book noticed and increase sales.

Of course, there are huge variations in terms of what level of service you choose when it comes to editing and cover design, as well as how much you are willing to spend on distribution. However, it is important to be aware of the costs of creating your book - and, while throwing lots of money into marketing won’t necessarily make it a bestseller, the bigger budget you have the more avenues you can explore, and the more likely you are to get your book noticed by a wider, more interested audience.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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