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Self-publishing can get expensive especially if you are just starting out and you only have limited funds for your book.

That is why we present you this blog so that you can effectively know how to control self-publishing costs so that you can finally fulfil your dream of becoming a published author.

In our quest to understand how to save self-publishing costs, we are going to look at the different parameters of self-publishing and most importantly why does it cost and where does it cost.

We will find out the cost of self-publishing a book and which areas are the most expensive and where you can cut costs effectively.

We will essentially learn self-publishing cost management.

Let us start with the things that increase your book publishing costs

Things That Give Rise to Higher Self-Publishing Costs

The Type of Book You Want to Publish

One of the most important factors that will dictate the cost of publishing is going to be the type of book.

When we talk about the type of book, we are going to divide it between the genre of the book as well as the medium in which you want to publish the book.

Genre Of the Book

The genre of the book will dictate how much it is going to cost. If you want to publish a children’s book then you do not have to publish a lot of pages and words and the production cost will be low.

But then again, the children’s book might have pictures and extensive use of colour which might make it even more costly than a novel with simple printing and words.

That is why you must always keep genre in mind if you want to plan a budget-friendly self-publishing for your book.

Medium For Publishing the Book

The second thing you must keep in mind for the best self-publishing financial planning is the medium of the book. This is very simple to understand.

Publishing has different kinds of costs associated with it and the biggest chunk goes to the production of the book.

If you want to produce copies of the book in paperback then the cost of the paper and the printing will add up. If you want to print it in hardback then the cost is going to be even greater.

But if you want to publish the book as an eBook then there are no costs associated with creating the book and creating copies of the book. That is the case with any digital medium apart from audiobooks, they have high initial costs.

The Size of The Book

The length and the size of the book is also a big factor when it comes to cost-effective book publishing.

We are not just talking about having to print a bigger book will cost more as there are a lot of other expenses associated with a bigger book.

A bigger book will require more editing time and more proofreading in order to get the final draft.

Then there comes the issue of printing the book because printing can take up a lot of the budget and it also depends on the quality of the paper and the kind of print you want to have.

The Situation of The Book

The more things you give the self-publishing company to do the more you are going to spend.  That is why if you reach the doorsteps of the company with a complete manuscript then it is only going to cost you to print the book.

However, if you bring the self-publishing company a rough draft then they will have to employ editors and proofreaders to do the final editing.

If you already have the illustrations then all you need to do is to tell them to place it in the book but if you do not have illustrations then the company needs to get their own artist to do the work.

That is also the case when it comes to the book cover as well as the book layout.

The simple matter of the fact is if you are really interested in cutting self-publishing costs then you need to do most of the heavy lifting.

The Self-Publishing Company

And we come to the final piece of the puzzle of minimizing self-publishing expenses. If you want to minimise self-publishing costs then you need the self-publishing company to provide you with affordable plans.

This is going to be the final leg of the journey for affordable self-publishing strategies.

There are thousands of self-publishing companies all over the world and most of them are not going to be affordable. If you find someone affordable then they are most probably new and do not have the quality you need.

That is where we come in because we have decades worth of experience and we bring affordability into the mix. We are not just providing a service; we are fulfilling dreams for authors and that is the simple reason why we are affordable.

Here Are the Approximate Costs of Self-Publishing A Book

Cover Design and Illustrations

We are going to start the approximate costs by telling you that one of the most important things you must plan is the cover design and illustrations.

While it is impossible to tell you an average figure because every data is confidential in the self-publishing industry but we can give you an estimation.

If you want the best kind of cover design then you can expect to spend something between ₹5,000 and ₹10,000.

If you do not want to spend that kind of money with the self-publishing company then you can even get a friend to do it for free.

If you want it to be even more affordable and self-sustaining then you can try the cover design by yourself, but we cannot say the same for the illustrations.

Illustrations can be a bit of a luxury for certain kinds of books but it is in necessity for other kinds of books such as children’s books. That is why you can expect to spend a lot of money on illustrations if you expect good quality.

Editor And Proofreader

One of the other areas where authors spend money is they usually hire editors and proofreaders because they usually reach the self-publishing company with a rough draft.

It is because they might not have the time to do the editing or they might not have the experience to do it and they want a professional to do it.

While it is impossible to tell you a figure that is an average for the industry but editing and proofreading services are usually included within the publishing package of the self-publishing company.

It all depends on how much work it is for the editor and proofreader. If you bring a final draft then you do not even need an editor or you need minor changes. In that case, the cost is negligible.

But if you bring a rough draft then you can expect added costs. You can expect something like ₹10,000 as editor charges.


We are not going to talk about the printing cost because it is impractical to bring out an average because there are so many types of books and so many genres.

However, the printing cost might be 20% to 30% of the MRP. This will give you an idea of what it costs to print the book based on the final price of the book in the market.

Copyright And ISBN

It is very easy to put a simple figure amount on the costs associated with copyright and International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and it is quite straightforward in India.

If you want to copyright any artistic work that is literary in nature then you are only going to need to spend ₹500. All you need to do is to file an application and you can very well do that online with a few important details.

And if you want to get an ISBN then it is free in India. All you need to do is apply for that through the Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency (RRRNA).

They deal with everything related to the ISBN and you will have your number within 50 days. It usually takes less than a month to get an ISBN for your book.

Distribution Costs

When it comes to distribution, it all depends on how you want to distribute the book because if you want to distribute it online through different platforms then they have their own charges.

If you want to distribute it through bookstores then again, they might have different charges and we do not want to take names on what charges they levy and compare them.

It is up to you on which channel or distribution you want to take and you must also keep your budget in mind when you do it.

Formatting The Book

When we talk about book formatting, it is usually a professional process that requires a skilled person to do it.

You might learn how to do it but it might not be enough because the self-publishing company might want it done by their own people. This is because it will help with the printing process and the layout.

But you do not need to worry because this is a complimentary service that comes with the self-publishing plan. This is one of the rudimentary elements of book publishing and that is why it is usually added in the plan.

Book Marketing

Book marketing is something that is totally up to you and we do not want to put a cost on it because it might cost you money or it might cost you time or both.

If you have time in your hands and experience then you can do social media marketing and while you can do it for free but you will need a lot of time and patience for it.

And if you feel like spending money on marketing then there is no upper limit because you can spend as much as you want on your book.

It is so easy to send money on marketing because all you need is promotional material and you can market your stuff online on different platforms.

You can even do physical marketing by contacting bookstores and doing deals with them.

Audiobook Making

And now we come to audiobook creation costs. It can cost money to create audiobooks and if you want to create an audiobook for your book then you need to add a few zeros to your budget.

This is because creating an audiobook is a difficult process that requires a lot of professionals such as sound engineers and voice artists. Along with that you also need a director as well as an audio studio.

Then you need to coordinate all of that and also keep your budget in mind. Audiobooks are very effective but they are still in the category of luxury because you do not definitely need to do it, you can do it if you want.

It can cost a few thousand to a few lakhs to do it in India and even more if you want the voice artist to be someone famous. If you want Amitabh Bachchan to do it then we are talking in crores.

So, How Do You Save Money on Self-Publishing?

Try Doing Most by Yourself

The best tip that we can give you is that you should try to do everything by yourself which includes doing most of the editing and providing the self-publishing company with the final draft.

It also includes doing the book cover design yourself and also doing the formatting yourself.  Along with that you must also keep marketing in mind and try to do it yourself to save the most money.

Apart from that you must have a clear idea and structure about how you want to move ahead with the book because if you have good planning, you will also be able to stick to that budget.

Try Going with Reputable and Pioneer Self-Publishing Companies

You should not take risks when it comes to choosing a self-publishing company because new companies with no experience can give you the best plans but they are usually bad.

Instead, you should go for legacy companies like us who have been in the industry for a long time and can give you the most reasonable rates so that you can fulfil your dream within your budget.

Try Getting Feedback from People You Know

If you want to save money on self-publishing then you need to do most of the work yourself and you might be new to that.

You might be new to editing the book and you might also be new to doing the formatting yourself.

That is why you should look for feedback from people you know and have worked with and they can be authors who are also your friends. They can also be your university professors etc.

And if you are still not convinced that you will be able to do everything yourself and save money then you do not have to worry because we are here for you.

We are Orange Publishers and we are the fastest-growing book publishing company in India where you can get your book self-published for the most affordable rates in the industry. We are the most affordable as well as the most experienced book publishing company in India.

We do everything in-house from the editing to the book cover design and formatting as well as the printing and publishing and much more.

We welcome you to visit our website and check out all we have to offer.

Common FAQs About Saving Money on Self-Publishing

What is the cheapest way to self-publish a book?

The cheapest way to self-publish your book would be to do most of the heavy lifting yourself which includes the editing and proofreading as well as the book cover designing and layout formatting.

The more things you do yourself the less you have to pay anyone to do it for you. And apart from that you must also choose a legacy book publishing company that has been in the industry for a long time and knows what they are doing. They will provide you with the best rates possible.

What is the average cost to self-publish?

It is impossible to tell you an average figure because it varies from market to market as well as book to book.

Authors and self-publishing companies do not release data on their contract rates. However, if you want to know how much it costs to self-publish your book with us then you can visit our website and you will get all the information you need.

Is self-publishing still profitable?

Self-publishing is the most profitable form of publishing a book because you are going to keep the best margins possible.

Since it involves more risk of investment than traditional publishing because you have to spend money from your pocket on publishing the book, you can expect most of the profits as well.

If we talk about percentages, it is much higher than what you will ever get with traditional publishing.