If you are thinking of having your manuscript published but don’t want to work with a traditional publishing house, you should try the self-publishing route instead. It is a great publishing route that will allow you to publish your book without having to deal with pushy publishers. If you want an even more cost-efficient way, you should try to self-publish an eBook.

What is self-publishing?

To self-publish a book is to publish content without the help of a traditional publishing house. The main advantage of self-publishing is that you won’t have to reach out to traditional publishing houses for a publishing deal.

You could get started right away. You will also get to keep a majority of the rights to your book, and the royalties you earn. The main setback is that you will have to do a majority of the work, and pay for the whole process. Overall, self-publishing a book is a satisfying yet tricky endeavor.

Why publish an eBook?

A key aspect of self-publishing a book is your choice of book format. Remember that your choice of book format will affect how much your book will cost to get published. If you are going to have your book published in soft cover or hard cover form, then you will need to spend money on having it published.

On the other hand, if you are going to publish in eBook form, you won’t have to worry about having your book published. Instead, you can just have your eBook edited, marketed, and ready to be sold in no time.  However, aside from the production cost, you will still need to make sure that your manuscript is in the best condition possible.

Before you get started on self-publishing your eBook, though, you should know how much it cost to publish an eBook. You don’t want to spend your savings on a project only to stop because you ran out of money halfway through. Here is a quick overview of how much it actually costs to self-publish an eBook.

eBook Editing Cost

It is very important that you have your work edited before you even send it in to be published. This may seem simple enough. However, editing a book is in fact quite work-intensive. In order to get the best version of your eBook, it is important that you hire the best editors possible. Experienced book editors can be expensive, with a flat rate of $1500 to $3000 overall.

There are usually three types of editing, and they have different costs. There is developmental editing, which looks at the bigger picture. The editor will conduct macro editing, and look at the overall content. Developmental editing is usually the most expensive type of editing.  If you go for copyediting, the editor will conduct a smaller scale type of editing, and check the flow and structure of your work. If you choose proofreading services, your content will be checked for its format, layout and consistency. Proofreading is usually the cheapest editing service.

This may seem a bit high; however, you should remember that the level of your book editing could affect your eBook’s overall success.

eBook Formatting Cost

Aside from ensuring that your book is well-edited, it is also important to format your eBook effectively. The three most common formats for eBooks are.pdf, .mobi, and .epub. Of the three, epub is the most widely used, although you will still need the other two to expand your eBook’s distribution. Having your eBook formatted in multiple formats could range from $50 to $250.

eBook Cover Cost

While eBooks don’t need a physical form, this does not negate the need for a book cover. Remember that your book will be displayed through various online platforms. Readers will still look for a book cover to look at as they decide to purchase your eBook. As a rule, you should design an attractive and informative eBook cover.

 If you have a background in art, you could make the eBook cover yourself. However, if you don’t have any art experience, you could always hire an illustrator. This could be a bit pricey, though, because the usual pay range for an illustrator is around $250 to $500. This depends on the skill level, former clients, and experience of the illustrator. This may seem a bit expensive. However, an eBook cover is a necessity if you want your eBook to sell well.

eBook Marketing Cost

Aside from having your book edited and produced, it is very important that you take your marketing cost very seriously. Remember that your book could be very well written, but if you eBook marketing is lacking, then your readers won’t really get a chance to see your book. A great way to market your eBook, is to set up your very own author website.

While you could set up your own author website, it is advisable if you hire a website designer. Remember that you want your website to look as professional as possible, so hiring a website designer is a good investment. Just be warned thought that a website designer could be costly. On average, the upfront cost for a web designer to build a website is around $6000, and an ongoing cost of $1000 per year.

If the price is too steep, you could try a website builder such as Wix and Squarespace, which could cost as little as $16 per month. You could also try building one on Wordpress. However, the prices could increase at a monthly rate. The range for Wordpress is usually from $11 to $50.

eBook Distribution Cost

While your main distribution platform is your author website, it should not be your sole option. Remember that the more platforms you sell your eBook through, the more chances you will have of selling your work. However, you should also remember that these platforms also ask for a per-sale fee. That means every time your book sells, the distributor will get a percentage.

For Amazon, the distributor takes around 30% of royalties, although in some instances, it could go up as high as 65%. For other distributors, such as Nook, SmashWords, and Apple, they are far more lenient, and follow the usual 30% setup.


If you are going to self-publish an eBook of your very own, you should remember that it may be a costly endeavor. With this article, you will at least know the expected expenses of self-publishing an eBook.