Last week I discussed the costs of self-publishing and how creating a quality book is not cheap. While my stance on this hasn't changed, I've found that there are ways to publish your book on a budget without sacrificing quality. The process of writing, building a platform, and publishing can be daunting and costly, but with proper research and planning, you can avoid a ton of pain. Here are 5 ways you can save when self-publishing your book.
Use Google Docs for Your Manuscript
Google Docs is a simple online word processing app that is comparable to Microsoft Word when it comes to the general functionality. Organizing, writing, editing, and formatting are all super easy in this app And the user interface is mostly free of distractions. While it works best online, it can be enabled for offline use. My two favorite features of this app are its research tools and its cloud syncing Which I use heavily. The best part of Google Docs is that you can get it right now for the awesome price of absolutely free. That means you can get writing today for zero dollars and zero cents.
Enlist Friends and Fellow Authors to Beta Read
Paying a professional editor is probably the most expensive item you will encounter on your path to self-publishing. While I don't exactly recommend skipping this step if you have the means to hire a professional, I will say that having your work read by other readers/ writers is a valuable alternative. For this to work, it's important that you select readers who are actually interested in the subject matter of you book and have the knowledge to assess your work. No one needs to be an English professor or anything but they need to have enough knowledge and interest to give you more feedback than the generic "it was good" or "it was okay". It's also vital that you are specific about what type of feedback you need from your readers as it will help them know what to look for and craft their feedback.
Use Software to Assist With Editing
Another way to circumvent hiring an editor if you're light on cash is to run edits yourself using grammar checking and text-to-speech software. Honestly, this is a good idea even if you do hire an editor. Grammar checking software like Grammarly uses algorithms to more intelligently check your writing style than MS Word or Google Docs. Poor writing style and excessive errors can derail an otherwise interesting story so getting this right is vital. Text-to-speech apps are another way to mitigate errors that a standard spell check may miss. Having you computer read your work to you is a helpful way to catch errors that you may miss reading. You will have to spend some money on these but not much. Grammarly averages about $20 month depending on how many months you sign up for. I use the text-to-speech software built into MS Word but there are others out there. Either way, this is all considerably cheaper than hiring an editor.
Format Your Work With Draft2Digital
Formatting is painful. So much so that it is tempting to skip this step altogether. There are services out there that provide professional formatting but I found Draft2Digital to be an easy and free way to get your manuscript professionally formatted for ebook and paperback. Draft2Digital is a distributor that can list your ebook on Amazon and other retailers. They charge a 10% royalty on all sales through their platform but there are no up front costs. The best part is that even if you don't want to distribute through them, you can still use their tool to format your book. They even offer free ISBNs.
Use Fiverr for Your Cover Design
An eye-catching cover design plays a huge role in selling your book. There are several designers out there with varying skill levels. Fiverr is a great platform to find a cover designer who can work within your budget to produce for you a quality cover. Unless you have some serious photoshop skills and knowledge of the book industry, this is something you will likely need to hire someone for. But Fiverr will allow you to make your money go far.
These are just a few money saving tips for producing your book. Unless you are highly skilled in developing the elements needed to produce a book, you will spend money. However, you don't have to spend your life saving in the process. If you're curious about the most common costs to produce a book, check out my article on it here.
Our new novel Refractors Volume : Evoke is out on February 5, 2019. Check it out here.
Let’s stay positive and keep moving forward!