Last week, Suzanne McGee, penned a feature in the Money section of the Guardian, with the headline, You can try to be the next Hemingway — for $6,000 and the subhead, Self-publishing has made it possible to get your writing out in the world. But it hasn’t made it cheap.
In her article, she suggests based on her interviews with a number of self published authors, there are some critical elements you need to consider if you are going to self publish. Those include
- An ISBN number
- Cover Art
- Paid reviews
- Promotional print copies of your book
She suggested the total cost of the project would be around $6,000 with the two-thirds of that budget going to editing. Not surprising her article generated 80 comments and many opposing views. Some were civil in their comments and some were rude. Based on her response to the comments I think she was simply trying to point out that self-publishing is not and should not be considered a “free” opportunity as some might lead you to believe.
Certainly you can spend more or less than the amount she suggests, but those who were debating the number I think missed the most helpful points of the article.
- You are going to have to invest in editing to have a good book--I think this is the most important thing every self published author needs to remember and good editors are not cheap or free.
- You will have to invest time and money in promotion–She suggests paid reviews and many debate the value of those, but the point is you can’t just publish a book and wait for people to find it. You are going to have to spend some coin to garner interest and publicity.
- You will have to give things away before you see sales—In her article she suggests you need promotional copies of your book to hand out to media or others to get word of mouth about your book started. I think that is true, but there are other things you may want to consider as well.
The other great value to an article like this is it points out the need to have a simple way to evaluate the options out there for authors. I have written extensively about this topic and have a white paper title The Four Paths to Publishing, that layouts out the different opportunities available today for authors to get their books in the hands of readers.
If you would like to read the complete article in The Guardian, you can find it by clicking here.