Therone Shellman discusses the different routes to self publishing a book

When I first came into the publishing industry almost two decades ago. The only route one could go to self publish their book. Was in the manner mainstream publishers put out their works. This is called traditional publishing. You have a manuscript, it's edited, proofread, and when it's ready. It's then formatted to the book size. Whether the final size is to be 6x9, 8.5x5.5, etc. An ISBN and barcode is obtained to be placed on the copyright page, and back book cover. A graphics designer is hired to create the book cover graphics. When the manuscript and book cover is complete, a book printer is sought to print the finished book. Now the price of each book printed is dependent on the page count, and number of books to be printed. After the books are printed comes the distribution networks. By this time you should have figured out what distributor(s) you're going to utilize to distribute to stores, libraries, etc. This is if you're going the store route. Traditional publishing was and still is the most expensive route a self publisher can take. 

Throughout the years many things have changed to advance technology, and also bring down the pricing to self publishing. There's now ebooks, and also (pod) print on demand. Createspace a company owned by Amazon, and Ingramspark are pod companies. Who have pretty much made the playing field of book publishing more accessible to just about anyone who seems to publish a book. You would do all the things I mentioned in regards to the manuscript, ISBN, book cover. But now you don't have to worry about printing 5,000 books, or having to only deal with a distributor to make your books available to the store market. Via both companies authors have the ability to make their books available to a wide selection of book sellers, and also publish in ebook. POD allows you to purchase 1 copy, or many. All at a wholesale price, so you can sell and earn profit. I personally purchase copies of my own books, for when I have events, or to sell at various locations straight to customers. Having several books, I like having the option to be able to print as many copies as I need, based on sales. I utilize both companies, and like their cost effective model.

The last route I'm going to speak about is Vanity Presses. These are publishing companies who provide consulting, publishing services to those seeking to self publish a book. They possess a menu of services to assist would be authors in putting together their project. Everything from evaluating the manuscript, editing, obtaining ISBN/barcode, book cover design, publishing platform selection, book video trailers, marketing services. Caution: Some of these companies provide excellent service and are great at what they do. Others are in it just for money, and will help anyone put out a book, whether it's good or not. So do your research before venturing the vanity press route.

The costs involved with self publishing. This is just an estimate, and is not a fact written in stone for every case.

Editing $2.00-$4.00 a double space page. 300 pages double spaced would be $600-$1200.

Manuscript formatting $100-$200

Book ISBN/barcode $125-$150 Ebook ISBN/$25-$50 Ebooks only need ISBN not barcode.

Graphics designer for book cover $200-$500

Ingramspark publishing platform: Paperback: $50 Ebook: $50

Amazon publishing platform: They don't charge to publishing to their platform.

I utilize both platforms for different reasons. Out of my 10 published books so far. 5 are on Ingramspark, and the other 5 are with Createspace.

Expect the upfront costs to be around $2000 to put together a print book. This is if you write the manuscript yourself. If you don't write the project, you'll need to hire a ghostwriter. Ghostwriting fees vary, and are dependent upon the type of project, and who the customer is. If I were to write a project for an every day joe, as opposed to a celebrity, business, or political icon the pricing would reflect this. But, I start at $2500 to ghostwrite. 


So, I have a bonus for you. I'm going to include details about Google Play Books. This platform strictly publishes ebooks, and some of my titles are on this platform as well. It's simple, you upload a PDF copy of your formatted book, and jpg of front cover of book. You can utilize ISBN associated with print book. Or they will assign you an identifier number for the project. Fill out account details like you also need to for Createspace, or Ingramspark, add bank account, etc. 

So, there you go. Hopefully, you enjoyed the post. There is wealth of information on the internet, and also plenty of books written about self publishing. One of my books is The Secrets of Self Publishing 2. It's a very easy read, and something to get one started on their journey.


Therone Shellman Media isn't a vanity press. So we don't publish authors for a fee. But Writing and Book Consulting services are available for those seeking to form their own company and self publish their own books. Just go over to the Writing and Book Consulting  Services page and view services. Everything, from music artist/author/executive bios, professional letters, business plans, and literary services.

Peace, until the next blog post! 


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