The Cost of Self-Publishing

Nat RussoPublishing 5 Comments

There is a long-standing myth that not only does self-publishing cost an arm and a leg, but that the risks far outweigh the benefit. 



This myth has been debunked so many times, yet it keeps cropping up. In fact, as recently as three days ago, I took part in a Facebook conversation on this very topic. Much heated discussion was had, and it became apparent that facts weren’t heavy enough to outweigh emotions. Even after revealing my itemized list of costs for publishing Necromancer Awakening, I was flat-out told I was either forgetting something, or being outright deceitful. It was as if people wanted to hear that self-publishing is prohibitively expensive!

Well, guess what? It’s not.

I was pleased to get a notification today from Joe Konrath’s blog (linked below). He and Barry Eisler tackle this very issue in today’s post. It’s well worth the read.

Source: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Zombie Publishing Meme #4: Self-Publishing is Costly and Risky; Legacy Publishing is Guaranteed and Free.

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About Nat Russo

Nat Russo is the Amazon #1 Bestselling Fantasy author of Necromancer Awakening and Necromancer Falling. Nat was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He's spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun. Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do. He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenager, mischievous beagle, and goofy boxador.

Comments 5

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  1. I went through the hassle of using a company to self-publish my poetry book, and I think that is where the idea of it being expensive came from. I paid them almost, if not over, a thousand dollars to let them design the interior, as well as enhance the cover drawing I submitted. That was back in 2010. I feel they priced it way too high, but the only way I can lower the price is to take it away from them and do it myself, and hope I can put a more affordable and realistic tag on it.

    By the way, I don’t suppose you know anything about what a “Letter Of Intent” should contain? I have been trying to get info for a year or so, but no one seems to know what it should say, nor how it should be worded in order to not only get my files but also to get it out of their system. (Is that worded correctly?)

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      I’m afraid the “Letter of Intent” is new to me. Are they still attempting to publish your book without your permission? Was there any sort of contract involved with a “Reversion of Rights” clause? That may be the ammunition you need.

      A thousand dollars was definitely overpriced. I can say from personal experience that I’ve never paid more than $200 for a cover design, and I crowd-source editing in such a way that there’s actually no cost involved (it’s done by a team of volunteers).

      Take a look at sites like DeviantArt or UpWork (formerly Elance). You’ll find some great artists/designers there, and they bid on your job based on the price range you set. There are built in escrow controls (at least with UpWork) that prevents most shady business from taking place.

    2. No, it’s more a POD service with e- versions as well. I am sure any contractual commitments have been completed by now. When I emailed them for info, they sent back that I just need to send them a Letter Of Intent, but didn’t mention what it should say. I have one drafted, but hoped to find out just how to word it to get all my files removed from their databases. In the book, there are about 23 poems, and Xlibris has it priced at $15 for paperback and $25 for hard backed. I think the Kindle is $15, too. I know I wouldn’t pay that for something from someone I had never heard of before.

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