One of the biggest challenges in the journey to self publish a business book is the process and cost of production and publication. I am often asked to provide advice and recommend a range of service providers for writers. That’s one of the main reasons I started The Book Adviser.

I thought it would be good to share some insights to the typical costs involved. Just note that these prices are for Australia and in Aussie dollars.

1. Editing and proofreading

Editing and proofreading are different things. An editor will review your writing and make structural suggestions and changes as well as recommendations about style, flow, consistency and the like

Editor Fee: Editors usually charge on a per thousand word rate with a 25,000 word manuscript costing about $2,000.

A proof reader is someone who checks the spelling of words and the consistency of spelling and punctuation throughout the document. You would usually use a proof reader immediately before the text is sent to the designer and then again when the pages have be laid out as glitches often happen in the design process.

Fee: Proof reader usually charge on a per thousand word rate with a 25,000 word manuscript costing about $1,00.

The cleaner your writing (ie from a spelling, punctuation and structural point of view) the lower the fees at it will take the Editor/proof reader less time.

2. Design and page layout

This refers to the actual design of the book and the layout of the pages. A designer would usually provide 1-2 concept treatments for review and discussion, final concepts, page layouts, x 2 sets of revisions. (You’ll need to go through the page layouts and check to see that they are right. This takes time and a keen eye for detail).

The cost would include the front and back cover design but not graphs and tables.

The cost of designing and production of a 160 page, soft cover book would be between $3,000-$4,000.

A written Design Brief should be provided to the designer at the outset to ensure the quote you receive incorporates all the elements and options you want as well as the number of revisions and corrections you want to allow for.

3. eBook conversion (eBook ready for uploading)

There are lots of different types of eBooks from a simple PDF style through to ones that are searchable, have interactive elements and links. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your eBook the option you select may well be different.

As a guide a 0ne-version only will cost approx. $1,500-$2,000 + GST

4. Printed book

As a guide, 2,000 copies of a good quality book of approx. 160 pages will cost approx. $7,000 +GST printed offshore (including freight, customs clearance and delivery). Remember, this is in Australia.

It’s entirely possible to print in Australia or anywhere else for that matter and have a small print run, say up to 500 copies of a book, but the unit price is quite high.

Printing in Asia is often cheaper even with fright and customs charges, but it takes longer and you need a reputable printing company as well as customs/freight-forwarding company. It also takes about 2 months longer as books are transported by ship.

The cost of printing is really about balancing the total cost of the print run with the unit cost. There’s not point printing more books than you need/want, but if you are planning to utilise the book for branding and marketing, for getting you and your IP out into the marketplace you’re going to need at least 1,000 copies.

And, if you are prepared to put the effort in to promoting and selling your book a print run closer to 1,500-2,000 would be needed.

Other items to think about

Marketing and promotion of the book – reviews, advertising, placement on Amazon, speaking engagements, media, a book launch or series of launches etc

Storage and retrieval (if you do a printed version)

Postage/delivery costs (if you do a printed version)

The Book Adviser takes you through all of these steps as well as providing templates, checklists and guides and we have a group of preferred partners who we have worked with personally.