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How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book?

August 02, 2021 (Last Updated August 11, 2021)

Marcy G.

The desire to write a book is quite common. In fact, surveys show most people think they have at least one book in them. But if you’ve actually written one, congratulate yourself! You’re in a much smaller minority.

Completing your book is a huge accomplishment. Now, the practicalities of publishing appear. There are so many options. And how much does it cost to publish a book, anyway?

What is the cost to publish a book?

Determining the cost to publish a book comes down to a variety of choices. If you’re going the self-publishing route, you have more control over choices that affect the cost.

Obviously, cost is determined by factors like number of pages, addition of illustrations, size of the finished book and quantity of books. But there are other variables to consider.

What are variable costs for book publishing?

Where should you spend money and where can you save money on book publishing? The answers to t questions are a personal decision.

All of the factors listed below can affect the price to publish a book, but with each one, you have options. What option you choose depends on your book sales goals, your budget for book publishing and your ultimate dream for your finished self-published book.

Copy Editing/Proofreading: Consider using a professional editor. Copy editing and proofreading not only checks grammar and spelling, but helps ensure content flow and formatting consistency. You would be surprised at how many errors a good copy editor or proofreader can eliminate before printing. The cost of a professional editor is well worth it, but if you want to save money, you can seek out less experienced, but skilled, editors who are just starting their careers.

Book Formatting: Good formatting improves readability and adds a polished, professional look. You can choose a professional formatting service like 48 Hour Books reformatting. Simply select the style option you prefer and we make your book look like the best sellers. Or, choose a book template, such as the free book templates from 48 Hour Books. Templates work within your word processing program and make it easy to have a finished file with a consistent style.

Book Cover Art Design: Engaging professional design assistance for an outstanding, original book cover can improve your book sales. With a custom cover, your book will stand out on the shelf. If you need to cut costs, you can still create an engaging, personalized cover using a template, such as 48 Hour Books’ free book cover templates.

Book Binding Options: Selecting a book binding method can be an aesthetic choice or one based on planned usage. Hardcover, or case bound books, are popular for their classic, sturdy appeal. Softcover books, or perfect bound (paperback), are the most popular option, since they’re generally cheaper to print and popular with readers for their portability. Spiral coil binding. is the best choice for books that need to lay flat (such as cookbooks or workbooks).

How to calculate the cost to publish a book?

You can get a ballpark cost for printing a book as long as you have the main variables set: book size, page count, preferred binding option, and quantity. Try 48 Hour Books’ easy book printing price calculator.

To determine total book publishing costs, you need to include a marketing plan to sell your book. Today’s self-publishing authors have many sales avenues and options for marketing. Ebooks are popular and a great way to get your book out there. Navigating eBook conversion necessitates an understanding of the different formats. 48 Hour Books offers eBook conversion at a variety of price points. (We talk about eBooks more in our blog post: Everything You Need to Know About EBooks.)

ISBNs and barcodes are another necessary cost to market a self-published book. You must secure an ISBN for every format of your book you wish to sell: hardcover, paperback, eBook, audio book etc. What is an ISBN? ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique, 13-digit number to identify a book. A book barcode is different than an ISBN. The barcode is created from the ISBN, so you purchase the ISBN and then generate the barcode from that. The barcode is usually placed on the back cover of your book where the price is scanned.

If a publisher or book printer purchases your ISBN in their name – which some do – you won’t have complete control over your book publishing using that number. At 48 Hour Books, we make purchasing ISBNs and barcodes easy. We order the ISBNs and barcodes for you through our ordering process, so you are the official holder. We offer package pricing on ISBNs and barcodes, and you retain complete control over the sale of your book.

How can I market a self-published book on a budget?

Book marketing costs can add up, but there are marketing options for self-publishers that are less costly and still effective.

Blog or Personal Website Book Promotion: Your blog and/or website are a great place to share your experience as an author, tease about your upcoming book, and let followers know where to buy it.

Social Media Book Promotion: Social media platforms are a great place to establish yourself as an author, build brand awareness, and build anticipation for your upcoming book releases.

Paid Advertising for Books: Boosting posts on Facebook or Instagram is a cost-effective book promotion method that works.

Podcasts and Vlogs: Connect with influencers who can promote your work.

We talk about how to market your self-published book in more detail here.

Where can I find a self-publishing partner?

If you’re ready to self-publish a book, 48 Hour Books wants to be your self-publishing partner. We print bookstore-quality books, fast. We also love working with self-publishing authors. Check out all our resources at 48hrbooks.com. You’ll find detailed information on self-publishing, customer service help, and our easy book printing price calculator.



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Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.

Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


Kimbi June 12, 2022

Wanting to publish a coloring book. One side would have words…. The other side would have the coloring page

48 Hr Books June 13, 2022

Hello! 48 Hour Books can print your coloring book. Here are some tips for printing a coloring book: https://www.48hrbooks.com/blog/126/how-to-publish-a-coloring-book

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