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Bella d'Amour

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/18/17
Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 10:54 AM
 
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Hello-

I'll be publishing my first novel (contemporary romance) at the end of November. I'm almost done with editing and working now on book design. I'll still proofreading and formatting done. I've already spent close over $1200 on editing and will spend a couple hundred on book cover design. I plan on doing the formatting myself to save some money but I'm wondering if I can get friends to proofread for me rather than shelling out another $300+ more. It won't be professional but they'll catch any glaring errors that the average reader would see. Since it's my first book, I really don't expect to make a whole lot though one can always hope. :-)

If possible, could anyone advise how much a newbie earns on average for a well-edited (my own 8 rounds plus 2 rounds by a professional editor) first book? It's an 85K word contemporary sports romance. I just want to know if a few hundred extra dollars for proofreading is going to make a difference in sales.

Thank you!
A Woodley

Posts: 321
Registered: 03/06/17
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 11:16 AM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
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Bella d'Amour wrote:
Hello-

I'll be publishing my first novel (contemporary romance) at the end of November. I'm almost done with editing and working now on book design. I'll still proofreading and formatting done. I've already spent close over $1200 on editing and will spend a couple hundred on book cover design. I plan on doing the formatting myself to save some money but I'm wondering if I can get friends to proofread for me rather than shelling out another $300+ more. It won't be professional but they'll catch any glaring errors that the average reader would see. Since it's my first book, I really don't expect to make a whole lot though one can always hope. :-)

If possible, could anyone advise how much a newbie earns on average for a well-edited (my own 8 rounds plus 2 rounds by a professional editor) first book? It's an 85K word contemporary sports romance. I just want to know if a few hundred extra dollars for proofreading is going to make a difference in sales.

Thank you!


There is no one answer that will be accurate, even if you don't spend another penny ($) you could be $1200 down, or you could get lucky & sell some.
The only reason I'm in profit (with 12 books) is because I did everything myself & spent nothing.
Marketing & promoting might get sales but that can be costly too in order to be effective.
Some people sell books, many don't, no matter how good they are or how much has been spent on them.

Searching the forums might help with advice, in here, Createspace & Kboards cafe. Good luck.
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,307
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 11:27 AM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
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What I would say is that I never spend more than 10% of projected earnings within 2 years to prepare a book. And I have never spent over $1000 in total if that gives you some idea. The odds are pretty good that your book will not earn back what you have already spent on it.
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 381
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 11:30 AM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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If possible, could anyone advise how much a newbie earns on average for a well-edited (my own 8 rounds plus 2 rounds by a professional editor) first book?

$0. Most self-published books never sell more than a single copy, the buyer being the author's proud mother. Romance is a massively crowded field. Without a proper marketing campaign, you are going exactly nowhere.

Now that you've shelled out money for a "professional" to butcher your prose into smooth pap indistinguishable from all other pap, you can't get it back. Lesson learned. The cover is actually vital, so you can't skimp on that.

The one thing a "professional" editor should have done for you is hunt down the obvious typos and missing commas. Get the thing into your friends' hands for proofreading, go through it yourself one more time, and save the money for advertising. You're going to need it.

But before you start pouring even more money down the drain, it behooves you to ask the author's variation of the famous Seder question, to wit: "How is my book different from all other books?"

Engaging plot, appealing characters the reader will love (or perhaps love to hate), a popular niche, a decent-sized target audience, do you have all these things? If not, all the appealing covers, engaging blurbs and skillful marketing in the world won't help you.

If your audience is large but difficult to reach with available marketing tools, like mine, you still won't make money for years, if ever. So think twice and thrice.
tanzzee

Posts: 134
Registered: 01/06/12
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 11:52 AM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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It seems to me, for a first book in a highly subscribed to genre, you've already overspent. Why (again, for a first, untested book) are you planning to spend 'a couple of hundred' on cover design? There are a number of pre-made book cover sites where you can buy a good cover for around $50. If you book sells a few copies you can then think about a custom cover.

It also sounds as if your book has already been edited to death. I would get a few beta readers to give it a read and report any obvious grammatical errors to you.

At this point, you need to give some thought to how you plan to promote your book because without promotion you will be lucky to sell more than a handful of copies. You also need to think about a second and third book; you won't really get any credibility as an author until you have at least three books available.
bobperrett

Posts: 219
Registered: 09/09/12
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 7:54 PM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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The harsh reality is that if you sell 100 copies you've done better than average. Not 100 per month, 100 in total ...
Traveler321

Posts: 175
Registered: 10/01/16
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 10:52 PM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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If you had asked this here earlier people could have saved you a lot of money. The average book sells zero or close to it. You have to get into the top 7 % to recoup your expenses. I'm actually losing money on my only book but I am happy with that- I am a glutton for punishment.
wirdmonger

Posts: 1,075
Registered: 01/07/12
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 2, 2017 10:55 PM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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The third or fourth or fifth book is likely to earn yu more money - by that time you'll have a better sense of the market, you'll be a better writer, you'll have covers that better fit the market expectation etc etc. The first book is a learning experience and I'm sure you have learned lots. My first book cost me more than subsequent books and has earned less than most. Just keep writing. The fact you ahve done so much editing and you are preparing to get a lot of proofing done tells me you are serious. You can always go back, as I did, and do more proofing and editing, later on when you know even more.
Bella d'Amour

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/18/17
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 3, 2017 3:26 AM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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Thank you for the responses. I do wish I had asked earlier my specific question. Everything I'd read before said to make sure you have a book (almost) free of errors and a really great cover. This is often the advice given to authors who ask why their books aren't selling or why they have bad reviews. Since I'm planning a series of at least 4 books (2nd one almost finished), I want to do what I can to increase the chances of decent reviews.

I admit to being a perfectionist so I don't think I could have done this without objective editing. But I will have a friend do the proofreading and I'll hold off paying for editing on the 2nd one for now. As my friend reminded me, I didn't start this to make money - though not losing any would be nice. :-)
Notjohn

Posts: 22,647
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 3, 2017 3:33 AM   in response to: Traveler321 in response to: Traveler321
 
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The average book sells zero or close to it. You have to get into the top 7 % to recoup your expenses. I'm actually losing money on my only book but I am happy with that- I am a glutton for punishment.

This question was raised on Kboards a while back: have you ever lost money on a book? According to the answers given, most of the authors had so far lost money overall. Yet these were fairly successful, fairly experienced people, to judge by their book covers. (The beauty of Kboards Writers Cafe is that most writers show the covers of their books, linked, so you can check their sales ranking etc.) I have indeed lost money on a book, due to the $140 I paid for the cover, but that's the only one. I do make a good living. But apart from cover design, I depend on Susan and myself for everything. It helps of course that early on we made our living in publishing, both salaried and free-lance. I'm not sure that's possible today. The internet, Amazon, and the Great Recession pretty much blew up the profession. Those newspaper and magazines and publishing houses have disappeared or shrunk or been acquired, and all have cut their payouts by two-thirds or more.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,307
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 3, 2017 6:58 AM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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Yes you want a good book, but there are ways to do that while spending little (or no) money. For example, rather then being edited twice and still not proofread, you could have achieved both to an acceptable level for half that amount. And you can get a really good romance cover for $50, and acceptable one for $15. You just need to do some research and shop around.
Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,693
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 4, 2017 12:01 PM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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I started out paying $100 for a book cover and the book never sold very much. I think I paid 40 for another one that never sold much so for me, that was ridiculous. Since then my book covers and editing and all cost less than $1 for a picture. The only marketing I do is have a website with links to buy my books here. That's it. I do well with photoshop, and as far as editing I go over and over the book myself, then I get my professional chatbot voice to read it to me, then do a Microsoft Word Check, that's it. I've sold several thousand now plus many pages read. If I had to pay others I wouldn't make anything. Again, that's only my experience.

Read Moshe Ben's next to the last paragraph.

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Oct 4, 2017 12:01 PM

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Oct 4, 2017 12:04 PM
Notjohn

Posts: 22,647
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 1:25 PM   in response to: Patrick A. Smith in response to: Patrick A. Smith
 
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several thousand

Really? Then you should share the titles/ASINs so others can learn from your example.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,693
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 4:40 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
several thousand

Really? Then you should share the titles/ASINs so others can learn from your example.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com


Sorry. I started out sharing my first books and it didn't turn out well. Nothing personal, i just do not share my titles and/or pen names with anyone. Too many out there that would buy all your books and leave trash reviews, esp if they are a competitor. I can't count the posts I've seen on this forum where that happened to others. Basically I do what Moshe Ben wrote in second to last paragraph.

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Oct 5, 2017 4:41 PM
da49ve

Posts: 257
Registered: 03/03/11
Re: Cost of Self-Publishing
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 9:07 PM   in response to: Bella d'Amour in response to: Bella d'Amour
 
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I would have thought the edit you've had done is enough. Do you need to waste money on more edits? Didn't your editor advise you about your book's content, etc?

Edited by: da49ve on Oct 5, 2017 9:07 PM
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