Can You Self-Publish for Free?
With more and more authors wanting to publish their work, many of them are turning to self-publishing through Amazon or other publishing companies. This can be a good option for those uninterested in losing creative control over the manuscript or wasting time trying to secure a traditional publishing deal. But how much does it cost, or can you self-publish for free? This article breaks down the costs associated with self-publishing and if it’s possible to truly do it for free.
The cost of self-publishing
Once you’ve finished your book and decided to self-publish, there are multiple steps you need to complete before your book is ready for readers. First, you need to have someone edit your book and check for errors with grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is also beneficial to have an editor check for continuity and any plot holes or possibilities for overall improvement.
You also need to have someone design a cover, one that is compelling and professional. Since the cover is the first thing the reader sees, make sure it matches the book’s genre and draws readers in. The back cover text and design is just as important as the front, since it will further encourage someone to read your book.
Also important is laying out your book for print and/or digital download. Self-publishing platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark require files to be formatted according to their specifications for the size book you want to publish. They also need to be submitted as a certain file type and be free of errors. Knowing what size and type of font to use as well as how to format chapter titles and tables of contents will make your book look professional and appealing to readers.
So can you self-publish for free?
The short answer is yes—if you do your own editing, design your own cover, format the book properly, and use the free ISBN offered by KDP. Do we recommend it? No. Working with a trustworthy professional like Publish Pros will provide a much better result. The reason being you are a writer and most likely not an illustrator, editor, and formatter as well. Having a second, third, or fourth pair of eyes look at your book and check for any errors can ensure it is ready for readers; you don’t want to publish your book then realize there are multiple typos and grammatical errors.
Readers can also tell the difference between a professional cover and one done by someone with no design experience. Since, as mentioned above, the cover is the book’s first impression, you want it to exude professionalism and clue the reader in on what the book is about without giving away the entire story.
Doing all this yourself often translates to fewer sales since readers aren’t likely to be interested in a book they can tell was not professionally reviewed or designed. Just glancing at Amazon reviews for self-published books shows this—often books with typos or poorly-designed covers have a lower rating due to negative reviews.
If you have more questions about self-publishing or are ready to hire experts to help you with the process, contact Publish Pros. While you can self-publish for free, PublishPros would like to help you make your publishing experience the best it can be.