I've been self-publishing eBooks since 2002, and I cringe when I read articles that say you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for things like eBook covers, editing and formatting. The simple fact is, you can publish an eBook without spending any money. And when I say "any," I mean not one red cent. Following are three reasons why.
Thank Goodness for Technology
I. Technology: My first eBook was a simple MS word file (no cover, mind you), that I turned into a pdf file and uploaded to my website at the time. By way of background, the eBook was about how to make a living as an editorial freelancer. At the time, I owned/operated an editorial staffing agency and I used to hire freelancers to complete projects.
So I got asked a lot of questions by a lot of freelancers about how to do it full-time, eg, what clients wanted, how much to charge, where to find gigs, etc. So I simply compiled the most frequently asked questions, answered them in a document, turned it into a pdf file and put it on my website. Voila - eBook!
As most computers already come with MS Word and Adobe Acrobat (pdf software) on it as part of the MS Office Suite, it didn't cost me anything.
eBook Covers: They Can Be Done for Free!
II. Free Web Stuff: One of the things that many new authors spend a lot of money on is an eBook cover. And if you can afford it, great! I'm not saying NOT to. What I am saying is that it's not necessary. You can use free stock images to create eBook covers. I've done so for plenty of my eBooks.
Note: Be sure that you have the right/license to use an image for commercial purposes. Learn more about images and licensing, copyright, usage rights, etc.
There are No Shortage of Places to Make Money Selling Your Book When It's Finished
III. Worldwide Platforms: Once your book is written, it's time to get it into reader hands. Well, there's never been a better time to self-publish because with outlets like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Lulu, Google Play - and tons of others, you can upload your book and start selling it for free.
Conclusion: Self-Publishing Costs
The reality is, it's great to have money to publish a book. And if you have it, you should definitely spend it on things like a nice cover; professional editing and proofreading; and formatting (if that's not your forte). But it's not necessary.
Of the almost 100 eBooks I've published, I still spend very little on each one. I do my own covers (for the most part); do all of my formatting and uploading; and still do most of my editing/copyediting (although I'm starting to outsource this more). And it's a lot of work - I don't want you to think that it's not. But I wanted you to know that if you have very little and/or no money, and are willing to put in the time, you can self-publish for $0. Truly - I know; I've been doing it for well over a decade.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black has been in the publishing industry since 1987. She heads Inkwell Editorial Publishing, an independent publishing firm that specializes in novellas (short novels) - romance, erotic romance and crime. She also publishes InkwellEditorial.com, one of the leading sites on the web for how to start a successful freelance writing career. Ms. Black is the developer/teacher of a seminar for aspiring self-published authors: How to Self-Publish an eBook for $0.
Connect with the Author: Learn more about Yuwanda. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Keywords relevant to this article: self-publishing costs, how much does it cost to self-publish a book, self-publishing tips, writing an ebook