Publishing Blog





Title: The Price of Publishing: What Is the Average Cost to Publish a Book?


Writing a book is a labor of love and dedication, but the journey doesn't end with typing "The End." Once your manuscript is complete, you face the decision of how to publish your book. Whether you choose traditional publishing or go the self-publishing route, there are costs involved. In this blog post, we'll break down the average cost to publish a book, giving you a clear picture of what to expect on your publishing journey.

1. Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing is often seen as the holy grail for aspiring authors, but it's essential to understand the costs and the process involved. Here's a breakdown of the expenses:

a. Agent Commission: Many traditionally published authors work with literary agents who typically receive a commission of 15% of the author's royalties. This fee is only paid if the book sells.

b. Editing: Traditional publishers provide editing services, but it's common for authors to hire their own editors before submitting their work. Editing costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the level of editing required.

c. Book Design: Traditional publishers cover the cost of book design, but self-published authors need to invest in cover design and interior layout. This can cost anywhere from £200 to £1,500 or more, depending on the complexity of the design.

d. Marketing: While traditional publishers have marketing teams, authors often need to engage in self-promotion, which may include expenses for book signings, promotional materials, and advertising.

e. Miscellaneous: There can be other costs associated with traditional publishing, such as travel expenses for book tours and legal fees for contract reviews. These vary widely based on the author's circumstances.

2. Self-Publishing

Self-publishing has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its accessibility and control over the publishing process. However, it's not free, and here's a breakdown of the costs:

a. Editing: Self-published authors must hire their own editors, which can range from £500 to £3,000 or more, depending on the scope of the editing required.

b. Cover Design and Formatting: A professionally designed book cover and interior layout are essential. Cover design costs vary from £100 to £1,000, while formatting services can range from £100 to £500.

c. Printing and Distribution: If you plan to offer print copies of your book, you'll incur costs for printing and distribution through platforms like Amazon KDP, which may include setup fees.

d. Marketing and Promotion: Self-published authors are responsible for marketing their work, which can include expenses for book promotions, advertising, and author website development.

e. ISBN and Copyright: You'll need to purchase ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers) for your book, which typically costs £125 for a single ISBN or less per ISBN if purchased in bulk. Copyright registration fees vary by country but are typically in the range of £35 to £55.


The average cost to publish a book depends on various factors, including your choice between traditional publishing and self-publishing, the genre and length of your book, and your marketing strategy. It's crucial to budget for these expenses and plan accordingly. Remember that while publishing a book involves costs, it can also be a rewarding and profitable endeavour. Whether you decide to take the traditional publishing route or venture into self-publishing, being aware of the costs will help you make informed decisions and set realistic expectations for your publishing journey.

Take a look at our Professional Book Publishing Services and use our Book Builder Tool to get an instant custom quote for exactly what you need to turn your words into a published book.

About the author, BBPress