Many times I hear people ask that. They think that based on the fact that there isn’t a physical book there shouldn’t be a cost. After all a few megabytes of information cant cost that much –can it?
One of the things I have learned in my journey to being a published author is that there is a whole lot more to it than what shows up on the page at the end of the day.
There are so many hidden costs that you might not even think about! Editing costs anywhere from 2 to 5 cents per word. Making an average novel of 77,000 words over $1,700.00 to edit at minimum. At the worst you cant afford a have your neighbour down the road have a once over and buy them dinner. Still money laid out.
Cover. This one can go a few different ways. You could lay out money and have a professional do it, do it yourself or have a friend do it for you. Either way somewhere you are going to end up spending money be it on professional fees, rights for the graphic elements or dinner again. Somewhere money will be spent.
Marketing. Yes! Surely given the wide world of the internet this has got to be free ….right? NOPE. At least not all of it for me. I spend money on my website purely on the URL alone. I am lucky the good people over at WordPress host it for me. One day I hope to out grow their “free” website and have to pay for the next one up. Oh! Have you seen the posters, business cards and other fun stuff I have with my name and/or book cover on it? I bought those too. You are right. I probably didnt have to buy them. But it makes my job marketing so much easier. In this day and age you need a way to stand out from the pack.
Booths. Everyone loves a book show or festival. They are great arent they? Well they are also expensive to an author just starting out. Great wonderful invaluable exposure but painful on the pocketbook.
Those are what I have run into myself personally. I am sure there are other fees which the small publishing house I work with has taken care of for me. That doesn’t even include the cost of the “man hours” spent writing the book itself. Needless to say the costs are there for us newbies, they are needs not wants. Needs if we want to create a good name for ourselves that is.
Those of you out there who are lucky enough to get your hands on a really great, well edited and beautiful ebook for free I want you to take a brief moment and thank the wonderful author who gave you that present.