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How Much Does it Cost to Make a Book?

Everyone has a book inside of them, but not everyone has the time and money to bring that book to fruition. There are many costs involved in making a book ranging from the cost of educating an author on how to write to the costs of printing a book. Writers who publish through a traditional publisher usually have lower initial costs but then split their profits with the publisher. Many authors prefer self-publishing, where the author pays all the expenses of printing a book but earns all the profits from book sales.

Every book has different needs, which will ultimately determine the costs of self-publishing.

Here are several factors that affect the cost of printing a book

a decorative piggy bank symbolizing the costs to print a book

Editing Services

Every book needs to be edited. These edits can be as complex as hiring a professional ghostwriter to bring the story idea to fruition through basic proofreading.

Book Covers

 custom book covers cost more than pre-made book covers, but they often are a better fit for the book.


some books need custom illustrations to make their content clear to readers. These can be anything from custom maps to diagrams.

Interior Book Design

well-designed books are aesthetically pleasing to readers and easy to navigate.


authors will need to purchase an ISBN number for their book. Book printers may charge extra for barcode printing if the ISBN isn’t bought through that printer.


the type of binding a book uses will affect the printing costs. Many printers offer binding options beyond simply paperback and hardcover. Authors can look at binding options such as saddle stitch binding or sewn binding to see if those are appropriate for their book.

Digital Printing Services

making an ebook creates different challenges than printing books. For example, digital editions will need their own ISBN and may require other interior book design for proper viewing. Additionally, covers that are appropriate for a paperback may not be suitable for a digital edition.


does the author want their books delivered to their doorstep or shipped directly to customers? InstantPublisher offers a bulk mailing service where they can package and ship books directly to an author’s client list.

Book Printing Run Size

Most printers charge less per book to print higher volumes. Short-run book printing costs tend to be higher per book to print. This means an author should have a clear idea of how many books they need to have printed and to print that quantity. Printing smaller amounts of books more frequently have a higher cost per book than printing many books in one print run.


Authors shouldn’t expect to print a book and have customers lining up on their doorstep to buy. Authors need to tell the world their book exists; doing so can take time and money. From renting sales tables at events to running social media ads, self-publishing authors market themselves and their books in many ways.

Every self-publishing author’s needs are different; sometimes, what the author needs can vary from book to book. Unfortunately, no simple number can be given to answer the question of “how much does it cost to make a book” because every book is unique.

InstantPublisher gives self-publishing authors the best quality book printing for the lowest price tag. Call today at 1-800-259-2592 or visit our website to find out how InstantPublisher can make your dreams of self-publishing a book come true.

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