I call myself a Hybrid author: self-published historical fantasy Tiger Lily series on Amazon and small-press published Urban Fantasy Dream Eater with World Weaver Press.
By some definitions small-press still equals Indie published. Regardless of the name, I am in a position where, unless World Weaver is releasing a book (and thus they take care of a bunch of stuff like uploading to Netgalley, contacting book bloggers for cover reveals, etc) then I do the majority of publicity for my books.
But I’m lazy. And terrible at graphic design. And also have a part-time job unrelated to writing and am the mother of two teenage girls. So in other words, I use services. And you would be flabbergasted at the veritable army of different services available out there. Lots of people make money off of authors, not just publishers.
Lots of people do their own graphic design, etc. On the continuum, I do very little myself– other than write! But I also don’t have a ton of money to spend so I don’t avail myself of all the different kinds of services there are out there. (I’m also lucky enough to be in writer groups where I can find beta readers for free 🙂 And this doesn’t include money spent on in-person book selling like $50 for a table at Art on the Ave or $150 for a table at a comic con…..
So you might be surprised–or not– but here’s what I use:
Graphic Design for Covers:
- Najla Qamber for ebook/paperback ($175-300)
- The Cover Collection for premade discount ebook covers ($35-$45)
- GoOnWrite for premade ebook covers ($30)
Proofing & Formatting .mobi and .epub for ebooks:
- EQP Books (about $200 for 20,000 words)
- istvanszaboifj on Fiverr (about $26 for 20,000 words formatting only)
Hosting Free Books online (i.e. to induce newsletter sign-up or for ARC reviewers)
- Instafreebie ($20 a month for an account that allows gathering of subscriber emails)
Handling Pirated Books by searching for illegal copies of your books and posting take down notices to website providers
- Blasty (basic plan about $68 a year)
Ebook Distributor and/or Hosting ebooks to be sold
- Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (takes a cut. Either pays the author 35% royalty or 75% royalty)
- Draft2Digital (takes a cut. About 10% of earned royalties)
Email Newsletter subscriber managing
- Mailerlite ($7 a month on my plan)
(there’s really too many to list here, from small payments of $5 or so to cross promotions like Dean Wilson’s SFF Book Bonanza to payments of about $20 for two weeks of Bookbub advertisements or Amazon Ads)
So yikes. That’s a lot, isn’t it? Sometimes being an author might seem like an overwhelming complicated process. I guess you could just boil it down to like covers, formatting, and distribution. Those three are the bulk of the cost of producing an ebook. Many indie authors design their own covers and format their own books, so they’re saving a tremendous amount right there.
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that this year I’ll have actual profit from my writing. 🙂