Self-publishing is not free, contrary to the first lines on Kindle Direct Publishing’s home page. It costs a lot of money to publish a book. That is the reality many new authors, particularly young ones who dream of self-publishing, must accept. One cannot simply throw their unedited manuscript into Amazon’s template and expect a multitude of viewers.
Pertaining to my story, I had to pay for a professional editor and a cover designer. It cost $700 for my editor in total and $290 roughly for my cover designer. And that was just for the pre-publishing stage.
Don’t get me wrong – publishing a novel on Kindle Direct is technically free to do. Unless one actually wishes to sell their creation. It costs a certain amount of money per book if one desires to purchase print-to-order copies to sell in person.
“If it costs money to sell in person, then I just won’t do that. I’ll link my book back for people to purchase on Amazon only. I have connections to people who will help me market, too.” a young writer once told me.
I simply wished them well but hoped my words of advice following their comment reached them.
I explained to them that Amazon also takes a chunk of the profit one makes per book. The amount of money the book is being sold for alters how much money Amazon takes as their profit. There are also two royalty payment options, but that is all detailed on Kindle Direct’s page.
So with all of that written, how did a broke sixteen-year-old pay $1000 to publish a book?
I had to work for it.
I had a little money saved from my birthday and Christmas, but as soon as I found my editor and heard her price, I knew I didn’t have enough money to pay her the total cost. At one point, I had a GoFundMe page up, desperate for anything to help me pay for an editor. Although it turned out to be a flop, I knew I would somehow make the money. I knew I had to get the money, and creating a measly donation page wasn’t going to cut it. I immediately went around searching for jobs, and when I turned sixteen, the LORD blessed me with a job at a sushi restaurant.
As the recurring theme continues, It is possible at any stage to publish. I recommended to anyone who is reading this and wants to publish to not give up because of a lack of funding. But I also don’t want to see anyone become overconfident in their abilities and expect an unrealistic result.