What Are the Costs to Self-Publish?

What Are the Costs to Self-Publish?

You are committed to writing a novel! That is outstanding.

Now you must be committed to spending money.



I’m not trying to sell you or up-sell you… just trying to help writers. I get nothing from anybody who is somebody.
I have published posts on over thirty Facebook writing groups and read thousands of posts by aspiring writers. Through it all, I’m left with some qualms about my fellow writers, mostly the new writers who were like me. That is not good. In my haste to become a writer, I fell hook, line, and sinker for all the information telling me you could do everything on the cheap. I was like the wino who smiles when he sees a three-dollar bottle of wine. Though someone could get as drunk on a three-dollar bottle of wine as a fifty-dollar bottle of wine; the same effects and economics do not work with writing.
I’m sure there are very talented writers out there who can be experts at everything and write several novels at the same time while drinking $$$$ wine, but I was not that person.
I struggled to learn the rules of my genre and the rules of novel writing.
I read, went to writers’ conferences, and wrote 1.3 million words to get my 89,000-word novel complete along with 55 edits. But enough about writing let’s talk about costs associated with self-publishing.
Ever notice most of the established rich authors have generic-looking covers? But their name is in large font and emblazoned on the front cover. That is because any book Dean Koontz writes I will buy! The cover means nothing to me, the name says it all.
You and I on the other hand need a great book cover to entice someone to pick it up and read a few lines. So my advice is to pay for a great book cover.
This is an image of my logo which my cover artist painted for me. It captures the essence of the love I had for my black lab Rosebud. Noah got the colors right along with that beautiful glint in Rosebud’s eyes that I loved so much! My advice is don’t scrimp on money when it comes to your logo or book cover. Below is my book cover Gunnymac Private Detective Trouble in Chinatown. In a few months, my new Gunny Mac Private Detective  Trouble in Cleveland comes out. All designed by Noah. http://artstation.com
If you are looking for a developmental editor that is good send me an email request. I used one and got back 50 pages of pure gold. This by far was the best learning experience I have ever received. A BFA in Creative Writing for 1% of an undergraduate degree. Cost $1,800.00 dollars.
I used Jera Publishing for my formatting. Along with a chapter image. Kimberly was a wonderful person to deal with and a real pro. I received my manuscript in every form imaginable for book and ebook formatting. She was wonderful. Cost $150.00. http://self-pub.net
Editor. You need someone to edit your novel. I used ten different people all with flaws. I can’t help you here because I wasted money trying to find a good one. My advice pay for quality work. You won’t regret it. Make sure you get a sample ten-page edit to see if you are compatible with the editor. I had one “woke” editor who kept telling me how to write and what to write and that my writing was too made her feel uncomfortable. i guess that was not allowed. I fired her. Make sure they have experience in your genre. Get testimonials. You need an excellent editor…don’t rely on you bright capable Notre Dame graduate. They know nothing about editing a novel.
Do you need an author website…? In my humble opinion yes you need an author website. Pay for a simple website to sell your book and to sell you. You can spend a lot of money on website design, but you can get it done for about $400-$500.00.  Especially if you want to sell your books on your website so people can download your ebooks and audiobooks.
The book trailer... not needed but I can direct you to someone on linked in that will do a great job for $100.00. Mine cost $40.00.
ISBN’s: you must do your own research on this issue…you can get free ISBNs but your publisher will be that company you bought the ISBN’s from.
I bought ten ISBNS from Bowkers for $450.00. You will need an ISBN number for each book, ebook, and audiobook.
Writers conferences...go to one or two and learn. I went to the Larry Brooks conference in Columbus, Ohio. If I had known about Concept and Premise (which he taught me) I would have cut three years off my writing time. His website is:http://Storyfix.com
Writer’s podcasts: My opinion a waste of time. All they try to do is upsell you and talk about everything except writing.
Writer’s on the Internet. They give you just enough information to try to upsell you on the real information. Waste of time.
If you need additional help for free…no selling…just free information contact me on my author website. I will be writing on marketing in the future.
Steven Walker
Hard-boiled Private Detective author.
Gunny Mac Private Detective Trouble in Chinatown
Gunny Mac private Detective trouble in Cleveland is due out soon!.

The author is a retired Infantry officer, retired teacher, and author. It is a desire of his to assist new writers in any way possible.

His genre is Hard-boiled Private Detective fiction, You can reach him at…gunnymac26@gmail.com

How to Choose an Artist for Your Novel Cover

How to Choose an Artist for Your Novel Cover

Why pick Noah Regan to design your book cover?

He designs with the writer in mind and has the talent to view your work through his eyes. He paints with passion and a sense of duty to the novel. He takes those thoughts and wrings out a true depiction of what your novel says to the reader. I interviewed Noah for this important section. Your book cover tells the world if you are a serious writer. In between questions, I will bring in some of Noah’s creations…including my own cover. I think his answers will help you in your important process of picking a book cover designer.

Here is my logo Noah designed for my Publishing company. An image of my beautiful Rosebud. The lab I miss with all of my heart. Noah hit a homerun here. When I saw this painting my eyes filled with tears.


As you can see his talent is quite evident. he captured Rosebud as she was. Majestic and caring. He put a glint in her eyes which accentuated her intelligence and bravery.

Thanks Noah!

Here is the interview I promised you.

Noah Regan

I always loved to draw since I was five. Part of my lifetime goal was to be an illustrator as well as a cartoonist. Thankfully, my career allows me to do both (I’m an editorial cartoonist for the Waterloo Courier). I went to school for commercial art but I wasn’t really satisfied with the education I received. I eventually got a job in graphic design (which is a far cry from illustration) and worked at an advertising agency for six years. I got burnt out with that and left that job for a more hands-on job (literally). I worked in construction for the next handful of years, all while learning illustration and digital painting on the weekends through online courses. 

Then, about three years ago I was confident in my skills enough to leave my day job and to commercial art full time. I work everyday (part of the days on weekends), and if there’s ever a tight deadline then I find myself working in the wee hours of the morning which sounds like it’s a pain, but thinking back on my short career thus far, some of my happiest memories are from working at 1:00 in the morning. 

There are plenty of times I don’t feel like painting since it’s incredibly tedious and quite frankly boring. But, I’m motivated to do it when I’m working on fun projects (like your own) or when I have a great idea of my own that I want to bring to life. It’s incredibly rewarding to see what you have in your head manifest on the screen. Also, I appreciate that I get breaks from it when I make editorial cartoons. Those are fast and fun and one doesn’t have to get mired in the details. 

When it comes to book covers, I feel like they’re incredibly important. I listen to quite a lot of audiobooks because with my job, (I always need something to keep my mind company while I work). I find myself scrolling through audiobooks to listen to and found that I’ve chosen books in the past simply because they had a great cover. It’s incredibly unfair to great books which have bad covers, but what do you do? I see a cool cover and that makes me want to read the teaser for the book, and the next thing you know, I’m listening to it!

Though, what specifically makes for a great cover is hard to say. some of the books I listen to have a location on the cover, some have faces on the cover, many feature people with their backs to you on the cover (which is a popular thing right now) and some have just words. I think it’s less what’s on the cover and more about it being properly executed and professional looking. 

As for designing your cover, Steve, when you mentioned you wanted an old detective paperback-looking cover, my head swam with a lot of ideas. I’m a huge fan of golden age illustrators like Dean Cornwell, Tom Lovell, Harry Anderson, Gil Elvgren, and this type of cover would be right up their alley, so I was excited to work on it. I took it a step further and gave the cover a gritty appearance. I wanted the book cover to look like it would be at home in one of those rotating wire paperback book displays in a drug store sixty years ago. 

I usually come up with my ideas when I’m away from my desk. It’s often while I’m walking, or on the rowing machine, or treadmill. I can’t sit and think about the composition, I get distracted too easily. But, if I’m moving my body, ideas seem to materialize and I get excited and type in notes into my cell phone as quickly as possible. Coming up with the composition is usually the most fun part of the job. The hard work comes in trying to make it look as good as you envisioned. 

Rockwell is a huge inspiration to me. He was not only great at creating perfectly balanced compositions, but his attention to detail is incredible (see Shuffleton’s Barbershop) and he was able to tell a little story visually with every painting he did. 

I’m always up for working on book covers! You can check out my work at my portfolio website Arthouseill.com. Also, I’m represented by the agency IllustrationX. On my profile page (https://www.illustrationx.com/artists/NoahRegan) there’s a “contact” button where one can chat with one of my representatives. Those ladies are very professional and nice and will answer any question you have. 


Lesson 1

Lesson 1

Your novel begins right here.

Concept and Premise

You must understand these two concepts. If you do your novel will be much easier to write.













  • A protagonist whose life is interrupted or disrupted

  • Relates to a specific problem, need, or opportunity

  • Launching a quest, mission…with the desired outcome

  • Reasons or important stakes that compel the character to respond, then resolve the issues

  • In the face of opposition (which is the antagonist/entity) will oppose goals and their own motivation.

  • This calls for higher and higher or (stronger) responses and course of action, which evolve an attack on the problem.

  • Leading towards a courageous resolution resulting from the hero’s decisions and actions

  • Setting up a specific outcome

What comes First?

What comes First?


Millions of people have written millions of books, some good, some bad. I have paid good money to buy books and I quit reading them after twenty pages, no big deal. These books were published by big names and big publishing companies and they were lousy. Your book is just as good or better!

I will guide you through three phases: Construction of a novel, writing a novel, and marketing a novel. Have fun.

So before I begin, I would like to set some ground rules. 

How long will it take me to write my novel?

Rome wasn’t built in a day…either will your novel. It probably will take a year or more. My first novel took five years to write.

How much time will it take to write my novel?

I wrote while employed and time was as scarce as hen’s teeth. No whining about how hard your life is. Set a schedule when and where to write. In the beginning, I recommend two hours a day and build it up until you are tired or unproductive.

How do I start writing my novel?

You don’t just start writing the great American novel. That is plain stupid. You need a map, a compass, and knowledge. I will show you how to map out your novel, head you in the right direction and impart some knowledge.

What must I have to be a novel writer?

You must have a passion to learn how to write a novel. It is a learning experience…enjoy it.

What will I cover in my blog?


The First Phase. The construction of a Novel

The first phase I will cover is the Construction Phase. A novel is constructed just like a house. A writer is like an architect…you must know the rules of designing. A writer is also a builder and cannot build without blueprints. A writer has to do both. I will cover Concept and Premise, Chapter construction, Scene construction, the Stages of a fiction novel, Plotting, the Logic of construction.

The Second Phase. The Writing of a Novel.

The second phase will cover, grammar, pronoun usage, dialogue, punctuation, showing versus telling, paragraph usage, editing, and much more.

The Third Phase will cover Marketing

Should I self publish? Cover selection? Editing? Formatting? Selecting the proper aggregator for self-publishing? How to market your paperback, ebook, or audiobook. Costs associated with self-publishing. marketing services available. Cost?


Cost of self-publishing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

It takes money to write a novel. Sorry to have to tell you that, but it is true. So if you don’t have any money work and save some up. My first novel cost about $5,000. I will go into the costs in a later post.

Ego: Say No to being a Narcissist 

Keep your ego in check. Someone asked me with an excited voice…”How does it feel to be a published author? I said it felt just like mowing my five acres…tired, but content. Just like I felt after an infamous Marine Corp forced march of twenty miles in 3.5 hours, tired but glad I didn’t fall out. Be proud for a few seconds and get back to writing.

Learn to Love Criticism

Learn to take criticism…accept criticism…thank people who criticize you…smile and beg people to criticize you. if you don’t like criticism go do something else.

Life is unfair…get used to it!

I grew up in a tough atmosphere for a kid so I just smile when I hear people carry on how unfair life is…that may be true but you just have to learn to be the referee. You make the rules to live by…you chart out your course…you work harder than anyone around you…when you get knocked down smile and get back on your feet. Keep your faith in God above all else because truly you will never be alone. Never harden your heart…live a life that revolves around helping people. We are not really happy until we achieve and overcome events in life. That is how God made us.

Let’s get started and learn all we can. I’m far from an expert but I have learned much I will share with anybody who has a dream.

Feel free to contact me I will always answer back and help you. That’s just the way I am. gunnymac26@gmail.com