As a published author, I have felt pressure from the get-go to start marketing and building a solid brand that my readers could depend on. Having had a marketing background it wasn’t difficult, so much as laborious. What I wouldn’t give for a talented, analytical marketing person to take on this task freeing me to do what I love, write.

My reality, and probably yours, too, is that funding is at a minimum and advertising, no matter how limited, costs real money. I’ve had numerous invitations from exceptional organizations and persons wishing to help me build my brand, etc. I want to help you all, but again, my dollars are spent on high-level editing and book covers.

For those looks to know what it costs to produce and publish a book, check out these price points:

WRITING: FREE, unless you invest in author-specific software like Atticus , or Scriver etc.

COVERS: FREE, if you are a graphics designer with a keen eye that attracts your genre. Otherwise, plan a pre-made for as little as $25 (most always not a good option) – $1000. I usually get by for about $350 with a semi-made cover that are embellished with my specifics. This includes the cover, the back cover, a teaser ad, a paperback and hardcover set-up.

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING: $200-$2000. For Romance Authors specifically, DO NOT USE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER! You’re dialog is too casual. Find someone who reads and specializes in your genre. It makes a difference. Hopefully, after a while, you’ll get a better idea of how to create a strong hook, have balance between the narrative and dialogue, etc. This is where your imagination either needs to be more detailed or reigned in. I found joining several writing groups helps to get a wide range of opinions to mitigate the costs.

COPY EDITING: $200- thousands, depending on your word count.

LINE EDTING: $200- thousands, depending on your word count.

FORMAT EDITING: $100-$500, depending on how stylized you want it.

While I’m not complaining, these are our realities as authors. It’s the pressure to do more; TikTok, BookTok, etc. every day that keeps me awake at night. I’m not a Twitter user, and don’t plan to be one. I listen to lots of podcasts about writing and the business. I have over 100 hours of educational modules to complete…after THE END is typed. (This will be my summer job after my final manuscript, Making Perfect Sense, gets to my editor.) All I’m saying is, how are all you handling these pressures? How are you making money without selling a kidney? I know there are plenty of you doing this without spending hundreds/thousands of dollars a month on advertising…or are you? PLEASE SEND ME GOOD JU-JU, ADVICE, and heck, if you have an extra $100 to donate, I’ll take that too 🤣

Best to you all! Learn more about Beth Gelman at: