In 2018, I published my first book Patched. Publishing books have costs associated with them and I want to break down how I saved money publishing and some other ideas as well.
Tip #1 -Grant Funding
First of allI want to start by saying that I was very fortunate to get this book self-published by receiving a grant from the Waterloo Arts Fund -that supports projects from local artist through a two phase application process. With that being said, I think it is worthwhile to search into local/regional grants in the area you live that might provide all or partial funding for a project like this. For this particular grant I applied to there was a requirement that the grant had to give back to the community in some way. So part of my proposal included that I would donate 10% of printed copies to local libraries.
Tip # 2- Pre-sale/Self-fundraise
Selling copies of a your book with a pre-sale can be highly effective especially if you have an e-mail list that you can reach out to. You can offer a special incentive for people buying the pre-sale like save a certain percentage off, receiving early access to a chapter, receiving a free gift like a printed artwork or photograph. These incentives make it more worthwhile for someone to pay for something ahead of time.
In addition to pre-selling your book you could consider self-fundraising which might include a sale in your online shop or using something like a crowdfunding website where you offer something small or some kind of a gift to those who invest in your publishing project.
Tip # 3- Consider an online publisher- look for deals!
I used Blurb to print my book. You can look into other online publishing companies there are a lot. I wanted something Canadian since I am from Canada and I wanted more of a photo book with high quality printed photos since that is what the majority of my book contains.
A lot of these online publishing companies including Blurb has a ton of deals and discounts. I got my book printed on a Black Friday Sale and saved 50%. You can follow one of these companies in Instagram to see the types of discounts they have done in the past.
Factors to consider when printing a book:
Hard cover versus soft – I chose hard – I wanted a nice coffee table style book
Type of paper- I chose something with a bit of shine and a high quality photo paper
Removing the Logo of the Printing company – I chose to remove the logo as I found it distracting however this costed more
Consider Shipping – Shipping alone for me was close to $110
Consider a PDF Ebook that you can use to sell in addition to your hard cover book as a source of passive income or on your own to save even more money.
With all of my add ons and discounts I paid- (with the support of my grant) -approx. $55 per book + Shipping
Let me know what your book will be about in the comments!