Ideally a traditional publisher is the way to go when considering upfront cost. Most traditional publishers pay advances on possible sales of  your titles however, they don’t pay royalties on the back-end until refunded. However, if you are like the other self-publishers tired of waiting for your talent to be “discovered” then you can join the rest of us paving our own path. During your search you will be faced with lots of decisions so here is a bit of help. I have a list of the most expensive self-publishing companies in the business. Prices are based on maximum services including “free” author copies.

Xlibris $15,249

Xlibris offers the platinum package which they nicknamed the Rolls-Royce of publishing. Authors get paperback, hardback and ebook formatting. Unlimited changes to the front cover design, 2 leather-bound copies, 120 paperback copies and 45 hardback. One of the big benefits of this package is they have a 100% royalty program (sounds good except your book may have to be listed at a higher than competitive price) The marketing campaign offers a few nice goodies like press release distribution to 1000 publications, personalized web design and a book trailer with audio. Pretty impressive services not to mention the book posters, fliers, postcards, bookmarks and business cards but is it all really worth it? Well, that’s for you to decide

Trafford Publishing $10,999

Welcome to the big boys! If you are looking for every service rolled into one expensive bundle you’ve found it. Trafford offers its writers an all-inclusive package that will provide you with not only your ISBN# but copyright registration, Library of Congress # also. You also get an option of both paperback and hardback printing and copyediting services. With a price tag like that you will see some other luxury services that include 75 paperback copies of your book, 35 hardback copies and over 110  book stubs. Worldwide book distribution is included as well as a stand alone book trailer and a hollywood audition. Some unnecessary services are unlimited data entry services and an author learning center. Trafford should be selected for authors who have already gone through the publishing process and are looking to go big or go home the second time around.

Authorhouse $11,298

Authorhouse is the creme de la creme of self-publishing. They provide you with a variety of services including registering your copyright, obtaining your ISBN and the library of congress number. However, that hefty price tag includes a full color cover design, back cover sales copy, online distribution and also 20 paperback copies, 5 hardcover and 30 book stubs. The package also includes unnecessary services like professional marketing consultation. Generally speaking this is a one hour telephone conference telling you of different marketing methods. For authors looking to get an edge on the competition there is the ability to get an infomercial with book trailer with an incredible price tag of $8,999. For unknown authors just starting out this is a big waste of money.

The upside is that you get quality, professional looking books that can compete against the traditional publishing houses. Authorhouse book covers are colorful and look amazing.

Many of these self-publishing packages are filled with tons of services that can be done by YOU the self-publisher for much LESS. By doing it yourself it will save you tons of money and the most expensive thing you will invest is your time.

  1. Doug Oldfield says:

    Wow! Thanks for the info. Sounds a bit steep to me but it’s good to know.

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