Have you ever stopped to think about how much your book is worth? When you contemplate that question, you probably think about all the services you purchased before and after publication, including book editing, proofreading, formatting, cover design and layout services. While these are all good numbers to know, and they do factor into the cost of your book, don’t forget about yourself. Even if you did all of those things yourself and had no out of pocket expenses, your book still has a price on it. Let’s take an in-depth look.

Writing the Book

The first thing you need to think about is the value of your time. What’s your time worth? What are you giving up to write your book? Was it a weekend getaway? Did you put more stress on your partner because you couldn’t help out with cooking or cleaning? Did you turn down family get-togethers to finish your book? All of these things have a cost. Of course, rather than give each of the events you missed a price, it’s easier to give yourself an hourly wage.

Let’s say you worked 20 hours a week for 16 weeks on your book and you decided that your personal hourly rate was $20. In this scenario, you spent 320 hours on your book. At $20, your total book cost is $6,400.


Editing the Book

You can edit your book yourself. If you did that, multiply the hours you spent editing by your hourly rate. For myself, I usually spend about 10 hours of editing per round of editing, and I typically do it 3 times. Once on the computer. Once via text to speech and once via Grammerly. This is an additional $600. If you paid someone, then your cost is the price you paid your professional editor plus the time you spent making sure the editor's changes were correct.

Final Edit and Proofreading

Once you’re finished editing the book, it’s always a good idea to give it one more read-through. This is where you find mistakes that you introduced during editing, and even editing during this round can introduce mistakes, so be careful. I caught one after I published AVIA IV. Eventually, I’ll fix it in the ebook version, but I found a comma instead of a period. It was the direct result of my deleting a dialogue sentence and forgetting to change that punctuation. Is it annoying? Yep. Is it critical? No, because I found it before I published the print book version. With that being said, it usually takes me about 6 hours to do that final edit and proofread. That’s another $120.

Formatting Your Book

If you paid someone to do this, then your cost is the cost that you paid plus the time you spent making sure the layout was correct. When I do this, it usually takes me 6 to 8 hours. This includes page and paragraph formatting. Making sure the chapter headers are correct, the page numbers are in the book and inserting any special details, like fancy lines or images. This is another $160.

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Cover Design

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I do all my custom cover work. They can take me anywhere from 10 to 40 hours to create. If you paid someone, then it’s the cost you paid your cover designer. My personal cost is upwards of $800, and if it’s an AVIA cover, then you better believe it’s worth $800. Those take forever.

Uploading to Your Desired Publishing Platform

No matter what you choose as a publishing platform, you’re going to upload your novel document and your covers into the site. This takes me about an hour, if it doesn’t get rejected due to ridiculous errors, like the text going over the space or a non-flattened cover. That’s another $20.

Total Cost of Publishing the Book

The total worth of one of my full-length books, which range from 80,000 to 100,000 words is $8,100. Your book’s total worth may be different, depending on the professional services you use and/or the length of time it takes you to write and draft your novel.

Why Is Knowing Your Book’s Worth Important?

It’s important to know your book’s worth so that you know when you break even. It’s also important for pricing your book. For example: If your book costs $8,100, and you set your book’s price at $2.99 for the ebook, you’d need to sell 3,970 ebooks to break even. That’s because a $2.99 book only nets $2.04 in royalties. If you wanted to earn back your worth in fewer books, you’d raise the price.

The other reason to keep this in mind is when you encounter someone who is randomly plying their book services to you. They may be offering social media advertising, book covers, book trailers, email lists. Whatever it is, and they want paid for it. Basically, they want that $2 you just earned off that one book sale yesterday. Keep in mind that that $2 goes toward your reimbursement. Your books still owe you another $8,098, so be careful when randomly solicited by people offering author services. You do have costs to cover even if you didn’t pay any actual cash upfront.



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Read More Fiction from Stacey Carroll


AVIA III: Cons and Cops Kindle Edition 

Kidnapped by the Sanchez, thrown into the backseat of a black Cadillac and hit in the head, Avia is on her own when it comes to escaping her captors and returning to her uncle’s La Pryor ranch. However, she is determined to escape from the blood-covered backseat and disgusting garage where Xavier and Jamie Sanchez have decided to hide after realizing their car’s radiator is leaking.

In the meantime, Benton has been rushed to the hospital suffering from a deep bullet wound to the shoulder. Upon waking from surgery, he is dismayed to learn that Avia is still missing. He demands to be released in order to find her but is refuted by Brian, who tells him that he must stay in the hospital until he’s healed enough to go home. In an effort to calm Benton and to alleviate his own fears about where Avia is and what might be happening to her, he tells Benton that he will go look for her.

Unbeknownst to Benton, Brian has ulterior motives for finding Avia. Her kidnapping has brought to the forefront a barrage of emotions that the Company hitman has yet to deal with, but one this is certain, he can’t stand the thought of losing Avia.





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