Self-publishing companies sell their services in packages priced from under $200 to many thousands of dollars. A few companies even advertise FREE publishing. It’s very important to know what you need, what you’ll get, and what you won’t get.
Can you really get a book published for less than $200, or for free? Maybe.
Strangely named Aachanon Publishing, which had offered a $195 publishing package, has apparently gone out of business.
Strangely named Wasteland Press has raised the price of its least expensive package from $195 to $245.
Inept and dishonest Outskirts Press still offers a nearly useless $199 package.
The $199 Emerald publishing package from Outskirts actually provides what looks like a “real” book. The package is notable not for what it includes, but for what it excludes.
Most notable is the lack of an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), which means that the book can’t be sold by bookstores. An Emerald book is not even available on the Outskirts online bookstore.
For $199 you are limited to one book size (5.5 by 8.5 inches) and a choice of two cover designs. You get exactly one book which you can read, give away, sell or display on your mantelpiece. You can order more books if you want to. They won’t be pretty, but they are books.
- The top package from Outskirts costs $1099. Some other publishers may charge over $50,000. Be careful. A big investment won’t guarantee a great book, and may kill any chance of making a profit. Be sure of your goals and your budget, and act accordingly.
- "FREE" publishing is advertised by several companies. You can upload a text file for free and make a cover from a template for free. But if you want actual books to be distributed or if you want a copy of your own book, you'll pay real money.