The Career Author Podcast: Episode 146 – Publishing on a Budget

Publishing on a Budget

Publishing on a Budget

There’s no way around it. Publishing a book that is presentable enough to ask money for is going to cost some cash of your own. But do you have to break the bank in order to publish a good book?

In this conversation, J. and Zach discuss ways you can publish your book on a budget. What are the expenses you can avoid, and which are essential to helping your book succeed? And is it possible to provide a professional product on a shoestring budget?

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • What costs to consider
  • How to determine what to spend money on
  • Tools you need and probably don’t need

Also, Zach recommends a method to gain clarity on your creative life.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: What is your average budget for publishing a book?

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9 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 146 – Publishing on a Budget

  • Morning guys. Interesting topic. Apologies but you always knew I was going to disagree.
    My disagreement centres on your use of the word professionalism. I don’t know of any definition of professionalism that states one must pay for services. The most common definition of professionalism is that one must be paid for one’s services.
    Take sport or music. Professionals get paid but they don’t have to pay to be a professional. One can become a professional sportsperson or musician by using one’s talent and dedication etc. Yes one can pay for golf lessons or music lessons and in some sports and some musical styles there are tried routes that involve paying for training to becoming a professional but it is not a must.
    One can use the word professional as in professional approach, but that still does not mean one must pay. It means one dedicates oneself to practice and to learn from experts by imitation and developing one’s skills. One can learn anything if one takes a professional approach.
    The same is true for writing. One is a professional writer when one gets paid but one does not have to pay to become a professional writer; in fact one can pay a lot of money and not be a professional writer if nobody buys the book. Yes it helps to pay for some things that one cannot do well, just as it helps to pay for a coach to improve one’s golf swing, but whilst that might be good sense it is not professionalism.
    Editing is an interesting topic. Would every wannabe writer benefit from having a good editor? Yes.
    But what qualifies one as an editor? There is a UK body called the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading but I have never heard any Indie state an editor must belong to it. Ask your editors what qualifies them to be an editor. I suspect many will get a shock. The most common answer will be “I have edited x00 books…” but few will have more than a correspondence course in copy-editing or maybe a degree in English. Yet our favourite English graduate and teacher, Aunt Sally, who has probably read and analysed more of the great and bestselling works of literature than most Indies will read in a lifetime, and who gets paid (professionally) to mark and grade fiction her entire professional life, is not suitable to edit one’s book. Really?
    By suggesting one must pay to publish a good book you are creating a barrier to entry that doesn’t exist.
    Anyone who baulks at paying a lot for covers should spend 19 minutes watching https://youtu.be/7__-AhQE4WY Some of you may get a shock.
    So to summarise my view: paying for services does not a professional writer make.
    Interesting discussion today.

    • Thanks, buddy. You know I love and respect you. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this. I’ll let your comment stand as I had my say on the microphone 😉

    • My take is that MOST indie authors have to pay or barter for editing and/or a good cover.

      With editing, at least you can check out their work, get references. It improves your odds over asking [untested] fans if anyone is willing to edit.

      Sure, some have an Aunt Sally, but even there you’re paying in love. …or maybe extortion.

  • J. and Zach, thanks for the shout-out for The Indy Author Podcast! Your listeners might be interested to know that J. and I discussed not only 9 THINGS CAREER AUTHORS DON’T DO: EXERCISE, but also the business plan behind the 9 THINGS series, which has prompted me to move my next non-fiction book to the front of my work queue, and to address it with an MVP mindset.

    Regarding the theme of this episode, I wanted to recommend this video from Dale Roberts of Self Publishing with Dale, where he conducts an invaluable experiment about getting a cover design from Fiverr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7__-AhQE4WY

    Thanks for another great episode!


  • Another great podcast! On the topic of email lists – I highly recommend Moosend for authors, it does have a free plan for under 1,000 subscribers and their paid plans are quite affordable. They also have some pretty advanced features. I recently switched to them and I’m loving their service so far.

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