A guide to production costs and budgets

Photo of a hand taking a $20 and $50 note out of a wallet
Show me the money!
1 April 2000

When embarking on a self-publishing endeavour, it’s smart to first create a budget. Of course, you’ll never be able to work out the exact costs in advance but it’s wise to have an approximate idea soyou don’t run out of money halfway through or find yourself having to fork over more than expected.

Budgeting: so how does this all work?

We’re going to take you on a run-through of a basic book costing. Marketing and distribution costs are not included in this example as they are far too variable (they aren’t included in a publisher’s book costing either). Don’t forget this is only a book costing. This means it only takes into account the fixed costs of producing a book.

Your budget will also need to consider variable costs such as distribution, marketing and publicity, postage, telephone and fax, office stationery, petrol, your time, ISBN and barcode, and, if relevant, a book launch.

Information sheet

Download: A Guide to Production Costs and Budgets

Download this breakdown of industry standard prices for the kinds of services you might be expected to need when self-publishing.

Please note: none of these are exact and most will vary according to the nature of your manuscript (full colour non-fiction, short fiction, picture book, etc.)