Many writers have aspirations of becoming published authors. While there are many options to getting your works in print, in this article we will focus on what it takes to become an indie or self-published author. Before you make a decision to publish a book, let’s lay out the costs associated with the process so you can make a well-informed decision. In this series, I will share various elements and costs involved with book publishing and becoming a successful author.
There are some industry standards that must be met if you hope to have booksellers make your book available to potential buyers.
For starters, you’ll want to get a COPYRIGHT. This is the legal document you file with the Library of Congress naming you as the owner of the work. This protects you in the event that someone else tries to steal your work. A copyright provides proof that the work in question is yours. In the event that it ever becomes necessary to prove legal ownership, this document should be presented if you have to appear in court. Copyrights start at $35.
The ISBN (or International Standard Book Number) is a unique identifying number assigned to your book that allows retailers, libraries, etc., to look it up in the master system. Even though it’s the same title and content, if you offer more than one version of your book (i.e. paperback, hardback, ebook, audio), each version must have its own ISBN. The cost of ISBN’s starts at $100. However, they can be purchased in bulk, which lowers the per item price.
Books that will be in stores (even online stores) must have a BARCODE. The barcode and ISBN go together. Barcodes are not interchangeable. They are associated with a specific ISBN, specific book title and a specific book list price. Ebooks do not require a barcode. A barcode allows an item to be scanned and the cost is $25 for each bar code purchased.
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