How to fund self-publishing your book

You have finished your book, it’s taken a lot of blood sweat and tears and now you want to publish it. If you want to keep the momentum going self-publishing is the way to do it. The questions I get asked a lot are; how to self-publish and how much will it cost.

You have choices about how you self-publish your book may be based on how much money you want to invest, your skills and the time you have available. But it’s also about what your hopes are for your book and your motivations for self-publishing it. Do you only want to give your book to family and friends as a gift or do you want to earn an income from your book?

Think of yourself in a publisher’s shoes – if they are going to publish your book to sell, they invest their money in editing, proofreading, designing a cover, formatting for an ebook, typesetting for print and marketing. If you want to earn money from your book you need to invest in it to produce the most professional book you can. Your writing deserves it and so does the reader. Which takes us back to the question of how can I fund this?

I have already written about the costs that some self-publishing companies charge (check out Are you a cash cow?) It can be a very expensive business but it doesn’t need to be. Maybe you can skill swap or rope in the services of friends to help with some of the technical aspects.

Funding for training

If you want to learn the skills to publish your book and you live in Scotland you can get help to fund your training from Skills Development

Scotland Flexible Training Opportunities fund. This fund provides employers and self-employed people with 50% of the costs for all sorts of training up to £500 per person. But wait a minute I hear you say “I’m not an employer or self-employed I am a writer”. Well, guess what – if you are looking to sell your book then you will be a self-employed writer and as far as Skills Development Scotland is concerned that entitles you to apply. You can find out more here

You could seek out training in cover design, typesetting and formatting and learn the skills to create a professional quality book. Our Bookcamp training programme offers all this and a lot more besides.

Funding services

If you don’t want to learn to do everything yourself or you want to publish quickly then you can pay someone else to produce your ebook, cover or print files for you. The prices for these services can vary greatly so you may be able to fund from your own savings (if anyone still has some these days!), use credit or find a kindly relative or friend to fund it for you.

Have you heard of crowdfunding? It’s the new kid on the block for funding your book. Crowdfunding is a way to ask people to invest in your book where you offer them some special return based on the level of investment. Crowdfunding has been around and used for raising finance for many sorts of projects including films, events and products but is now being used more and more to publish books. This is an exciting new option with benefits that can extend beyond the money itself. Sinclair and I attended some training about the pros and cons of crowdfunding recently and we think it has great potential. Look out for next week’s blog where I will share more about this.