Self-publishing ideas!

I have money…monthly.

The overall major thing is purchasing the things I need for the novel when the time comes for one. I got Reedsy or Fiverr, but the money is what I am griping about.

You shouldn’t use a lot of money on your first book series, but not so cheap that it is lackluster.

Any and every advice is both needed and of course wanted.

Thoughts and feelings?



There are some YouTube videos on how to self-publish without spending any money, but I think you’re trying to avoid YT? Maybe google for blogs that give the same advice on a website.

I love making my own covers with free images on Pixabay. Here’s a list of places you can get images that are free to use for commercial works:

There are ways to cut costs on everything. Maybe one of those blog posts will tell you how…? ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯


Don’t matter anymore where it comes from.

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Thanks a bunches! :grin:

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Okay, the publishing part of self-publishing? There are options. I use KDP because it’s free and I’m in charge of what I do.

Everything else? Writing, editing, professional cover design, advertising, marketing, ISBNs? You need money to do all that or to pay someone else to do it for you

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Yes, it is a matter of how much I would need for those things? I am wondering how much I should spend, because the amount I get monthly isn’t enough, since I am unable to keep the full amount to pay bills along with how the relative I live with. So, I am not able to spend money, unless I save up for that, but saving money is EXTREMELY hard for me.

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I could be wrong, but I think Amazon gives you one ISBN for each book for free if you upload the ebook version first and then make paper versions after that. At least, they did for me…? But I’m in the states, so maybe it’s different for Australia? I dunno. I know they didn’t charge me for the ISBN for each paper book, but I created the ebook version first, then clicked that button that says create paperback or hardcover.


:thinking: In my experience and from researching, these things all add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars ;-; It’ll take you a while to find anything reasonably priced because, well, the price for the production of any art form is quite ridiculous


It does. But then that book can only be published on KDP. I buy my own ISBNs so I can also publish outside Amazon should I chose, and I completely own the copyright.

That’s the main reason but there’s also some legal things here too :joy:


I always said that if I won the lottery that I would self-publish my novel, I am thinking that might be the best way to do it…honestly.

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Honestly you’re more likely to find reasonable prices than win the lotto :joy:


But which is cheaper? Fiverr or Reedsy?

Also, should spending a heck of a lot on your first novel series be such a good thing? I ask because if you are just staring out, do you want to waste large amounts of money on your very first series, when you are just starting out and chances are that you will get better and earn more money as you continuing writing, correct?

I am genuinely curious.

I have no idea because I can’t afford advertising. Mine is done through social media by me or through the family grapevine :joy:

You need to start somewhere. There are always baseline costs no matter which book you publish, especially when it comes to self publishing and you’re doing everything yourself. Yes, the first one will be the worst, but you do have the option to do a new edition later down the road (I’m actually in the process of doing this). I also wouldn’t call it “wasting” money tbh. If you want sales, it needs to look professional and that costs money. It’s like buying a new suit/dress for your new job. Annoyingly pricey but apparently also necessary for the sake of professionalism


sorry, unpublished here. might want to ask someone more experienced.

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Full disclosure, I am a cover designer by trade, so I might be a bit biased. But I have seen first hand the results of DIY-ed work versus the results after a complete brand refresh from myself, with my own clients.

Editing, if you have a strong background with editing and the discipline to edit your own work, can be done for free. Following up your own edits with a beta reader etc can be really beneficial - we often don’t see issues in our own work easily, so a second/third pair of eyes can be useful.

For your cover, this is also doable yourself, but I’d really caution against it unless you have a background in design (and marketing – common pitfall for newer authors is to believe your cover is meant to be pretty, when that isn’t what it’s for at all). Your cover is, arguably, the most important marketing asset you have - it needs to meet reader expectations whilst looking good.

If you feel you have the design knowledge to tackle it, a cover can cost as little as the stock and fonts you buy (and software), and time. I’d stay far away from the free image websites for a variety of reasons, but the main one being the lack of releases on file. Releases are important to make sure you’re legally in the clear and won’t upset anybody with what you do for the images. Depositphotos is 39USD for 100 images on AppSumo a few times a year - worth the security imo. Fonts-wise, Google Fonts has plenty.

For your marketing, you can go as free as you want. Social media is important to any marketing angle in 2024, Google Digital Garage has a free certification on digital marketing that might steer you along the right path. Running your own newsletter costs as much as your domain + email hosting (now required afaik for all newsletter platforms). Paid advertising, like Google Ads and Meta Ads, might not be worth it at the start unless you really want to inject your project with some reach.

You can also choose to pay for platforms such as Booksprout, Booksirens, and assorted newsletter promo lists - this is usually from 10USD.

I would stay away from Fiverr, personally. Especially for your cover and marketing. I’ve sold on Fiverr so have some experience with it and there’s an awful lot of people stealing covers and selling “top tier design” for 10 bucks - this isn’t realistic, but a lot of people fall for it. That’s not to say there’s no actual artists there, there are, but it’s a lot easier to fall victim for one of these scams if you’re newer to publishing.


If you use Draft2Digital they’ll provide ISBNs no matter where you live. I’ll be going with them. It’s free to sign up. Anyway, ISBNs yourself or not, it might be good to check them out. They’re a distributor and they can help you create your book and distribute it to many places, not just Amazon, so you’re not just on KDP.

As for editing Between Roses, I did a lot of editing myself and got tons of feedback from readers in the past, so I didn’t have to hire out as many editors as I would have otherwise (Lunar Heart, Shadow Bound is going to be different :sweat_smile: ).

There’s many rounds of developmental editing (which I think you can do a lot yourself together with alpha readers or beta readers (do not pay for beta readers, and you will find willing people on FB or IG)), line editing (check sentence flow, missing punctuations, word usage, mistakes like “past” vs “passed” etc.), proofreading (the final check before publication). There’s also copyediting and that I’ve seen being used synonymously with line editing but sometimes separately depending on the editor. If you do hire someone and they do have copyediting services, you might want to ask them exactly how it’s different from line editing.

Anyway, even if you have a low budget, you can find quality editors and some editors can be accommodating to payment plans. Don’t be swayed by pricing. Lower doesn’t mean bad and higher might not always mean you guys will match. You have to contact and ask them if they offer free samples (sometimes samples can cost money, too, so keep that in mind) so you can see if their editing style matches with what you’re looking for.

As for covers, I did hire out despite I can make them myself, because sometimes cover designing pros know best. Besides, I want to make sure I can use the cover to sell books. I don’t want to accidentally infringe on something :sweat_smile:

About Reedsy, I’ve heard mixed tales from people who ordered from their cover designers. Some people will swear by their designers being the best of the best, and others have had issues with designers using AI or using other designers’ covers in their portfolio to appear professional. I did hear that Reedsy has a very, very, VERY strict screening system when it comes to their designers, but it seems some people slip through the cracks :sweat_smile:

About Fiverr, I wouldn’t trust cover artists. Some might be genuine people, but

:point_up_2: this

If you have FB, you can find some cover designer’s groups.

The cover for Between Roses was made by Aethrastic Designs who I was following on IG.

If you want to do things for free as much as possible, but have another pair or two pairs of eyes on your story, connections. Connections with people are soooo important :sweat_smile: Whether that be here, or FB, or IG or wherever you are, if you know someone or there’s someone you talk to a lot or something like that, or you’re friendly with someone, there’s a high chance they would be willing to do something for you, sometimes not even in exchange for something :wink: