Since I began teaching people how to get published, I don't think I've gone a week without being asked, "How much does it cost to publish a book on Amazon?"
It is a hot topic, but not one that is easily answered; so I am going to attempt to do so in this post!
How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book on Amazon
The Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) self-publishing platform is unique in what it offers authors. And by that, I don't just mean the different royalty plans of 35% to 70% of sale price, depending on the country.
I mean the potential to get a book on the shelf with relatively no money down, if you so choose!
In fact, see my post on how to publish a book on KDP for under $200 to learn exactly what I mean.
This is even truer for ebooks, as they have less strict publishing guidelines in some ways. So, if you want to keep the cost of book formatting low, you'll be pleased to know you can pretty much just convert your book into KDP format (a format known as “Mobi”) for digital books, upload, and go!
The ease of the entire process is why 37% of authors use KDP for self-publishing!
- How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book on Amazon
- How much Sales Commission Amazon KDP Charges:
- Other Costs to consider for Self-Publishing:
- So, How much does it cost to publish a book on Amazon?
- KDP Publishing Cost Royalties (Amazon Book Printing Cost Calculator)
- With all these costs considered, is it worth publishing a book on Amazon?
How much Sales Commission Amazon KDP Charges:
Amazon charges a sales commission from your book earning as you are selling by their store, not directly to the reader. Like other stores, Amazon also makes a profit from your selling. Amazon’s sales commission is based on the royalty plan that you choose.
- 35% Royalty: The Amazon sales commission is 65% for books below $2.99 and above $9.99.
- 70% Royalty: The Amazon sales commission is 30% for books between $2.99 and $9.99.
There are certain rules and exceptions regarding 70% royalty, you might take into consideration. Not all the books are eligible for 70% royalty. Moreover, there is a list of countries or territories which pay only 30% royalty to sales.
Other Costs to consider for Self-Publishing:
When self-publishing your book, you will have to face seven major costs. All these costs are applicable from editing to printing, depending upon your budget and book. All these costs vary from eBooks to Paperbacks.
Book Editing and Proofreading Cost
Amazon KDP doesn’t provide any kind of tool to proofread a book. You can do it by yourself or hire an editor.
If you are a good writer and have writing experience you can self-edit with tools like Grammarly, or may have a person who goes through the book for you.
The difference a good editor can make is immense. It is your editor who helps you tighten your writing and makes it more captivating; leaving all the fluff behind.
When it comes to editing there are three main types to make a book worth reading. From easiest to most difficult ones, these are;
- Copyediting, and
- Developmental Editing.
You can get proofreading done for about $0.01 per word, depending upon the length of your manuscript. Copyediting will cost you between $0.02-0.04 per word. While developmental editing can cost $0.08 or more per word.
Cover Designs and Images Cost
The next cost after Editing is cover designs. Many options are available depending upon your budget and experience. If you are familiar with Graphic designing, you can use free tools like KDP Cover Creator or Canva. The cover creator provides a variety of fonts and layouts to customize a design for your eBook and Paperback.
You can use images from the cover creator image gallery or upload an image of your own. But if you don’t have skills in graphics designing, hiring a designer is the best alternative. You can find a beginner cover designer on Fiverr or Upwork for as low as $5.
A mid-level one will run you from $300 to $900, and top-level will charge $1000 to $3000 depending upon your budget. If you are writing fantasy books for children with a whole new world, hire an illustrator. He will create a map of your world that you can use inside of the book. Try to give the reader the best possible experience.
KDP Book Formatting Cost
Book formatting is an important step in self-publishing. Manuscript formatting is about presenting your eBook in a way that appeals to the reader. It may be free or of cost. Amazon KDP provides the tool Kindle Create for free formatting of the book.
It provides a vast world of designed themes with chapter titles. Kindle Create will automatically find the titles from your content while preparing it for publishing.
Why Not Outsource Editing And Formatting Your Book?
Editing a book is no easy feat. Not only do you have to make sure the story is flowing well, but you also need to make sure the grammar and punctuation are spot on. If you're not confident in your editing skills, it's always a good idea to get a second opinion. And that's where Fiverr comes in.
Fiverr is an online marketplace where you can find freelancers to help with all sorts of tasks, including editing and formatting books.
Whether you need someone to do a quick proofread or a more comprehensive edit, you're sure to find a Fiverr seller who can meet your needs. And best of all, the prices are very affordable.
Maybe you don’t know how to use Kindle Create then formatting will be of cost for you. Typically, a simple format for a fiction or non-fiction book will cost you anywhere between $50 to $200 depending upon how large is your book.
If you have a complex book with a lot of images and visuals, then the charges will be higher. You can save the fees of formatting if you learn it in Microsoft Word, it is pretty simple. Once your manuscript is completely turned into an eBook, you can preview it on Kindle Previewer.
KDP Printing Costs: How Much Does It Cost to Print a Book on Amazon
KDP has various parameters to calculate the cost of printing Paperbacks. This is subtracted from your royalty, no need to pay extra money.
Amazon print on demand pricing is determined by:
- the number of pages in your book
- which ink (black or color) you are using.
Three ink and page types are available. It also depends upon the country from where the book is ordered. There are two ways of calculating printing cost:
- Amazon KDP Calculator will automatically calculate the cost of printing according to your print options
- Use this formula to calculate the cost of printing paperback Fixed cost + (page count * per page cost) = Printing cost
KDP Shipping Cost
Amazon handles the shipping for all books sold through KDP, so you don't need to worry about those costs as an author. Shipping costs vary depending on the reader's location and the selected shipping option, but Prime members always get free shipping.
If you're interested in purchasing author copies of your book, KDP does charge you, but you can save if ordering in bulk and do not require expedited shipping.
The shipping cost is calculated separately from the printing costs and will only be displayed to you once you add your author copies to your cart.
Ebook Delivery Cost
Yes, this is a thing! It costs $0.15 per MB of a book between the price of $2.99 and $9.99. In other words, a minimum of 1 cent in costs per delivery.
No delivery cost applies to books priced below $2.99 or above $9.99 which is why these price points are popular amongst authors.
You can roughly calculate the delivery cost by formulae. But the best way is to upload the file on the KDP pricing page and the tool will tell the exact cost.
KDP Book Marketing
It is a major cost that publishers have to afford to make a book for the best-selling. Most authors focus on the following marketing platforms:
- Their Email lists
- Promotional websites like book bub or the fussy librarian
- Running ads on Facebook or Amazon
This cost is optional and depends on what are the author’s goals. If you want to hit a best-seller list, then choose a smart marketing strategy.
These marketing options range from $20 to $2000. The goal of marketing your self-published book is to make sure that you are spending money to reach the right type of reader, not wasting money.
All the publishers must provide valid taxpayer information to comply with the US rules and regulations. To publish a book, you have to go to a tax interview. Tax withholding varies from the US to the Non-US publisher.
For US publishers, there is no tax withholding on royalty payment if they provide authentic tax information in the interview.
For the non-US publisher, the tax withholding is 30% on royalty payment for sales in US stores. If the publisher country has an income tax treaty with the US, they are eligible for a reduced tax rate.
So, How much does it cost to publish a book on Amazon?
As you can see from above, how much it costs to get published on Amazon can cost as little as nothing, to a few thousand dollars.
It all depends on the factors above. However, I have helped many people to publish their first print and paperback book on Amazon for under $200 with ease.
Your key things to consider here will be:
- How much will I spend on editing and formatting?
- Do I need to hire an illustrator?
- Will I pay for my cover or design it myself?
- How much should I spend on marketing (if anything?)
KDP Publishing Cost Royalties (Amazon Book Printing Cost Calculator)
Amazon's kdp book printing cost calculator is a great way to determine your paperback's printing cost, minimum list price, and royalties. Simply select your region, page count, ink type, and trim size.
The calculator will then provide you with an estimate for your printing cost, minimum list price, and royalties.
Keep in mind that costs may vary depending on your specific book's trim size, bleed settings, regional marketplace it was ordered from, and cover finish.
However, KDP's book printing cost calculator is a great way to get a general idea of what your costs will be.
With all these costs considered, is it worth publishing a book on Amazon?
Absolutely! I make a full-time income self-publishing on Amazon KDP. The key is to write quality books that solve a problem or fill a need for your target audience. If you can do that, the sales will come.
All-in-all, I find the Amazon self publishing cost quite reasonable; you can make a very decent income from your book sales especially if you do some book sales research on what people already want before making it!
But if you're strategic about it, you can keep your costs fairly low and still see great results. So if you're passionate about writing and willing to put in the work, self-publishing on Amazon could be a great option for you.
Need A Helping Hand?
I have two recommendations if you are having a hard time turning your ideas into a best-selling book:
1) Give This AI Novel Writer A Go (with 10,000 free words you don't have much to lose!)
2) Plan your story properly.
I made a story-writing planner for this very reason!
Last update on 2022-09-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API