Hey guys! It's Madison Square Darden and I'm back with another blog post. This blog will break down the costs of IT'S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30. As you already know, I wrote a book. What you may not know is that I'm a self-published author and I took the scenic route to arrive at a finished product. I hope this post will give people an understanding on how much time and money they may invest if they want to self-publish a book.
NOTE: This post is updated as of April 15, 2019
All prices of US Dollars
Direct book expenses - $1,632.99
Editing by Acker Editing: $850
Cover Design: $275
Cover Images: $70
Microsoft Word: $107.99
ISBN Number (paperback): $125
ISBN Number (ebook): $125
ISBN Barcode: $25
Library of Congress Control Number: $0
U.S. Copyright: $55
Supplementary Book Expenses - $881.40
Initial order of 40 books: $278
250 Business Cards: $12.95
100 ULINE Bubble Mailers: $42.38
Squarespace Website: $27.95/month
Buckeye Muscle Media, LLC: $99
2017 Topps MLB Trading Cards: $62.09
Shipping (29 books): $181.04
Amazon Seller Account Fee (one month): $39.99
American Book Fest awards entry fees: $138
10/15/2017 to 2/7/2019 = 480 Days
I just threw out A LOT of numbers so I will break them down and give you the reasoning behind why I spent the moolah that I spent. The biggest expense I incurred was editing. Luckily, my book is nonfiction and content wrote itself, however, I did get an editor to clean up my writing do it would be clear and concise. The service I paid for was copyediting which means that the editor read the entire manuscript and made changes as he saw fit. The original manuscript was around 63,000 words and after all of the edits, the manuscript is around 59,000 words. I thank Acker Editing for making my book an enjoyable read. The one takeaway from this: DON'T SKIMP ON EDITING!!! This is the one expense you do not want go cheaply.
The next biggest expense was the cover for the book. I was recommended a comic book illustrator who exceeded my expectations. He took two images for the front and back cover and transformed them into comic book illustrations. We went through 3 different edits before the final version was complete. The cover images were shot back in January 2018 and they were the inspiration for the front and back cover images.
I used Microsoft Word to write the manuscript and it is a yearly subscription. I was able to use the cloud to complete the book while I was away from my computer. I would say that half of the book was done on my phone.
ISBN numbers and barcode were $275 and l learned that you can't use one without the other. This is also a key step in maintaining ownership of your work. After doing some research in March, I reluctantly purchased a second ISBN for the ebook version of the book. Each ebook platform has their own tracking system and will assign your book with a number. I got the ISBN so it would be easier to track. The next time I buy ISBN numbers, I'll just the pack of 10 for $295 because I do plan on writing more books in the future.
The Library of Congress Control Number was free 99, however, this number is useful if I ever wanted to put my book in libraries.
The U.S. Copyright is another key step in having ownership of your work. While I do have ownership of my work the second I started writing the book, the copyright gives me an extra layer of protection in case someone tries to steal my work. In the words of Missy Elliott: Copy written, so don't copy me.
The grand total for direct costs for the book is $1,632.99. This cost can look steep, however, more than half of the cost was editing which is very reasonable. I take a lot pride in my book because I invested my own money and completed a daunting challenge that I set for myself.
The initial order of books was $278 for 40 books. I was happy when I first got the books but then reality set in because I had to carry a heavy box back home. The next step in the process was shipping and I purchased 100 bubble mailers from ULINE. The mailers themselves were only $21, but they only had 2-day shipping which increased the price to $42.38. On the bright side, I got the package in a day because it shipped from Kenosha, Wisconsin.
I shipped out 29 books out of the 40 and those shipping costs were $181.04, which included books shipped to the United Kingdom and Canada. I learned to get the best possible rate, keep the package weight below 13 oz. For the most part, shipping cost for the book are between $5.50 and $7.85. International shipping, however, is a little bit more steep as it cost around $24 to ship to the UK and about $16 to Canada.
I started a LLC, Buckeye Muscle Media, in the great state of Ohio for $99. I got a DBA back in 2018 and decided to make the full jump and form a LLC. It's been an interesting few months opening up a business account and tracking my expenses.
When I initial set up my Amazon Seller account, I accidentally enrolled in the Pro program, which is $39.99. At the moment, I don't sell enough book to justify that cost so I downgraded to the basic program. Now everytime I sell a book on Amazon, I'll have to pay a $0.99 fee.
I entered my book in the American Book Fest awards for best sports book and best book cover - non fiction categories. I hope that winning the awards will give the book an extra marketing boost and promote more sales.
I started writing the book on October 15, 2017 and got the initial 40 books on February 7, 2019. The entire process took 480 days and the grind just continues to this day.
I will be updating this post throughout the year as I have plans to create ebook and Kindle versions of the book. Writing a book is not easy and it's very time consuming. Seeing the fruit of your labor, however, is very satisfying. Thanks for reading!