Cost to self-publish a book in India

Cost to Self-publish a Book in India: A Detail of All Expenses.

self publishing cost

If you have decided to take the self-publishing route to fulfill your dreams of becoming an author, then the most crucial aspect you need to consider is the cost behind it. There is no need for you to pay if you get publishing traditionally. But the only setback is that you give away 100% of your book’s rights.

The cost of self-publishing a book is usually packaging wise. With a variety of publishing packages offered for every budget, you can choose whichever suits you best. If you DIY, spend a lot on software for various publishing stages or by hiring freelancers.

The average cost of publishing a book after receiving developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, cover design, and professional typesetting is roughly Rs.25,000    -Rs. 1,60,000. Although the average cost varies with the genre, the final price depends on the length of your manuscript and the level of freelancers’ experience.

There are mainly two stages of self-publishing a book:

1. Pre-publishing: It includes the steps that need to be taken to get your manuscript ready for printing and publication. The steps involved are:

  • Editing
  • Cover Design
  • Book Formatting 
  • eBook Formatting

2.Post-publishing: It involves steps that need to be taken after the book is completely ready for publication. The main steps include:

  • Printing 
  • Marketing


We had mentioned the vital steps that every author needs to take for publishing a book. The steps might vary according to the type of book you publish and what the book demands. For instance, the book needs illustrations, or non-fiction might need to be fact-checked. So, the cost also varies accordingly.

Let us have a look at the cost related to the four crucial steps in the process.

1. Editing


Editing is vital to any book. Errors in your writing can put your credibility as an author at stake. As an author, you will work with a development editor, a copyeditor or line editor, and a proofreader. Ask for samples or recommendations to find out the quality of the work they will provide. 

According to statistics online, the average cost of basic proofreading varies from Rs. 40-50 per page. Copy editing costs range from Rs. 100-130 per page. Copy editors check for spelling, grammatical errors, typos, linguistic and syntactical errors along with punctuation such as commas, semicolons, and quotation marks. 

It costs around Rs. 150-180 per page for Developmental and Substantive editing. It aims to improve the content and structure of a manuscript. 

The final cost depends on:

  • The genre.
  • The length of your manuscript.
  • The amount of work needed for your manuscript.
  • The editor’s experience.

2. Cover Design

cover design

A book cover is essential to your book as it’s the first thing people see before taking a second look. The job of a book cover is to stand out and attract people. 

A professionally designed book cover designed by a fresher might cost you around Rs 2,000 to 3,000 by a fresher. Cover design by an experienced designer with 2+ years of experience with significant publishers would range from Rs. 3,000 – Rs 4,000. The cost would range from Rs, 6,000- Rs. 10,000 by a professional who has 10+ years of design experience with significant publishers

When it comes to cover design, the main factors are:

  • The style of design.
  • The number of ‘iterations’ rounds the design requires.

You might have found the perfect designer to do your book, but keep these two   things in mind:

  • If they’re working on other projects simultaneously, you will not be treated as a priority (you might not be able to meet them as much as they have other clients to attend to as well).
  • Whenever you want to change something on your cover because you are not satisfied, you will be charged.
  • If you opt for a print book, you’ll need to design to make the back cover and spine of your book, which costs extra.

3. Book Formatting

Book Formatting

Book formatting is the process of preparing the text for reading. It is crucial to format your book correctly to ensure an enjoyable reading experience. It also includes typesetting and book design

Readers will want to read your book only if your work looks good and maintains uniformity. Every page of a book is different, so don’t be surprised if it gets more expensive than book cover design. Sure, you can use templates and do it yourself, but you can also hire freelancers to do it for you.  

According to statistics, 78% of self-published books cost under Rs15,000- 20,000 to typeset.

The cost of Book Formatting depends on:

  • Your book’s word count. Longer the book, more time it will take.
  • Typesetter’s experience.
  • The use of images and pictures in the book. For example, a novel is easier to typeset than a textbook.

4. eBook Formatting

eBook Formatting

The cost of eBook Formatting ranges between Rs 3,000 – Rs 5,000 depending on the number of formats and complexity. 

If you choose to publish an ebook, you need to format your ebook to the seller’s guidelines like Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play Books. If you don’t meet their requirements, you will not be able to sell your ebook on the platform.


Once you have the book designed and ready, the next crucial steps involve printing the book and marketing it. Let us look at the cost involved in the post-publishing process. 

1. Printing


When you want to self-publish a book, earlier, you had to print books and wait until the readers placed an order to buy the book. Now, you have an option for print-on-demand. Here, you upload your finished book as a file to a printing service. The print-on-demand would cost you according to the number of books you select for printing.

The print-on-demand cost depends on the following factors:

  • The total number of pages in the book.
  • The type of paper to be used for the book, that is, the quality of paper used. 
  • The number of pages that need to be in color in the book.
  • The type of binding required for the book, whether it is paperback or hardcover.

2. Marketing


After you have self-published the book, you will need to market it. Everyone wants to be the next bestseller. For that to happen, it starts with marketing. More than money, the amount of effort put counts in marketing. It is also important to note that the cost of marketing varies for print books and eBooks.

Not everyone is an expert in marketing to do it themselves. Various freelancers charge differently. The price ranges from Rs 15,000 – Rs 50,000. They charge according to the type and number of social media posts on multiple platforms, the different services, from creating a Facebook page, running ads, etc., and a few of them charge according to the number of hours. 

The marketing costs will change depending on how extensive a campaign you want. And how much you want to outsource. As with other processes, you can do it all yourself or outsource a part of it.


Self-publishing a book is challenging since it involves various steps that are significant to get out a book that you can be proud of. The process requires you to make many decisions based on your budget and requirements. 

We hope the article has shed light on the details about the cost involved with each step of self-publishing, and the factors influencing it to help you make an informed choice.

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