From The Huffington Post blog:
When you first enter the world of indie-publishing, things can get confusing, fast. The learning curve is steep. And now that companies have realized how lucrative it can be, self-publishing and vanity imprints are springing up like wild mushrooms, working hard to convince people to spend between $1,000 and $25,000 with them, to publish their book.
. . . .
I’m a big believer in not spending more than you absolutely have to, to publish your book. Especially when you’re starting out. You never know if the book is going to take off or completely bomb. And the more you spend in up-front costs, the more sales you’ll need to turn a profit.
When I looked into indie-publishing, I kept an eye towards being frugal. I had no idea my book would become an Amazon bestseller, and be downloaded over 150,000 times. All I knew was that I needed to find a happy medium between going broke and putting out a professional product.
So, I published my first book for a grand total of… want to guess?
I’ll give you a hint: Not $25,000.
Not even $500.
I published Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead for a grand total of $125. Yes, my hopeful indie author, it is possible to publish a book for next to nothing.
. . . .
I quickly realized that if I took it the traditional route, I would be looking at years of submitting and submitting and hoping before I ever saw a penny. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fry up hopes and dreams and serve them to my kid for dinner. I tried, but they kept floating off the plate. Hopes and dreams are the original empty calorie meal. All fluff, no substance.
. . . .
One of the moms at my daughter’s preschool was an illustrator who worked for traditional publishing houses. Unfortunately, she was way too expensive. And when I tried to do my own cover, it looked amateurish. So I started researching and found a whole world of artists and cover designers who specialized in creating low-cost covers for indie authors.
Then I downloaded free formatting and marketing guides from Smashwords and learned how to format and market e-books, on my own.
. . . .
I hired a low-cost cover designer and downloaded stock art for her to use. It cost me $75 for stock art and $25 for the cover designer.
Link to the rest at The Huffington Post