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How much does it REALLY cost to self-publish a book?

The reality of self-publishing a novel

Abigail Carter
4 min readFeb 20, 2021


I never really appreciated the book review, until I “impulsively published” my novel, Remember the Moon. I had no idea how difficult the elusive book review was to acquire. They are like the Holy Grail of the book world. I followed all the proper steps, that I had researched in my role as a self-publishing entrepreneur.

I was able to feel pretty good about a couple of things:

My author platform

  • Author website with both my books prominently on display with links to buy
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest pages established
  • MailChimp Mailing list (from a newsletter signup on my website)
  • Author pages on Goodreads and Amazon
  • I’m an Amazon Affiliate
  • Incorporated an “end of book request” where I listed all my links and contact info and asked readers to leave a review on Amazon and included info about my other book.

My Publishing Process

  1. I asked for beta readers. 34 people signed up and got the beta version of the book. 17 actually provided me with feedback that was incredibly valuable and I put their names into the acknowledgments of the final version.
  2. Paid for professional Editing. I paid for two professional developmental edits, one copyedit, and two blurb writers
  3. Paid for a professional, custom cover design.
  4. Formatting the ebook and print book. I formatted and reformatted the book myself (I used to do this sort of thing in a past life) until it was perfect.
  5. Uploaded to IngramSpark (print book) and Amazon (ebook). OK. I got a little impulsive and just popped it up there using without more pre-planning. I don’t recommend doing this. Take your time, set up a pre-order and give yourself a couple of months to send the book out for reviews.
  6. Reviews. I sent free versions to all my Beta readers and all the others on my mailing list, asking everyone to post Amazon reviews.

So, I figured I was in good shape. Not that Oprah would be calling me the next…



Abigail Carter

Writing about widowhood, parenting, life, grief, art, writing and publishing. #singlemom #author #memoirist #writer #widow #9/11widow #artist