Self-Publishing Packages: What They Cost

Many self-publishing firms require you to purchase a package. What are they, and what do they cost?

Self-publishing firms offer a wide variety of packages. They’re convenient, but it can be difficult to sort through the many offerings, some of which are quite expensive and may contain more services than you need.

self-publishing package

A package might be as basic as a choice of two cover designs from which to choose, plus an ISBN. However, it might be as complex as a custom-designed book layout and cover, a full-fledged publicity push, having your book listed for sale in many online bookstores, and more. Additional services, purchased a la carte, include items such as editing, ghostwriting, and special marketing services.

Clients have asked me about the prices of these self-publishing packages, so I’ve listed the costs for the least and most expensive packages offered by 10 self-publishing companies.

These are general packages, not those specifically designed for children’s or poetry books.

Please note that I am not recommending any of these firms or packages, simply providing information. The names and prices of these packages are current as of April 2019, and do not take into account any sale prices.

The packages

  • AuthorHouse – For black-and-white publishing, prices range from the $899 Discovery package to the $12,299 Optimum package. For full-color publishing, prices range from the $899 Discovery package to the $2,899 Fundamental package.
  • Balboa Press – For black-and-white, from the $1,099 Embark standard core package to the $14,999 Amplify core plus package. For color, from the $1,499 Imagine package to the $5,999 Illuminate package.
  • CaryPress – From the $895 Debut package to the $8,455 Legendary package.
  • iUniverse – For black-and-white, from the $999 Select package to the $7,699 Broadcast Pro package. For color, from the $1,499 Color Basic package to the $5,499 Color Pro package.
  • Lulu – For black-and-white, from the $999 Classic package to the $2,999 Blitz package. For color, from the $1,199 Classic package to the $3,199 Artful package.
  • Outskirts Press – For black-and-white, from the $899 Economy package to the $1,799 Ultimate package. Their Full-Color Publishing package costs $1,999.
  • Westbow Press – from the $1,099 Essential Access package to the $16,999 Premier Publicist package.
  • Xlibris – For both black-and-white and color, from the $899 Basic package to the $15,299 Platinum package.
  • Xulon – from the $1,099 Basic package to the $4,499 Elite package.

Among these, the least expensive is the $895 Debut package from CaryPress; the most expensive is the $16,999 Premier Publicist package offered by Westbow Press. As you can see, there is quite a range of self-publishing packages options. Deciding which is best for you will require a lot of research, but it’s well worth the effort.

Note: The information in this article came from each company’s website. Before signing on with any firm, read the contract carefully and check review sites to see if there are any problems or special issues regarding this firm.

To learn more about self-publishing, see our “Introduction to Self-Publishing.”


what do self-publishing packages cost?

Contact us! We’re Barry Fox and Nadine Taylor, professional ghostwriters and authors with a long list of satisfied clients and editors at major publishing houses.

For more information, call us at 818-917-5362 or use the contact form below to send us a message.

We’d love to talk to you about your exciting book project!

Please Note: Although we’re based in Los Angeles, California, we travel around the U.S. and abroad to meet with our authors. We do not ghostwrite screenplays, books for children, poetry, or school papers.

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