Self-Publishing Packages: What 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.

A package might be as basic as a choice of two cover designs from which to choose, plus an ISBN. Or it might be as complex as 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.

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

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

To learn more about self-publishing and standard publishing, see, “Book Publishing: A How-To.”

Note: The information in this article came from the company websites. 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.