How To Save Money Self-Publishing!

Tips and tricks on the best ways to save the bucks publishing your novel!

Michelle Massie

4/8/20235 min read

This post is inspired by a Facebook Post I read recently. A single mom, who wanted more than anything to publish her manuscript, but was truly broke.

So here are my tips! Because I want ANYONE who has the will and drive to finish an ENTIRE manuscript to get it out there. Truly, an author has no greater moment than to hit that ‘publish’ button for the first time. Or to get a sale. Or to see your book in print.

There are actually quite a few awesome moments, I’m realizing. :)

So! I’m referring back to one of my very first posts--How Much Does Self-Publishing Actually Cost? It’s about the costs that I personally had while writing and publishing my first book. Now, I ran into a great deal of luck. I came into a large sum of money in the middle of writing my first book. I was lucky enough to be able to spend about $1600.00 to get my first book written and out there.

There are many of you who are not so lucky, I imagine!

Software for Editing/Proofreading (aka Super-Enhanced Spell Checkers!)

I downloaded Premium Pro-WritingAid for $89 a year.

1. Use the FREE Version. All of these big-name grammar checkers like Grammarly and my fave, ProWritingAid, have a Free version. While it is still helpful, it is not going to be super awesome for a serious writer. BUT! Still necessary to have a grammar checker! Check out my favorite, ProWritingAid here.

2. One of my favorite blogs, Kindlepreneur, always has great coupons for great software. Dave Chesson offers a 20% discount on ProWriting Aid if you purchase through his blog post HERE.

3. FREE Trials! While this may not be an ideal solution, it could prove useful. Both Grammarly and ProWritingAid offer a 7-day Free Trial. So, if you save a lot of editing for last, or want to get a more thorough check, sign up for a Trial and go nuts! ( I warn you, you will probably be tempted to save your dollars and purchase one.)

4. Proofread yourself. Some tips on looking for errors yourself! Read your story backward. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own writing, and just start skimming over paragraphs without really reading. Start at the end, and go paragraph by paragraph. Anything to do to slow it down.

5. I also bought a book online, Proofreading for Dummies. Helped me immensely! It was worth the $12.00!

Book Cover Designer

I used Fiverr to find a freelancer to make my cover. In my opinion, freelancers are so worth it.

1. I paid my final cover designer around $200.00. (I went through two designers before that. I liked both designs at the time, but kept changing my mind on the cover. They cost around $30 each.)


Your book cover is ridiculously important. People will judge your book by its cover. This may be worth some investment on your part. Your book cover is the reason someone will look at your book in the first place.

Freelancers are a great place to go if you are trying to save the bucks. Read reviews before choosing a designer! Ask them questions! Look at previous work! I’m glad I went with the young woman who designed mine. I couldn’t be happier!

2. Canva.

Do you have any graphic design skills? A flair for color and art? Give Canva a try! There is a Free Version of course, but you can get a 30-day FREE TRIAL of Canva Premium! (Again, I warn you, you will LOVE it!) No harm in playing around and trying a cover design out for yourself. Check other books for inspiration and what is selling in your niche.

Editors/Proofreaders (the actual human beings)

I again used a freelancer on Fiver to find a developmental editor, a copy/line editor, and a proofreader. And I gave them all great reviews. If you’ve done any looking around, you have probably noticed that editors can cost THOUSANDS of dollars. (Much deserved, in truth. They take on quite the job.)

Even with my extra dollars, I couldn’t afford that. But remember, editors are incredibly helpful and can awesomely contribute to a quality novel. (Not trying to downplay the usefulness of editors!)

1. Beta readers.

Now, Beta readers aren’t going to be super specific, but they are super useful in giving you a good review. They are going to read your story and tell you what they think. Still gonna cost a few bucks. They would be able to tell you if your characters were enjoyable, if the story flowed nicely—kind of the big picture. Soooo not the same thing as editors, but you get the picture. (If not ask me.)

2. Best Friends/Family members

I also had my sister read it first to give me notes. Now, it was quite an investment of time on her part, so it took a while for her to get through the whole thing. But after she did, she spent about 4 hours sitting in a Starbucks with me going through it, chapter by chapter.

2.5 Give your “editor” the book one chapter at a time. I bet you’d get them to read it waaay faster. (This I wish I had done.)

Publishing on Amazon

Guess what? Loading your book on Amazon is totally FREE! Doesn’t cost a dime! However, I recommend taking time to do your research and discovering the best keywords to use and categories. You need the best possible to make sure your book will actually be seen! I purchased the software, Publisher Rocket, to help me find keywords and categories because I had the extra funds. But completely possible to do it yourself! (I’m just lazy.)

Check out Kindlepreneur’s article on Keywords HERE!

There it is, authors! I hope I convinced anyone out there to go for it, even if they don’t have extra bucks to spend on it! Just DO IT! You won’t regret it!

Happy Writing!


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