The Business End…


“How much has all of this cost?” is a question I’m having to field more and more since the launch of my book. A brief insight into the costs involved should provide some hilarity.

So, you’ve written a ‘book’ on your laptop…now what. Make no mistake, this is a business and, like any business, it’s going to require some seed capital: Straight off the bat, you need to get it professionally edited (and I do mean professionally): I was virtually top of my class in English. I pride myself on having a very good eye for errors. When I saw the carnage after my editor blitzed through my first draft, I took my pride and shoved it in a dark recess. The simple fact is, you cannot review your own work. After reading the same words umpteen times your brain learns to cheat. And cheat well. It cuts corners, makes stuff up, sees what it wants to see….

For Zululand Snow  I enjoyed the services of two editors at a combined cost of R10,500.
Next in line was the Book Cover design. This set me back R1,500.
Typesetting services, another biggy, came to R5,000.
Next came the actual cost of printing. I went for 100 on my first run which came to about R6,500.

Now, you could stop here. But, you have to market your printed books and the best way to do that is via a book launch … so haul out the wallet again!
Close your eyes and shell out for Venue Hire; Snack Platters (Cash bar only!); Design and printing of Billboard Posters; Design of electronic invite; Venue Décor; Lucky Draw Prize; Golf balls (?!?) Yup, I had golf balls you’ll have something else!; Professional photographer for a good headshot you can use across all your social media ….
and that should do it for the hard costs … comes to a whopping R33,280 !!!

For a hundred books that’s R332.80 per book!

Now, I could add my standard hourly rate, over three years, into the equation but that would probably just destroy you. And me!
So let’s just say, for those of you who got in on the first edition action for the piffling price of R100 a book. ‘Yews got yorselvz a bargin!!’

It goes without saying that the lifeblood of any author, new or established, is the stream of book reviews generated by fans in the media. So go forth and review, unless, of course, you think it’s all a load of twaddle…in which case put a sock in it!

Below are the links you can use to post a review.

Amazon (USA)
Amazon (UK)*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Amazon (AU)*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Cheers and have a great weekend!

About iantennent

Ian was born in Durban in 1973 but grew up in Zululand and loved it. Thereafter, he got himself a degree, a wife and a child (in that order). He's lived and died several times in the UK and now he and his family are back in KZN, where they belong. He can play squash but he can’t kite-surf; he can make beer but not biltong. View all posts by iantennent

2 responses to “The Business End…

  • Gerry Murphy

    Hi Ian! This is just a note to say how very much I enjoyed your Blog and the honesty with which you wrote about costs of producing a book. I have had five books published, three by Pegasus McKenzie in England. They are sold world wide in all major bookstores and on Of course, everybody thinks I’m making a fortune but the truth is the books have all cost ME a fortune and a lot of anguish!.The people I have met in the industry, agents, publishers, distributers etc are with few exceptions among the most callous, rude, uncaring and hard nosed sods imaginable. The sad thing is that everyone from the head of a publishing house right down to the assistant working in the back room of a bookshop all depend on us, the writers to produce, yet they treat us like S***t. I’ve just completed another novel but I am seriously thinking about putting it straight onto Amazon and Kindle -. because of the costs involved in promoting it. A lot of writers,are going this route. Meanwhile I soldier on and produce and hope and hope and hope…. .


    • iantennent

      Hi Gerry. Glad you enjoyed the blog! It’s certainly raised a few eyebrows, and, after a hurried conflab with some author mates of mine, I can report that my costs are by no means exceptional: I’m pretty much squarely in the ballpark, which is good, I guess, but it does serve to highlight the leap of faith we take with our craft. I agree with you wholeheartedly (as does every author I’ve met to date!) that it’s bit puzzling how we seem to feature at the bottom of the food chain in this industry! I guess we just have to keep the faith that cream, will in fact, rise to the top….eventually 🙂 What are the titles of your books and do you have a Blog at all? With 5 books out there you’re way ahead of me and it would be very interesting to hear about your journey 🙂


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