The Cost of Self Publishing

At Matador we believe that every book is different. That is why we don’t publish a ‘price list’, or offer ‘packages’ for publication of a book. Think about it… your book might need a cover design, another may not; your book might not have any photographs in it, another may have colour photos. By charging a standard package rate for publication, it’s more than likely that you’ll end up paying for something that you don’t actually get. And a full colour coffee table book will cost far more to publish than a typical novel!

We base our costs on your book, and nothing else. For any book, we ask to see a copy of your completed (or near complete) manuscript. From this we can quickly work out the actual costs of the work involved in turning your manuscript into a book, and we then send you a written, no-obligation quotation. We believe that this enables authors to have a realistic expectation of what it will cost to publish their book, rather than sign up for a package deal and then find that they are asked to pay extra for “additional” services. (For an example written quotation, click here.)

We normally evaluate and quote for a new manuscript within 24 hours, and we can often give an indication of the likely costs of publication on the phone. Even then, however, we will always prepare a written quotation before agreeing to proceed, and we always need to see a manuscript before agreeing to publish.

“We get a lot of very positive feedback about Matador. Have a chat with the people at Matador, who are extremely helpful with very good customer service – and they’re not terribly salesy.”
Orna Ross, Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) Q&A session, 22nd March 2016

All of this is not designed to be evasive or difficult, but to enable authors to get a realistic idea of what it will cost to get their book published. But to give you a broad idea of the costs of publication, we’ve listed below some “average” costs. We’d urge you to consider these as being indicative – please do contact us to request a personal quotation.

Example publication costs
Pre-press: the work required to turn a 192 page MS Word novel manuscript into print ready files (includes typesetting, design, ISBN, barcode, cover… everything to make the manuscript ready for printing): approx. £725.00

Printing is on top:
Printing 1 copy "on demand": £3.48
Printing 100 copies: £340.00
Printing 500 copies: £1000.00
Printing 1000 copies: £1540.00

Note that all books are different, and these prices are given as an indication only.

Comparative Quotations
If you are obtaining quotations from other self publishing services providers (and we suggest that in fact you should), why may their quotations be different from ours? It’s likely that different quotations include different things. For example, some companies will advertise that you can publish your book for just a few hundred pounds, and you can! But what are you getting? If you supply the print ready files, all that will be added is an ISBN number and the printing of a few copies. What you get is a bound version of your own efforts, not a properly published book.

And what about selling that book? We are approached by self published authors who have had their ‘book’ printed cheaply, and then find that not only is it not even available through Amazon, but that shops won’t touch it because it looks ‘home made’. If your cheaply produced book doesn’t look like a book that a bookshop has on its shelves, then shops will not touch it. Quality matters in the books trade!

Matador has deliberately positioned itself as a quality self publishing imprint for authors who are serious about getting their work in front of readers through traditional and non-traditional book retail outlets. About 70% of our authors print at least 500 copies of their book so that it has chance of achieving real sales. While we do print short runs of books, we still insist that the production value is high so that the book is comparable to any other professionally produced book.

If you’re after cheap printing, poor or no design and no post-publication support, then we suggest you try another company.

If you want a professionally produced book to be proud of that is given the best possible chance of reaching readers, then contact Matador.