72 – Costs of Self-Publishing a Book, with Lisa Baldwin

Posted October 18, 2021 | Laura Christianson
The Professional Writer
The Professional Writer
72 - Costs of Self-Publishing a Book, with Lisa Baldwin


“I wanted to complete my really great manuscript and hand it off to an agent and a publisher as a gift to the world.”

That was Lisa Baldwin’s assumption as she was writing her memoir, She’s Still In There: Healing the Wounded Child Within.

But, as Lisa went through the editing process, she learned that “an unknown author wanting to get an unknown manuscript published by a traditional publisher is akin to an 18-year-old showing up in Los Angeles with a 6-string guitar, wanting to get a record contract.”

During our chat, you’ll learn how several publishing professionals helped Lisa shift her expectations and shape her manuscript into an award-winning book.

We discuss three types of investments Lisa made along the way:

  • Pre-publication costs
  • Publication costs
  • Hidden costs

Costs and Resources for Self-Publishing a Book, with Lisa Baldwin

Pre-publication costs:

Publication costs:

  • Photographer for promotional and head shots
  • Book cover artist/designer
  • Copy editor
  • Proofreader
  • Interior book design and formatting
  • E-publication conversion

Hidden costs:

  • Bowker for ISBN numbers and bar codes
  • Specialized fonts you may want for your book cover or website (loads of free fonts at Google fonts)
  • USPS for post office box
  • Royalties paid to other artists for permission to reprint their work (Lisa paid for song lyrics)
  • Writing contest entry fees
  • Business card design and printing
  • Advertising and other types of book promotions
  • Audible (audio) version of your book

About Lisa Baldwin

Lisa BaldwinLisa believes that everyone’s life contains an original and soul-inspiring story just waiting to be told.

Lisa recently left an award-winning career as a grant writer to launch her “encore career” and pursue her life’s passion to write from her heart. She has captured her story and published her memoir in 2021.

Lisa’s fervor for story is fueled by true accounts of everyday miracles and their power to transform even our most painful memories into moments of grace and healing. Lisa’s writing reflects how God reaches into people’s lives to renew and restore them to wholehearted living. She also writes and present devotions and other Christian-inspired works for her local faith community.

Her memoir, She’s Still In There: Healing the Wounded Child Within (affiliate link) was a 2021 Cascade Award winner.

Visit Lisa at LisaBaldwinWriter.com

  • Everything Memoir – Susy Flory’s private Facebook group for people who are working on a memoir and looking for help, inspiration, encouragement, and coaching.

Meet Susy in episode 7, The Secret Life of a NYT Bestselling Author

  • Writing at the Red House  – Kathy Lipp’s training for upcoming speakers and authors through retreats, coaching, and a podcast.

Meet Kathi in episode 15, Expert Tips for Your Book Launch

Meet Ginny in episode 36, The Two Most Common Issues That Hold Writers Back

  • Author coaching, editing, ghostwriting, and copywriting with Alice Crider.

Meet Alice in episode 60, How to Get Out of Your Own Way

  • Author coaching and editing with Tisha Martin – Developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading and more.

Meet Tisha in episode 27, Three Ways a Professional Editor Provides Value and episode 28, Recipe for An Almost-Perfect Manuscript

Meet Samantha in episode 52, Shaping a ‘Reader First’ Mindset and episode 53, Editing With a ‘Reader First’ Mindset.

  • Custom WordPress website design and development with Laura Christianson and the Blogging Bistro team.  We create custom WordPress author websites that look clean and professional, load quickly (particularly on phones), and are easy for you to use behind the scenes.
  • West Coast Christian Writers – Annual writers conference in mid-February in the San Francisco Bay Area (online options available, too).  The faculty features industry professionals – agents, editors, authors, and marketing and business experts – chosen to represent the diversity in publishing methods, genres, interests, and ethnicities writers represent.

More episodes in the series: Investments for Your Writing Business

Episode 70: 5 Quick, Easy, and Free Ways to Gain Visibility as a Writer

Episode 71: Things I Spend Money on to Run My Writing Business

Episode 69: Bookkeeping Tips for Your Biz, with Vanessa Butler

How to Keep Up With the Show

Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business from Laura Christianson of BloggingBistro.com

Click here to join my my email list and I’ll notify you about every episode.  (When you subscribe, you’ll also get my free guide, Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business.)

Join The Professional Writer Podcast Community (private Facebook group), where we discuss what we’re learning, meet our guests, and encourage one another on our writing journeys.

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