The Real Cost of Self-Publishing

By Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2013-02-25T22:14:25Z

Photograph by Carmen Martinez Banus/Getty Images

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Dotting the I’s

First things first: the words. Over the years, says Michael Prescott, who self-published "Deadly Pursuit," a few readers have complained of spelling mistakes. A good editor may have found those errors. Still, Prescott, who has sold about 1.3 million e-books, can’t bring himself to hire one, though he hires a proofreader. “Editors feel like they have to make all kinds of suggestions,” he says. “I’m not in the mood for that.” Julia Pandl, author of "Memoir of the Sunday Brunch," hired an editor who suggested she explain who Chester Marcol was in her book. She considered it, "then figured the reader could just look him up.” (Marcol was a kicker for the Green Bay Packers.)

$1,460: Price paid by Pandl for editing, proofreading and structure suggestions; self-published author Sander Flaum, who wrote "Big Shoes: How Successful Leaders Grow into New Roles," paid $500.

$3.50: Per-page charge for editing and proofreading by New Leaf Editing