How Much Does Amazon Self-Publishing Cost


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Over the past few years, self-publishing has gained popularity due to platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). This has allowed anyone to publish an ebook without being under a traditional publisher.
KDP self-publishing provides an accessible way to target Amazon’s extensive customer base, as well as helping the author maintain autonomy over their content. However, what does self-publishing cost on Amazon?
Self-publishing costs can be anywhere from $500 on the lower end to over 1k or even more depending upon if you plan to hire professionals or do it yourself.
You will learn about the main self-publishing costs by referring to this guide by book writers for hire. In this way, you can plan a budget for self-publishing on Amazon.

1. Why Self-Publish on Amazon

As the largest online retailer, Amazon has over 197 million customers worldwide. Providing you access to Amazon’s army of built-in readers self-publishing through the KDP platform requires no further effort.

Amazon simplifies the process of finding, sampling and buying your book. When your book is published, it will show on the relevant search results and categories on Amazon. Readers can preview the full book with Kindle Unlimited or download sample chapters using “Look Inside” on Kindle.
With Kindle Unlimited, readers must pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to over one million ebooks, which include all KDP titles. This enables you to get more readers, with many of them being willing searchers interested in trying out new authors.

2. Amazon KDP Account

 Creating a KDP account on Amazon is free. Amazon developed the KDP acronym of Kindle Direct Publishing to allow self-publishers. To start, all you need to do is set up an Amazon account in case you do not have one, and after that, visit the page, where your KDP profile should be created for successful publication.

The account creation procedure takes no more than a couple of minutes. You must accept Amazon’s Terms and Service Agreement and provide simple details like name, address, tax info, and payment information. This is because any royalties that arise from sales of books can then be paid out to you.

You can upload your book content after creating an account in the KDP. Amazon does not charge fees on KDP. The only publishing-related costs are book cover design, editing services and marketing.
However, the KDP platform is 100 percent free and allows anyone to self-publish on Amazon.


Obtaining an ISBN is required to publish print books on Amazon. ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers) are unique 13-digit codes identifying your book.

You have a few options for obtaining ISBNs:

  • Purchase a single ISBN from Bowker for $125. This allows you to publish one edition of one book format (e.g., paperback).
  • Get a package of 10 ISBNs from Bowker for $295. This allows you to publish multiple editions (hardcover, paperback, etc) and formats (print, ebook).
  • Use Amazon’s free KDP ISBN. This is a fast and free option, but it means Amazon controls the ISBN, and you can’t use it anywhere else.
  • Buy ISBNs in bulk from third-party resellers. Prices range from $249 for 100 ISBNs to $899 for 1,000 ISBNs.

3. Book Covers

Your book’s cover design is one of the most important elements for your book’s success. It is the first impression that readers will get of your book. You have two options for your book cover – creating it yourself using a DIY book cover creator or hiring a professional designer.

  • DIY Book Covers

Creating your book cover using online templates and design tools is the most budget-friendly option. Many self-publishing authors choose this route, especially when publishing their first book. 

With DIY cover creators, you can choose from various premade templates, fonts, images, and design elements to create your cover. Prices for DIY book covers are typically $0-50.

  • Professional Book Cover Design

Hiring a professional designer to create a custom book cover will give you a high-quality, visually appealing cover that helps your book stand out. Professional designers can create an original concept and layout and source custom photos/illustrations. They have experience designing bestselling book covers in your genre.

Professional book cover design services range from $200 on the low end to $700-1500+ for premium design from bestselling cover artists. The investment is well worth it because it can boost your sales and credibility. 

4. Editing & Proofreading

Proofreading and editing are critical steps in the self-publishing process. You want your book to be as polished and error-free as possible before publication. There are a few options when it comes to editing:

  • Self-editing:

You can self-edit, but this requires time and skill. It’s difficult to have enough distance from your writing to catch all errors. This is the most budget-friendly option but could leave more mistakes in the finished product.

  • Independent editor:

Hiring an experienced freelance editor to do developmental, line, and copy editing can polish your manuscript at a reasonable price. Expect to pay around $800-$1500 for a 100,000-word manuscript (depending on the quality of your work). 

  • Publishing packages:

Some self-publishing companies like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing offer editing packages starting around $375 for a 50-60,000-word manuscript.

No matter which editing option you choose, professional editing will improve the quality of your book. Factor editing costs into your budget as a necessary expense of self-publishing. Doing so will ensure readers receive your book’s most professional and error-free version possible.

5. Marketing Your Book

Marketing your self-published book is essential for boosting visibility and sales on Amazon. While Amazon’s internal search algorithms and recommendations will drive some organic traffic, most authors must spend additional effort promoting their books. Two effective marketing channels for Amazon ebooks are Amazon Ads and social media marketing.

  • Amazon Ads

Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising platform allows authors to promote their books to targeted audiences interested in their genre/topic. Ads can help increase a book’s search visibility, improve its sales rank, and get more exposure through Amazon’s recommendation engine.

Authors should experiment with different ad targeting options, bids, and budgets to find an optimal balance between ad spending and book sales. Typically, a few dollars a day can produce good results.

  • Social Media Marketing

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are great for engaging readers, driving traffic to your Amazon book page, and growing an author brand.

Share excerpts, quotes, graphics, or behind-the-scenes peeks into the writing process to interest potential readers. Use relevant hashtags and tag authors in your genre to expand your reach. Participate actively in bookish conversations. Run occasional social media giveaways or promotions (i.e., discounted ebook pricing) to spur downloads and reviews.

Aim for organic engagement and paid promotions to maximize exposure over time.

With the right balance of Amazon Ads and social media marketing, self-published authors can continue promoting their books long after launch and sustain sales over the long run. 


Amazon self-publishing costs vary, encompassing free options like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and additional services with associated fees. Authors should carefully consider their budget, goals, and the services Amazon offers to make informed decisions that align with their publishing aspirations.

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