7 Steps of Self-Publishing – costs in a nutshell
Groep 7 assists with the preparation and printing of cost-effective and quality books for the self-publisher. This affords the author the opportunity to do their own preparation. The author is welcome, at any time, to make use of the advice and professional services that Groep 7 offers. The copyright and all documents remain the property of the author.
- Writing – The author emails the manuscript in electronic format to Groep 7 for evaluation, advice and quotations of preparation and printing. (R250, 5 working days).
- Editing – It is especially important to be done by a professional and qualified editor and is therefore the costliest part of preparation. (4-12 weeks).
- Typesetting – Done professionally in InDesign from R9,50 per page or basic MSWord finishing from R4,50 per page. (1-3 weeks).
- Cover Design – Professional design from R550. We can advise and the client provides a press quality PDF. (1 week).
- Printing – Groep 7’s printing department guarantees quality and time management. A proofbook is printed (2 working days) and approved by the author, before we execute an order. Books are printed on demand. Book orders 2-1000 (3-10 working days).
- Distribution – Groep 7 can take care of packaging, shipping and administration of orders on behalf of authors (see agreement).
- Writer’s sales (printed books).
- Website Bookstore (printed books).
- Bookstores (printed books).
- E-books at www.kobo.com
- Marketing – The self-publisher does their own marketing, however Groep 7 can assist on any of the following:
- Links to author’s books on Groep 7’s online bookshop and Kobo to use in marketing on social media.
- Availability to bookshops (see conditions).
- Posters (printed and electronic format) for book launches.
Download and calculate your net income on book sales.
Since authors have different goals for publication, we provide the following information on 3 categories, and the cost implication:
- Limited Category (Private interest and own training material)
- Niche Market Category (Limited readers market)
- Premium Category
1. Limited Category (Private Interest/own training material)
Writing – Poems or book in A5 of 160 pages.
- Editing – by author.
- Typesetting – supply print ready PDF.
2. Niche Market Category (limited readers market)
Writing – a book of 40 000 words and A5 books of 160 pages.
- Evaluation R 250
- Editing – choice: (see complete information)
The above are only examples and with each of the 7 steps the author decides which part of the preparation is done by whom.
The following explains the costs in more detail:
Step 2 – Editing
Be prepared for this step to take a lot of time and effort and can therefore be costly. Additional value can be added to the book when the editing is done by a professional linguist. Please keep the following in mind when contracting an editor.
Comprehensive editing can basically be explained as follows:
- Copy-editing: The text editor (copy-editor) is qualified to apply the language norms across the entire spectrum of language. It involves basic editing as well as: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, writing style, arithmetic, positions of tables and illustrations, ambiguity, contradictions, references, footnotes, and even legal problems like libel.
- Proof-editing: Basic editing (proof-editing) is language remediation which means correction of syntactic errors, incorrect punctuation, grammar, language and spelling.
- Proof-reading: After the page layout has been completed, the PDF document or proof book is sent to the proof-reader to do a final check for any linguistic or page layout errors that was not picked up by the editor.
Contact Groep 7 for reference to experts or find the right person for your book by personal reference of friends or on the internet e.g., www.editors.org.za
The experts who are part of the Groep 7 team, handles it as follows:
- Basic evaluation of the book with a report so that authors can make an informed decision about linguistic care – R450.00.
- Quotation is given according to the number of words and the extent of editing required. The amount per word is approximately:
o Professional linguistic (copy-editor) – 14c–22c p/w.
o Basic language editing (proof-editing) – 8c–12c p/w.
o Proof-reader – 4c–6c p/w.
- With acceptance of the quotation, a section of a chapter will be edited, and suggested changes will be pointed out.
- Editing is done with ‘track changes’. Thus, the choice remains with the author whether he/she wants to accept the suggested changes or not. The author does not need to fear that his/her book will be rewritten! This also gives the author the opportunity to see whether he/she and the editor will be happy to work together.
- At this stage the quote will be re-confirmed and chapters, one-by-one, will be sent in ‘track changes’ format to the author for acceptance, and/or alternative suggestions. Payment will be made as the work progresses, e.g. chapter-by-chapter, or 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, depending on what the author and editor agree on.
Should an author have the need to reach another market (i.e. language – Afrikaans, English or African languages) the book can be forwarded in MsWord format to an independent translator. Groep 7 can recommend a translator who will willingly supply a quote.
The procedure is basically the same as the editing process:
- A few pages are translated so that the author can get the “feel” of the translator’s work.
- A quotation is calculated. Authors can expect translation costs from 28c per word – depending on the quality of the language used and the difficulty of the book.
- As work progresses, the translator sends the completed chapters back to the author for approval.
- The translator is paid as the work progresses, e.g., chapter-by-chapter, or 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, depending on what the author and translator agree on.
Step 3 –Typesetting
The page layout and cover design can be done by:
- Professional staff at Groep 7.
- The author.
- Any graphic artist of the author’s choice.
The professional team at Groep 7 does the typographic layout in the world-renowned professional program Adobe InDesign. This is also the first step toward publishing an e-book, when the InDesign file is converted into E-Pub which can then be converted into a secure e-book. The type of printing process used will also determine how the page layout will be done. Estimated costs for page layout in Adobe InDesign are:
- A5 books – from R7.50 tot R12.50 per page.
- A4 books – from R10.50 tot R16.50 per page.
- Books with sketches, photos & diagrams – from R25,50 per page.
- Books requiring indexing as well from R35,50 per page.
- Corrections after typesetting – R120 per hour.
- When authors wish to keep document in MSWord and do any corrections themselves, we can do finishing from R4.50 per page.
The final quote is given when we receive the manuscript, and two invoices are sent for payment after 50% and 100% of the work has been completed.
Typesetters at Groep 7 do professional typographic layout. However, this does not exclude the author (or friend!) from doing the design and forwarding it to us in print quality PDF (portable document format) and there will be no charge for page layout. A proof book is printed by Groep 7 (and the author needs to accept it before we start printing the book order.
If you, or a graphic designer of your choice, would like to do the page layout, the following guidelines can be followed for a neat page layout:
- The pages in an A5 book are 148,5 mm wide and 210 mm long with 15-20 mm margins for space between the contents and four edges of the page.
- An A4 page is 210 mm wide and 297 mm long with the same margins.
- Fonts generally used are “Serif” which means the font has a head- and foot piece which may make reading easier. “Sans serif” therefore means without the head- and foot pieces and can be used for headings. Thus, consider fonts like: Century Schoolbook, Baskerville, Garamond, or Goudy Old Style
- Numbering of pages preceding the first chapter is normally done in Roman numerals, and then Chapter 1 starts on Page 1. Uneven numbers are on the righthand side. If a book consists of 100 pages, it means that 50 sheets are printed on both sides, and numbered, for example, as follows: Roman numerals i-iv and the remaining pages of the book will be numbered 1-96.
The cover of a book is always very important because it will be the deciding factor whether a reader will pick it up to investigate it further, or not.
The graphic artists at Groep 7 use Photoshop or CorelDraw and have the knowledge to design your dream cover! The cost for design is normally between R450 and R650 depending on the information supplied by the author and time spent. Therefore, it may be necessary to obtain copyrighted photos or graphic stock where the artist has given us the consent to purchase and use these (R250).
Authors are more than welcome to design their own book cover and forward it to us in print quality PDF (portable document format), without incurring costs for the cover design.
Please ensure that you have copyright on all photos, clipart etc.
- The following can be used as guidelines:
- The front, spine and back are designed as a single document.
- The size for an A5 size book is double A5 (thus A4 landscape) plus spine, plus 3 mm ‘bleed’. (E.g. an A5 book with 100 pages, has a spine of 6 mm, and the document will therefore be 216 mm x 309 mm).
- The size for an A4 size book is double A4 (thus A3 landscape) plus spine, plus 3 mm ‘bleed’. (E.g. an A4 book with 200 pages, has a spine of 12 mm, and the document will therefore be 303 mm x 438 mm).
- An important guideline to ensure it is visually pleasing, is to place all text and photos 15–20 mm from all edges.
- Please design in CMYK, short for “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key Black”.
- After binding, the book is trimmed 3 mm on 3 sides.
Digital printing has developed exceptionally well during the last few years and hence it is cost-effective to print and bind from 2 to 1 000 books per order. The suggestion is therefore to print books on a continuous basis as needed, even at 10 books per order!
At least one proof book will be printed and approved before the order is executed.
Larger orders (>1 000) are printed lithographically which means that the unit cost is reduced; however, the total initial capital outlay may be expensive.
The cover page is printed in full colour or black, on 250 g/m² to 300 g/m² coated paper and laminated in gloss or matt for protection.
Different paper can be used and we keep 80g white bond and off-white bookpaper in stock. Books can be printed in either black or full colour, or a combination of black and full colour to save costs where a book does not have full colour photos on every page.
When a combination of black and colour printing is used, it is important to decide before layout which photos will be printed in colour to save printing costs. One sheet (printed on both sides) will either be printed with a black laser printer or a colour printer; thereafter it will be collated to complete the book. This means that if a sheet is printed in colour on one side and black on the other, both pages will be considered as having been printed in colour and will be invoiced as such.
- Perfect bind (60 – 700 pages): This is the process normally used in the industry. It is bound with hot glue onto the spine of the cover page and gives the book a square spine.
- Staple (8 – 60 pages): A4 books are printed on A3 paper, folded and stapled with 2 staples in the fold onto the cover page. Using the same method A5 books are printed on A4 paper, folded and stapled. The advantage is that the book lies flat when it is opened.
- Wire binding (10 – 500 pages): Any number of pages can be bound in this way and the pages can open completely. It is ideal for study material and manuals.
- Hard cover books (60 – 700 pages): The book is bound and cut separately. The hard cover is covered with the full colour cover page, and the book is then bound into the hard cover. The unit cost on top of the printing cost of the book is R95 for A5 books and R125 for A4 books.
Basic specifications with full colour 300g cover laminated, contents laser printed in black on 80g bond and perfect binded. A proof book is printed and the author needs to accept it before we start printing the book order.
Proof book and unit cost (only an example):
- A5 book with e.g. 160 pages R48.91
- A4 book with e.g. 160 pages R71.61
Printing costs on orders after proof book has been approved:
- 2-48 books: price of proof book
- Discounts on:
- 50 books 5,0% 100 books 7,5%
- 250 books 12,5% 500 books 15,0%
- 750 books 17,5% 1,000 books 20,0%
Groep 7 can take care of the packaging, distribution and administration on behalf of authors using one of the four options listed below. An agreement needs to be completed for each book.
The advantage is that authors do not have to pay in advance for any books that are ordered in this way, and administration costs are kept as low as possible to give authors the opportunity to place their books in the market at competitive prices.
Reconciliation of sales are done every three months (February, May, August and November), the nett income calculated and paid to authors.
- Orders by authors (printed books)
Authors supply the list of names and addresses where books need to be sent. Groep 7 prints and sends the books, and the author is invoiced for the printing and courier costs.
- Online Bookshop (printed books)
Books are placed on Groep 7’s website bookshop (www.groep7-selfpublish-book.co.za) at a once-off payment of R150 (GST included).
• Author determines the selling price.
• Buyers order and pay online.
• Groep 7 prints and dispatches the books.
Calculation of the net income for the author is as follows:
• Selling price less
o 20% (15% VAT, which Groep 7 pays to SARS, and 5% Payfast costs (credit card));
o Printing cost of book.
- Bookshops (printed books – conditions apply)
When bookshops enquire to buy an author’s book, the process is as follows:
• Authors determine the selling price.
• Groep 7 prints and sends books, invoices the bookshop and manages the administration.
Calculation of the net income for the author is as follows:
• Selling price less
o 50% which the bookshop charges;
o 15% VAT that Groep 7 pay to SARS
o printing cost of book.
- Electronic books (e-books)
Groep 7 quotes on each individual book for preparation to convert it into an e-book format.
• The typesetting is done in InDesign and then converted to E-Pub.
• The ISBN is registered in the author’s name.
• All information required are loaded on Kobo website (www.kobo.com) which have the software to convert is to a secure E-Book.
• The link is sent to the author who can market and expand for worldwide sales.
• The author can use this E-Pub file to publish e-books on any other platform.
• The link is also placed beside the author’s book on Groep 7’s website bookshop.
• The author determines the selling price and receives 50% thereof.
Self-publishers market their own books and e-books, and the following are some methods used very successfully by several of our authors at:
- Tertiary institutions, schools and pre-primary schools where the need already exists.
- Orphanages or similar institutions with large databases.
- Agreements with bookshops, Amazon and Kobo.
- Marketing via email, Facebook and other communication channels where the target market has already been identified.
- Seminars and workshops.
- Author websites.
Groep 7 can assist and offer quotations on any of the following:
- Make available to (per agreement):
o Groep 7 online bookshop;
o E-book on www.kobo.com
o Book shops (conditions apply) Groep 7 is a registered supplier of Exclusive Books, Bargain Books, Protea, PNA and other bookshops (their decision to order).
- Authors’ profile on Groep 7 website;
- Posters (printed and electronic format) e.g., for book launches.