“How Much Did You Pay to Get Your Book Published?” a person asked after stopping at my author table at an event, some time ago.
“Nothing,” I replied. “Publishers pay you, you don’t pay them.”
He looked stunned, and asked more questions, then finally asked about self-publishing.
I said no, you still should not have to pay anything, unless you pay for cover art (which I do, as I have all the talent of a ferret when comes to anything artistic), or for someone to copy edit your work, or help with technical difficulties, such as making sure your document is formatted properly for a clean upload.
With places such as Smashwords (for e-books) and CreateSpace (for print books), as examples, there’s no cost to be published (unless you avail yourself of such services as editing, as I mention above).
And these places which are so kind as to offer to have you pay them to edit, publish, and market your book? They’re called vanity presses. Can we say “don’t trust them”? Sure. Try it. Please.
You don’t need them. Truly.
I highly recommend you read David Gaughran’s Basics. And bookmark it.
(BTW, I saw the man I talked to at a later author event – he was still working on his book, but had taken the information I’d given him and was prepared to publish and market his book when the time was right. Kudos! Perhaps I’ll see him at another event this year or next with his own author table. I do hope so!)