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Publishing a book with zero budget : How to do it?


Although writing down stories is free, publishing often isn’t. But how do you publish a book with no budget at all? Here are some Do’s and Don’ts.

1. DON’T Self Publish.

Don’t self Publish: at least if you want to make your book into a success. Self-publishing means you will have to do ALL the marketing and ALL the outreach yourself, it means you have to pay for an editor, for someone to do a professional cover, you will have to send out copies to bloggers and influencers, maybe even pay for advertising… and the list goes on.
Yes, indeed there are authors that edited their books themselves and there are people that did their cover in paint… but then you have to ask yourself: how successful were these people. How many copies did they sell? Was their book really a success? Probably not.
So if you are not willing to spend a lot of money on your book or if you are on a tight budget yourself, I would always ALWAYS go with a traditional publisher…

2. DON’T go with a vanity publisher

Vanity publishers are publishers that will accept ( almost ) every manuscript BUT will let YOU pay for everything. So basically they are a glorified printing service. Before self-publishing came to the front stage, vanity publishers were huge. People that got declined by publishing houses would flock to vanity publishers to get their books printed. However, since today most of these authors choose to self-publish, vanity publishers hide in plain sight as traditional publishers. It is often only after they have accepted your novel and sent you the details of what is going to happen next that they can be exposed.

3. DO ask yourself how valuable this book is to you

Like I mentioned above, it could be that even with traditional publishers you will have to spend some cash. You have to see your book as a business. Yes, you can start a business – consulting for instance, without any real investment, but in order to let it grow, to reach more customers, you will have to reinvest the money you earned in the business itself. This is something you will have to do with your book as well. Do not ever see the income out of your book as net income. I would set aside at least 10% to reinvest into marketing – even if it is to send out a copy of the book to bloggers.
Are you not willing to reinvest? Ask yourself how valuable this book is to you. Ask yourself how big a writer you would like to be. If the answer is that you would like to become a bestseller, you might want to rethink your stance.

4. DO build meaningful networks

A great way to keep costs down is by building meaningful networks with people that can help you. Marketers, bloggers, influencers etc. Even though you might not have any money, these people often help you or give you meaningful advice for marketing your book and becoming a successful author.

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How to publish a book with zero budget

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2 thoughts on “Publishing a book with zero budget : How to do it?

    1. Lieze Neven

      Hi Catherine,
      The best thing you can do is to look at books that are similar to the story you are trying to publish. Look at what agents they used, look at what publishers they went with and research both online. Try to get about 50 different agents and 50 different publishers onto a spreadsheet and start sending out e-mails. Personalise all emails and try to compare your work to the books they are representing or publishing.

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