Publishing costs can run anywhere from $0 – as much as you desire to spend.
I have not spent a single dime on any of my current publications, self-published or traditional published.
Here are a few various categories that may cost money:
As I have shared before, I barter services for editing, so I am not familiar with editing costs. I do know from previous inquiries that some editors charge you by the page, others charge by the word count. If you confident in your editing abilities, then you may choose to edit your own books free of charge, but I am not confident in my own editing prowess, which is why I barter services. Content editing gets very expensive, but I hear the end result is worth the cost, both in the quality of your story and in the value of the experience to improve your own writing prowess. I know the one time I bartered services for a content editor, my content editor was instrumental in helping me see what did and did not work in my book, and helped me understand why.
There are some fantastic covers out there that cost thousands of dollars, others that are fantastic and only cost a few dollars. And you have everything in between for both cost and quality. If you publish with a traditional publishing house, you do not pay for your cover, pending on your contract with your publisher. If you create your own covers, which some of my authors friends do, then you also do not pay for covers. And if you barter services, well, then you do not pay for covers with money, just time to accomplish whatever it is you and the cover designer agreed to.
So I get my formatting free in three different ways. First, I barter services for formatting for some self published titles. Second, I upload my books to either Amazon KDP Publishing or Draft 2 Digital, and they do all the formatting free of charge. Third, my publisher formats my books I have contracted with them free of charge. But if you want specific formatting done just the right way, you can research how to do it yourself, you can barter services with someone who knows how to format well, or you can pay for it. I don’t know if formatting services are expensive or inexpensive, but I do know it is one other cost that needs to be taken into consideration.
The one thing that all authors need to consider when looking at publishing costs is marketing and advertising costs. The larger the publisher, the greater that publishers reach and marketing value, but that does not mean they do not do everything for their authors. It does not matter who is publishing your book, you want to look into having a marketing and advertising budget. How much you spend will depend on several variables that I cannot tell you, because they are not universal. But, in general, if you want to find new readers, well, then not spending any money at all on any aspect of marketing or advertising will be detrimental to your sales goals.