Standard book production chargesBy sharing my standard book production charges and procedures, I hope to ease your concerns and give you a good idea of what to expect. Books are complex, but not much is actually difficult. You will discover I can usually answer any question you might have. I can do it all for you, or help you through the process.

These standard book production charges are for complex books—especially non-fiction where complex lists, tables, drop caps, pull quotes, and more are needed. For simple book self-publishing packages, you need to go to this page.

On retainer, shepherding/mentorship [charges & policies are below]

I’ll be pleased to help you on an on-going basis. The distinction between the two terms is simple. If you only want professional/technical help, the term is mentorship. If you are a believer and also desire spiritual guidance, shepherd/pastor would describe role I will take. It is completely up to you. Retainers start at $20/month and can be stopped at any time. The only restriction is that there will be no partial month refunds if you should decide to end the relationship. You can start or stop at any time according to your need.

The form has been corrupted by hackers. Email me if you need to get anything set up.

Standard book production charges

What you receive with a quote
A set price! I live with my quotes and do not change them (unless the supplied graphics or contents are not as you described)I use your manuscript and any supplied graphics to develop my quote. Your manuscript needs to be edited and ready to go—though I will fix any typos I find. My book production includes a PDF for the print version (single page size), a downloadable PDF (with color graphics if available), an ePUB2 with embedded fonts (for iBooks, Nook, and Kobo), and a MOBI for Kindle KDP. At present, I upload your ebooks to Draft2Digital and Kindle PDP—though Smashwords is also an option. You can also have a copy of the original files. But you will need to purchase the fonts and stock images also (I have no way to transfer the licenses to you).

Large size versions, hard cover versions, spiral-bound versions, and the like can be provided for a small additional charge. If you need an index, it is also available for an additional charge.

Basic pricing structure

I normally charge per page (of the printed version) for my standard book production charges. Plus, there are additional charges for graphics and tables. These per page charges vary widely depending upon your book content. Increases to the standard book production charges might include: A complex list structure with multiple list styles and varying indents with custom bullets, for example. Large complex multi-page tables will also increase the page charge—plus, in many cases, there will be an additional charge for table design. Both of these areas greatly complicate the conversion to ePUB and MOBI. Tables commonly need to be rasterized and saved to JPEGs for use in the Kindle books, for example.

Page rates run from $1 to $7 a page, or more, depending upon complexity

Dealing with graphics

Graphics always incur additional basic book production charges. Consider the following: adding a graphic to your book in the various versions requires the following:

  • Print version: black and white interior: vector images or 300 dpi Photoshop files in grayscale
  • Print version: color interior: vector images or 300 dpi Photoshop files in RGB or CMYK depending on the printing company
  • Downloadable PDF: vector images or 300 dpi Photoshop files in color, if possible—the resolution may be lowered to reduce file size
  • ePUB FXL: 150 dpi Photoshop files in Web formats (GIF, JPEG, or PNG)
  • ePUB reflowable: 72 dpi Photoshop files in Web formats (GIF, JPEG, or PNG)
  • Kindle: 300 dpi Photoshop files in Web formats (GIF, JPEG, or PNG)

Obviously this can take quite a bit of time.

Charge per graphic can vary from $7 to $25, if they are author-supplied. Charges vary greatly if I produce the graphic, from free to $300 each. The source of the graphics will be stipulated in the quote.

Designing the cover

This is included in the quote. The charge is $100 minimum and the top end depends upon what you want me to do. If you have a usable image to use, and a rough idea of layout, I’ll produce it for the $100.

Standard book production charges: beginning the process

  1. Email me with your questions.
  2. I will need to have the manuscript (normally as a Word doc) and roughs of the graphics to make an accurate quote. I do not use Word processors. So, my vetting process will cause me to drop your manuscript into InDesign and take a look.
  3. I will email you questions. Once this process is complete for both of us, I will develop a quote.
  4. I will email you a copy of the quote.
  5. If you like the quote, you will pay 50% of the quote into PayPal so I can begin work. If you need to mail me a check it adds a couple weeks to the production process to receive the check via snail mail and to make sure the check clears.
  6. Once production commences many questions will arise. In many cases I will be forced to stop work until I receive your answer in an email.
  7. Proofs will be attached to emails as PDFs or ePUBs, depending on the book’s format.
  8. Upon approval of the proofs, I will upload the book to your accounts. You will run your own accounts and receive all the royalties.
  9. Once the book proofs are approved, I will send you an invoice for payment of the rest of the quote. For a new client, payment is expected before uploading takes place, upon your approval of the proofs.


Standard book production charges & policies — 1 Comment

  1. Hi David,

    I have a rather complex Indesign file with about 75 graphics. I tried to upload it for a print run but got the following errors.

    LOW RESOLUTION IMAGES IN FILE: We recommend color and black and white images be 300 ppi. For line art, we recommend 600 ppi bitmap images. For best results, please correct the issue(s) listed. You may refer to the File Creation Guide for further instructions on creating a compliant PDF. Choosing to proceed may result in a lower quality than you expect.
    Note: Your files contain one or more items below 200 ppi. By agreeing to process your file, you are stating that the quality submitted is intended.

    Personally I believe it will look fine. The pdf looks good to me, but they did not process my comp for review.

    I don’t know if it’s one image, or all of them. I wondered if you had a look if it was easier to fix yourself or tell me the 1 mistake I made 75 times I can fix. Ideally I want the file to be “perfect” but it’s ready to be printed by the PDF file anyway.

    As an Indesign Pro I believe you could diagnose what’s wrong if anything. I was hoping to review the comp by today and they didn’t even print it. It would be great to have it done “correctly” in indesign, but there are time constraints now as well. So I’m not sure what to do at this stage.

    Your thoughts?


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