How Much I Spent Self-Publishing My Poetry

At this moment, I am watching Vivian Reis’s video ‘How Much it Cost to Self-Publish?’ and I wanted to do a tally of my own. This account is just for my poetry collections, however, I will do a separate post for my many, many fiction projects (still drafting, not even ready, want to publish this year, have no idea how, omg overwhelm.)

So, much like how Vivian did, I’m going to break down my expenses by category:

1. Software

My original manuscripts were written with Scrivener, which I purchased for my now dead laptop at 25.99 and the phone app at 49.99.

I also used Pages and Google Docs, which are free.

In the extensive and time consuming process of learning how to make an ebook on my iPad, I used a few other apps to help me out.

A JPEG/PNG converter for the covers: free

An Ebook converter (to change epubs into mobis because kindle direct publishing hates pages): 2.99

2. Hardware

The beginning of the year sucked because my laptop died so I ended up paying 510.something (tax included) for a new iPad–because I am determined to streamline (yes, you can create decently formatted ebooks using just an iPad/tablet but it’s not easy, rather, it’s not easy if you are me, you might have an easier time.).

3. Editing/proof/line/content/etc.

All free because I did the edits myself. I have been editing/revising some of these poems for 11 years. I am a good editor/self-editor. I am shit at marketing. We all have our skills.

4. Covers

I purchased the cover for Lupercalia for 15.00 at and the designer I seem to sync the most with is betibup33.

The cover for The Echo of Something Hitting came from a photo I took on my phone of a deer skeleton on the side of the road in rural Arkansas. The vultures were not pleased that I interrupted their brunch with an impromptu photo shoot. I played with the brightness and contrast on my iPhone and used the free version of designlab’s app to insert the text.

So all together, for both collections, my expenses came to:






Total: 605.something

Not bad.

What’s your budget? What’s your favorite software? Who makes your covers?

Let me know 🙂

Keep on keeping on!

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