How To Publish a Book

A Self-Publishing Company in Amarillo, TX
A Division of Woven Strings Publishing TM

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Self-publishing can be the ideal choice for many businesses and authors. Whatever genre your book may be, we are here to help you succeed.

Unlike many other self-publishing companies, we do not publish every book submitted, nor do we rely on gimmicks to draw customers. WSP has a good reputation, and we do not jeopardize our reputation nor that of our authors' by printing bad books. When you publish with WSP, you are assured of being in good company.

We hope that you will find this free new author self-publishing guide to be useful, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Click on the following links to jump to different sections within this page.


Critiquing Service

Editing Service

Design Service

ISBN Numbers

Business Printing Costs



Author Websites

New Author Self-Publishing Guide

Even if you are new to self-publishing, you have likely already seen the many websites online that have dozens and dozens of pages filled with blinking ads and text that never really explain what it is that the customer is paying for. Only after the customer has paid the fees will the customer then learn what the services might be. WSP has always worked with the philosophy that the customer must first be told exactly what services will be performed before we ever accept payment. We want your business as well as your trust.

Our website is purposefully brief and direct to the point. Our time is valuable, as is yours. Once a customer has decided to receive a quote from us, we then gather the necessary information about book size, book type, and other services. Only after we have the full information will we then quote a bid.

Beware of Editing Packages: Many online self-publishing companies have 'one size fits all' editing package deals. Without first asking the author the word count of the manuscript, the type of binding wanted, or any other extremely important information, the websites expect an author to commit to a payment of $500.00 or more before the self-publishing company will explain what the editing fee includes. It is unfair to charge an author of a 100 page book $500.00 while an author of a 400 page book is charged the same amount. The 'editing package' may also only be a computer-generated form that is of little or no usefulness to an author. Everyone who has read a book knows that it takes more time to read a large book, and it should also be recognized that a self-publishing company charging one set editing fee for both long and short books is not actually reading the books.

More often than not, the new author will discover that numerous additional fees must be paid before the author's manuscript is printed. An author should never pay for anything without first receiving a written bid from a publisher that details all work performed.

The typical process of publishing a book or e-book is for the customer to first contact us with the information of what the customer is wanting. We use the customer's information to write a quick rough estimate of the services and costs. The estimate explains the many different expenses so that the customer can better realize that our fees are almost always far more economical than our competitors'.

After our customers have reviewed and accepted our estimate as being what the customers want, we then write an exact bid. We do not vary from the bid, and never will a customer pay more than the bid unless the customer later requests additional services.

Beware of author website scams: As an example to show true differences of costs, a self-publishing company may charge $200.00 to build a low quality author's website, and then charge the author $29.95 per month to keep the website online. In two years the cost to the customer will sum to $918.80. Our charge is $499.95 for a good ranking website and an annual $130.00 maintenance fee thereafter (please see Web Design Information for the latest pricing). In five years the author will spend $1,997.00 for the low quality website designed by the 'economy' self-publishing company, or the author can have us design and host a good quality website for five years for about $1020.00 total (plus tax). It is very possible for our customers to save enough on website expenses alone to pay the full cost of publishing an author's book.

Beware of book printing costs: It is common to find self-publishing companies that charge a new author well over $1,000.00 to publish a manuscript, and yet the price only includes 1 to 5 copies of the book. If the author actually plans to sell the book, the author will want no fewer than 250 copies which would be an additional cost of around $2,500.00 to $5,000.00 depending on book size, quantity per order, and shipping charges. As a general comparison, WSP might charge approximately $1,500.00 total, including the formatting, cover design, publication, and printing of 250 average sized paperbacks (printing costs change frequently, so please ask about the current printing costs).

A local author paid another company approximately $60,000.00 to have 6,000 copies of a book printed. The book was not formatted, nor did the book receive any editorial work before the manuscript was printed. The result was a poorly designed book that the author could not sell nor give away. Our total fee for the same book, which would have included full editing, formatting, and publishing of 6000 copies, would have been around $20,000.00, and likely much less. The author did not just make a $40,000.00 mistake, he lost the entire $60,000.00 because he did not know to compare actual costs of self-publishing.

When the actual costs are summed, WSP has always been the much better priced publisher.

Most of our customers learn of us by word of mouth. Our previous customers recommend us because they were pleased with our services and fees. We want you to be pleased too so that you will recommend us as well.

The amount of time invested into publishing each book is unique, but it usually takes less than one week to have a book published as an e-book, and it can take up to about four to six weeks to have a paperback printed. After the first paperbacks are printed, future copies can be printed and delivered in a much shorter time. Editing and critiquing services are also variable relative to the manuscript and depth of detail, but you can expect to have both the critiquing and editing finished within about one to two weeks.

Please feel free to contact us to ask questions. We believe that a well-informed author will more likely become our customer. We are always happy to explain costs and services.

Critiquing Service

There is a difference between negative criticizing and creative critiquing. A reviewer does need to spot mistakes, but the reviewer's job is to also mark and comment on a manuscript's strong parts so that the author will know what s/he is doing right. Feedback is crucial for all creativity.

Beethoven is said to have cried when in his deafness he could not hear the audience applauding his symphony. Feedback is the writer's ears, and without a good creative critique many excellent manuscripts sit idle in authors' computers, never to be seen by the public because the author never heard an applause.

A good critique is more than a grammar and spell check accompanied with negative comments. A creative critique includes feedback on the writing style, story line, character development, how each segment of the manuscript is perceived to flow well or not well, which styles of the author's writing are favored and disfavored, and how well the author gets an idea across to the reader. Of the numerous other important features of a person's writing, is the manuscript interesting to read?

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of writing is critiquing one's own manuscript. After working months and years writing a manuscript, the author has all but memorized the words, and often will miss very simple mistakes that the same author would immediately spot in another person's manuscript. Authors can and do become blind to their own work, and most all serious authors will use a critiquing service to receive feedback. Good honest feedback is an author's best friend.

Critiquing Pricing: Per-page charge for critiquing is $10.00 with a minimum charge of $20.00. (One page is $20.00, two pages is $20.00, three pages is $30.00, etc..) A single page is defined as a normal computer word processor document using single line spaces, a 12 point Times New Roman font, and a 1" margin on all four sides of an 8.5"x11" letter-sized page (approximately 500 to 600 words at a cost of about 1¢ per word). Critiquing of book-length manuscripts is less expensive because it is charged by the hour and not by the page.

If a manuscript is formatted with double spacing, different fonts, and/or different margins, it will be reformatted to fit the above standards. If there is a special need to retain the text's original formatting, prices will be based on a per page charge (for many of us it is more fatiguing and time consuming to read double-spaced text). If the page exceeds 500 to 600 words, the fee will be charged at the per-word rate.

We no longer accept online payments. We now only accept checks and money orders. Please visit the Contact Larry page for mailing addresses.

Critiquing - Minimum rate (up to 2 pages): $20.00

Critiquing - Per page rate each (3 page minimum): $10.00

Critiquing - Book length manuscript: please request a quote

Editing Service

An editing service is also offered at a straight $30.00 per hour charge. Editing services are best recommended for short essays and business documents. Editing removes some of the author's voice and may leave a large manuscript saying something different than what the author originally intended. Editing a full length book manuscript can take weeks and cost thousands of dollars, so please do be aware that editing is usually best left to the author.

Editing and all other non-critiquing services - Hourly rate: $30.00

Editing of book-length manuscripts - please request a quote

Designing Service

Designing book covers is a service that is included in the book printing pricing. If a customer only needs a printer-ready design created, but not the book published, our fees will be charged at an hourly rate. We cannot quote a 'one size fits all' price due to the wide variety of possible book cover designs, finished book thickness, ISBN number placement, and numerous other variables. On an average, however, a typical cover design costs around $300.00.

ISBN Numbers

We charge existing customers $50.00 to issue an ISBN and create a printable ISBN graphic to be used on a book cover.

We charge $100.00 for an ISBN number and graphic on CD for customers who only need the ISBN and are not having their book printing done through us. Please be aware, however, that whoever you purchase an ISBN number from will become the listed publisher in the Library of Congress records, or in other words, buying a domain from a company with a peculiar name will result in your book being listed with that peculiar name. If you have a need for several ISBN numbers, let us know and we can arrange a quantity discount.

Business Printing Costs

Pricing wildly varies relative to the book's number of pages, cover design, and number of books. As a rough example, a perfect-bound paperback of 100 pages with 2,000 copies may cost the customer about $2.00 each plus shipping. The same book, printed one at a time with POD (print on demand) may cost $12.00 each plus shipping. The higher the quantity of books, the lower is the cost per book. Sizable price breaks usually occur at quantities of 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and higher.

Please contact us for an exact bid on your printing needs.


As mentioned on the home page, we now only recommend Barnes&Noble for publishing e-books. Uploading a manuscript to B&N is very easy, and B&N has the best reputation of paying royalties to authors and publishers (it is an unfortunate reality that some e-book retailers refuse to pay the royalties from sales).

At the customer's request, we can create an unencrypted Adobe® PDF e-book. The PDF file can be given Adobe password and anti-printing security limitations, but several PDF readers now exist that can easily bypass all document security. We strongly recommend encrypted e-books for customers who do not want their books being copied and shared online.

Some self-publishing companies charge $99.00 to create a PDF-based e-book that is then only sellable through the self-publishing company. The chances of an author making sales through a single retailer are slim to none. We ask our customers to please use caution when deciding on which e-book format they prefer.

The following charges are average costs to give you a ballpark idea of expenses. Your book may cost a little more or a little less.

PDF format (without additional formatting) - $50.00

PDF format (with basic formatting to the Word® DOC) - $100.00

E-book format (unencrypted for public use) - $200.00

E-book format (unencrypted with heavy formatting) - $350.00

E-book format (encrypting a finished e-book and placing the book on a distributor's site) - $2,3000.00 (Reminder: we do not publish bad books, we will only publish to Barnes&Noble if we feel that the book is of a similar or better quality than the books currently being sold by B&N. We will only format and publish to other e-book distributors if the author requests.)


E-books are promoted online by no fewer than two high ranking websites/pages.

Printed books are promoted on the WSP websites as well as one or more high ranked review sites.

One advantage to publishing an e-book is to test the market. How well the book sells helps to determine how well the paperback might sell.


It is important for an author to have a website to promote his/her book, and it is no less important that the public can find the author's website. It is a good learning experience for a future website owner to investigate how well a website design promotes the author's book. Our clothing alterations book's website had remained ranked #1 on search engines until the author retired.

Search for "origin of ethics" and you will find one of our author's pages listed at #3 on Google (as of this writing). The author's page and website were previously ranked #1 in the English speaking world when the website used a domain name and promoted only the book. Our websites have repeatedly been earning the top-ten on search engines for over ten years.

Compare the costs of websites as mentioned before. Which is the better deal, to spend around $2,000.00 for a website that may never be seen except by the website owner, or to spend about half for a website that is in the top ten on search engines? Authors are inherently smarter than average, and we are confident that you will recognize that WSP has a lot more to offer than merely printing your books.

Please visit or contact Larry Gowdy for additional information about website styles and costs.


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