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Many book design firms and self-publishing services offer “publishing packages” for a flat fee. These are usually priced high (to cover every contingency), and are therefore much more expensive for the typical book than necessary. In addition, those services require you to purchase the package in advance (so if the project drags out for months, you have no leverageyou’ve already paid in full).

At the other extreme are “meatgrinder” services – you upload your manuscript, and their automated systems instantly turn it into a typeset PDF file you can download. It’s fast and cheap (although not that cheap), but very generic.

We examine your project and base our pricing on the actual work to be done. Then we give you a firm, no obligation price quote up-front. Our fees are much lower than a comparable services package in almost every case. Further, we only request a 20 percent deposit to begin work (not the full amount), and you don’t pay the remaining balance until you’ve reviewed and approved the final job. This ensures that we deliver quality work on schedule.

Perhaps most important, we offer personal service, and we respect your intellectual property (and we put that in writing – our quote request form includes a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement). Finally, our file security and version management practices are compliant with the industry’s highest standards (your work is safe with us).




We understand . . . you don’t want to take the time to request a quote if our services (as low-priced as they are) would still exceed your book’s budget. So listed below are the prices we charged for a range of other projects. Your particular project may cost more or it may cost less, but this will give you a general idea of the fees involved.

Our fees for interior page layout and formatting over the past year have ranged from $92 (for a relatively simple workbook) to $460 (for a 130,000-word guidebook with 48 photos). The following are factors in the prices we quote for interior layout:
Is the book interior to be in full color or black-and-white?
 - Will the book’s pages have standard formatting, or are there unusual/complex design elements required?
 - How many unique page headers/footers will there be?
 - How many total words in the manuscript?
  - How many footnotes/endnotes?
 - How many foreign words, math/science formula, special typographic symbols, objects in bold/italic text, etc.?
 - How many images or other non-text objects?
 - Are the images/objects ready to be placed in the page layout, or are size/color/resolution corrections needed?
 - How much typographical “clean-up” does the text require (hidden characters, html glyphs, etc. that must be removed)?
 - Is the file being submitted to CreateSpace, or does it need to meet another printer’s custom specifications?

Our fees for book cover design have ranged from $37 (for a collaborative cover where the author provided the concept and supplied the photos) to $368 for a custom cover with original artwork and multiple design approval stages.

An interior DIY layout pre-review (where we check the do-it-yourself author’s Word setup for technical and design problems before he/she does the whole thing incorrectly) has normally cost from $10 to $20 (depending on whether the book is black-and-white or color, bleed or no-bleed, etc.).

The fee for converting an author’s interior or cover design to a print-ready PDF file for submission to CreateSpace is typically around $8 (but if the source file contains problems that must be corrected first, an additional fee may be quoted). This service includes preflight testing (the same pre-press tests that CreateSpace and Lightning Source run when you submit a PDF for review and approval). 

If you prepare your own print-ready PDF file and want us to run it through the preflight tests before you submit it to CreateSpace, the cost is usually under $5 (if you make changes to correct problems, we provide one additional preflight check at no additional charge).

Self-publishing authors often have backlist titles that are already professionally typeset and in PDF format - yet do not comply with CreateSpace requirements. We are Adobe Acrobat experts, and can troubleshoot or repurpose your PDF for CreateSpace publication. Fees are typically around $50 to $80 (much less than redesigning the book).

The fees for mechanical editing (aka, copy editing and proofreading) average $0.01/word.

Our Kindle conversion fees have ranged from $48 to $190 (the ones with higher fees had multiple charts, diagrams, or other images requiring special formatting, and included more go-to/navigation points than the average ebook).

Again, we’ll be happy to discuss your specific project and provide a quote.

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Copyright 2011, 2012 Lighthouse24.  All rights reserved.
Extensive efforts are made to provide information that is useful and accurate - however, change is a constant in the book industry, so no warranty is expressed or implied regarding the accuracy of the content presented herein. Further, many of the guidelines offered are necessarily general in nature, so your specific self-publishing projects and experiences may vary.

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