There is no such thing as free. There is always something that you have to do or not do to pay for the free item. I don’t believe that most writers about how much time they spend doing something that they love to do. I admit that when I write a book, I tend to forget the time. I can tell people that the book I published took three years to write, but I often do not think of time as being a cost, to me, of publishing.
What can be a cost of publishing a book?
1) Time: This is often the most forgotten aspect of the publishing process, since most people don’t factor in time as a means of making money. Take, for example, adding a couple of links to my books here and here. It doesn’t take long to do this, but there is another time factor that presents itself after that simple adding of links. To add a link is one thing, but I am writing on a blog, and a published post filled with links is not what I want my readers to see, so I spend my time writing the post.
2) Other people: I needed an editor and a reader for my drafts. This was both a money factor and a time factor since I needed them to take time to read and fix up my book, and then I needed to follow through on their suggestions. I also needed to pay my editor for their hard work. This added to the time it took to get the book published, but it also gave me new insights on the process of publishing a book.
3) The Learning Curve: I know what I know, but I also don’t know what I don’t know. There is a lot to learn about publishing a book. The time it took just to read various books on publishing and then to implement the good ideas in my own books was… a lot. And there is the fact that I spent money buying these books.
There are many more aspects in the cost of publishing a book, and there is much to learn with each book you publish. The more I learn, the better I become at making money with my book sales. This also makes me a better writer, knowing the costs of having a published book in my hands.