The Creative Penn has a post about the cost of indie publishing wherein she describes a sliding scale of possible expenditure by the indie author. At the low end, the enterprising and spendthrift indie can publish a book for about five bucks. At the high end, an enterprising and astoundingly wealthy indie can spend over thirty thousand to achieve basically the same thing. Note that I said basically, not exactly; the quality and distribution channels that come with a 30K price tag will surpass what you get for five dollars. However, really great stories remain great, even if they’re written on free napkins with a stolen pen. The problem there is that any work published that way is not only greatly limited in circulation, but limited in lifespan, too, because napkins have their ways of getting soggy or destroyed. While I don’t intend to release jewel-encrusted print editions, I want something a bit more accessible and lasting than a napkin: I want a paperback and various electronic formats.
I’m more enterprising than I am astoundingly wealthy, so even my highest expenditures must be magnitudes lower than 30K. But how low can I go? How low should I go? What expenses can I cut, and still get what I want? What is the least I can spend to get a version of my book to market?