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A Guide to Self-Publishing in Canada

If you’re like me, and considering the self-publishing route for your next novel, then this guide is for you.

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Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash


Self-publishing is a route many authors are now choosing to publish their stories. There are two main paths to take when self-publishing, all by yourself from start to finish, or with the help of a publishing agency. By publishing agency, I don’t mean a traditional publishing house, but a company you can hire to help you with each step along the way. 


There is no shame is hiring a company to help you publish a professional level novel!


So who are these companies and what can they offer you? The two companies we will be looking at in this post are TellWell Publishing, and Friesen Press. Both companies offer different packages, with a wide range of publishing options.


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If you are not looking for a full self-publishing package you can order services à la carte from both companies. Services these companies offer are:


Manuscript Preparation

Design & Production



Manuscript Preparation involves things such as issuing ISBNs, hardcover and softcover editions, ebook editions, manuscript analysis, copy editing, content editing, proofreading, and more.

Design & Production includes your book cover design, interior layout, stock images, revision for overall book design, and more.

Publication covers many services such as book distribution, ebook distribution, promotion of your novel, and more.


The cost of using a publishing agency is not cheap, but with all the services they provide you, and the stress they take off your shoulders, it could be well worth your time to hire a self publishing agency.

 TellWell Offers FOUR Packages:

The lowest priced package from TellWell is their Standard Package at $1500, which is reasonable considering you are receiving a cover design, interior layout, and distribution of your novel through Ingram to 39,000 book sellers, and Amazon.


The most elite package TellWell offers is their Traditional Package at $9500 that offers you all the benefits of their Standard package, along with a larger list of coverage including:


  • Expanded Ebook Platforms
  • A Hardcover Edition Of Your Novel
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Author Website
  • Substantive Editing
  • Post-layout Proofread
  • Marketing Outreach
  • Enhanced Amazon Selling
  • Back Cover Description Editing

TellWell’s Published Books

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FriesenPress also offers FOUR Packages:


FriesenPress’ most affordable package is the Launch Package which starts at $2000. This package includes options such as hardcover, softcover, and ebook editions, 1 softcover promotional copy of your book, editors manuscript analysis up to 60k words, book cover, interior layout, print distribution through Ingram to 39,000 book sellers, Amazon, Google Play Books, their own bookstore, and book promotion support.


If you are looking for more extensive support you will want to invest in their Masterpiece Package, which starts at $15,000. The coverage that is included in this package is MASSIVE. It has so many options I am going to post a photo of the PDF showing the benefits of this package because it’s way too much to type out.


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FriesenPress Published Books


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For a lot of starving artists like myself, the price points on these packages are overwhelming, and not within reach. The good news is you can self publish your novel without purchasing one of these packages, and still utilize some of their professional services to polish your book.


At the very least you should save up some money to pay for Editing services, and a Book Cover Design. Unless you are a graphic artist, or an editor you are not likely to design a book cover to be a best-seller, and no matter how good of a writer you are — you’re bound to make spelling or grammar mistakes that will be missed.



To purchase a Cover Design, submit a proposal to get your free quote!
Editing services a la carte range from an Editorial Evaluation at $500, to Substantive Editing at 3.9¢ / word. So for a novel of 50k words, you would pay around $2000 for content editing, and copy editing combined.


Content editing has a minimum of $200, and the price is $3.90/100 words, Proofreading also has a $200 minimum, and is $1.50/100 words. This works out to $1950 for content editing of a 50k book, and $750 for proofreading.
Contact FriesenPress directly to get a quote for the cost of getting a Cover designed for your book.


Now it’s possible to do this all on your own, nobody is stopping you, but saving up at least a few hundred dollars to invest in your novel will yield you better results than you could achieve all by yourself.


I hope this guide has given you some insight into the options available for your publishing needs. There are more companies available similar to TellWell and FriesenPress, but these two have the best reviews and word of mouth references that I have come across.

Best of luck in your Self Publishing adventures!


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