Always wanted to see yourself in print?

Many of us would like to see what we have written in print. It may be our memoirs, our stories, our poems or our family history. Maybe it's a children's book with our own illustrations, or a collection of our favourite recipes with anecdotes related to the times these meals were eaten.

For the majority of us this will always remain only a dream. Very few aspirant authors will find a publisher for what they have written.

The answer to this is to self publish. This is often known as "vanity publishing", but there is nothing vain about wanting to see your work nicely bound and on your, your family's and your friends' bookshelves.

Traditionally, self publishing has been a very costly enterprise. Now, with advances in technology, you can publish your own book at a very reasonable price.

Boutique Books can help you make your dream come true

Boutique Books has been in business since 2009, and has facilitated over 1200 books in that time. Boutique Books offers a range of services, any combination of which can help you to get your book into print.

Have you already typed everything into a word processing programme? If so, we can help you with editing, copy editing, format design and layout - or, if you're quite satisfied that what's there is pretty perfect, just get it ready for print.

If all you have is a bunch of handwritten pages, we can take this, too, and make it into a book - although this would obviously not be exactly cheap as a great deal of work would be needed to achieve this!

We can also arrange for the printing of your book. If you want 10 books or more this will be done by a printing company. Unfortunately, smaller quantities for books that require a spine cannot be catered for, but folded and stapled books can be produced in smaller quantities if necessary.

In addition, we can help you to get your ISBN number and barcode.
Read more about ISBN...

Should you wish to, you can also have your book present on our website for people to order direct from you, or download, depending on your decisions in this regard.

Editing and proofreading

Even the very best writers are edited, although book editing is, unfortunately, always rather expensive as each word has to be read and each sentence evaluated. As it is not possible to pick up everything in a single read, and as you will likely make changes as a result of the editor's comments and suggestions, if you choose to go with editing your work will also need to go through the proofing phase. In mainstream publishing, a book will be proofed more than once, but this obviously results in additional costs (and as a result you may have noticed that even award-winning mainstream books contain some small language errors as publishers reduce the amount of time spent on checking a book). However, a single post-editing proofread should be sufficient to ensure that there are very few errors left in the book.

Need specialised academic editing?

Academic editing is a bit different from the more general editing that Boutique Books does. Head over to our sister company, Preston-Hall Academic Editors, for information about what they can offer.

What will it cost?

This is not an easy question to answer, because the cost will depend on what needs to be done, how many pages there are, how you want it printed and on what kind of paper, and how you want it bound. We can, however, give you some examples:

A 36-page A5 booklet, folded and stapled,
with a heavy, glossy cover

Text supplied in final form (i.e. no editing or proofing required), in a Word or similar document.
Layout required
Cover design required
ISBN number required
50 final booklets, printed and finished, required

Layout - R1 290.00
Cover design - R1 290.00
ISBN facilitation and barcode - no charge
Print facilitation - R680.00
Printing (80gsm bond, black only for inside pages, full colour on 300gsm card, gloss laminated cover, including delivery in South Africa) R1 900.00

TOTAL COST: R5 160.00

As a matter of interest, the cost of printing 50 copies of the same book, but in full colour would be about R3 200 (as opposed to R1 900 when printing in black only). This shows that printing in full colour is significantly more expensive than printing in black. What one can do, however, is print a group of pages in colour and place these in the book in a bundle, as one often sees with autobiographies.

A 200-page novel, perfect bound

Text supplied in in a word or similar document.
Editing required. Layout required
Cover design required
ISBN number required
100 printed books required

Editing is almost always the most expensive part of the process because the editor has to read each and every word and make considered decisions about what is read. We make a point of not fiddling with the "voice" of the author but of ensuring that the work is grammatically acceptable and that spelling and punctuation are correct. Suggestions are made regarding the style, content and story line where appropriate.

To edit a book of this length (about 64 000 words) will cost in the region of R9 890.

While this might seem like a great deal of money, it is often money well spent because a book filled with errors will not sell and any money spent on printing it will have been wasted.
Layout - R1 290
Cover design - R1 290.00
ISBN facilitation and barcode - no charge
Print facilitation - R680.00

Because it is almost impossible to catch everything in a single read, and because the author will often make changes after the first edit, proof reading after layout is required. In this case, proof reading would cost R4 300.
Printing of 100 copies, including delivery costs in South Africa: about R61.00 per book

Therefore, total cost of printing 100 copies is R6 100.00


Of course, if your book is fewer words than this, your book will work out cheaper than this.

As you can see, the setup costs form a great portion of the cost of the first copies. Naturally, the more copies that are printed, the less each book will cost. BUT there is no point in printing many books if you are not sure of selling them! Books sitting in boxes under your bed are wasted capital.


Layout and design
Editing and proofreading
Typing is charged at R65 per A4 page
ISBN application and barcode: no charge if we are preparing your book for print
Barcode - R65 if we are not preparing your book for print
Print facilitation of books prepared by us: R680
Print facilitation of books prepared by you: R1 150
Commercial Printing and binding per quote
Bespoke handbound books per quote

It does not matter where in Southern Africa, or even the world, you may be as we can simply send you a print-ready file which you can have printed locally. The print prices indicated in the above examples include delivery costs to all but the most remote places within South Africa.


If Boutique Books does the layout of your book for you, we can also let you have your book in .mobi (kindle), .epub (xhtml) and clickable PDF formats. In addition, we supply you with files formatted for Amazon KDP print on demand. Generally this will cost you R860. Please note that you should have a different ISBN for your e-book than for your printed book.

We do not help with uploading, but do supply information that should make it possible for you to do this yourself.

Books that are heavy on pictures, or where there are many tables and graphs, do not translate well into e-books. This is because e-book readers differ vastly, and the user can dictate the size of the font and page, making control of the display of anything that is not straight, flowed text more difficult. The R860 charge does not include trying to make such items pretty, and if that is what is required a separate quote would be necessary. If you are interested only in an e-book and do not intend to ever print the book, or if you want someone to help you market your e-book after I have created it for you, then you may like to contact David through his website at

What should I do next?

Why not fill in this form or e-mail any questions you might have to You could also telephone 033-387-3186, or fax 086-609-1535.

Need English/Afrikaans translation or language workshops? Then visit

Need academic editing of your essay, dissertation, thesis, research report, academic paper, concept note or proposal? Then visit

Looking for something special? To get a one-off handbound version of your book, or a special gift for someone instead of or as well as commercially prepared books, visit our sister bespoke bindery here Hoopoe Bindery for books bound by hand.

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