How much does it cost to create an Inscription? It's a pretty simple rule of thumb – the bigger the file you try to inscribe the more it will cost. The other major factor is the current fee cost to send a transaction. Basically, the more people who are trying to use Bitcoin the more expensive it is to use.
We can estimate the cost to inscribe something pretty reliably with the following formula:
Content size ÷ 4 * fee rate
For example, let's say you have a photo of your cat that is 20 kilobytes and you want to inscribe it. The cost to inscribe is going to be: 20,000 (bytes) ÷ 4 * fee rate, or 5,000 * fee rate.
What is fee rate?
You can set any fee rate to a transaction but most bitcoin wallets automatically estimate what fee rate you should pay to send a transaction successfully. It is common to see what the "average" fee rate is for the transactions and pick somewhere in the middle (this is an oversimplification, learn more here). Fees are calculated in satoshis per unit of data in your transaction, abbreviated as "sats/vByte." Basically, the higher fee you pay the more likely your transaction will be included before others.
As we see above, it's comparatively expensive to send a bitcoin transaction now. Let's imagine that we want to make an inscription soon, but it doesn't have to be ASAP. We would probably use a fee rate of 87, or 87 sat/vByte.
So for us to inscribe our cat picture (remember it was 20kb), we use the following equation:
20,000 (bytes) ÷ 4 * 87
Step by step this is 20,000 ÷ 4 = 5,000.
Then 5,000 * 87 = 435,000.
Our estimated cost to inscribe is 435,000 sats. That's a little pricey, but we also want our cat to be immortalized on Bitcoin forever!
Third Party services
If you're inscribing through a service, they will usually charge a service fee that is either a flat rate and/or a % of the fees. This is in addition to what it costs to inscribe to the Bitcoin network.