Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Writing 101: The Book Marketing Budget

The copyright. The cover. The Facebook ads. The paid reviews. The trailer, the proof print copies. All those marketing materials. When you self-publish, expenses add up quickly. Have you got a marketing budget yet? 

Being Businesslike 
You're creative, and if you're like me then you're also shite with numbers. When you become an indie author, you're no longer just a writer. Now you're a promoter, and an accountant. Don't become your own worst enemy as well. Establish a book budget...before you start writing the book.

Before you start spending money on advertising your book, take care of the expenses that you can't possibly avoid. Make a list of everything you need to pay for, set a budget, and don't go over -- not even when it seems important. 

  • Copyright: This is the first thing you ought to buy. And yes, you buy a copyright. It's not enough to stamp something copyrighted and move on; legally, you must purchase the copyright if you're a United States citizen. If you're English, cheerio. You can spend this cool $35.00 elsewhere.
  • Cover: Like maybe on the artwork. If you're not graphically gifted, it's a good idea to purchase a cover. Prices can get very hefty here, so scout around among friends and family to see if you've got any artistic talent that can be mined more cheaply. Otherwise, look for cost-effective options. I have a certain website that I like to use, but start looking for cover artists and they'll come falling out of the Internet.
  • Editing: All authors should do their own editing. How else are you going to discover your weaknesses and your mistakes? But if you keep finding mistakes no matter how hard you proofread, or if you're writing in your second language, you may want to consider hiring a professional editor. This is going to cost you a fair amount of money, so do some price-checking to find an affordable but high-quality deal.
  • Trailer: If you really want to have a book trailer for promotional purposes, but you have no vision, no software and no resources, you might have to hire someone to do this for you. Again, this can be a huge expense so spend some time shopping around before you commit your cash.
  • Advertising: Once you've purchased all those other items, if they're needed, then you can spend some money on advertising. So set a budget, pay for all the stuff you've got to have, and use what's left over for Facebook marketing or anything else you like. 

Set a budget so you don't wind up as a self-published author in serious debt. You'll find that there are lots of free ways to market and make your book, so save money where you can and spend it where you can't. When money runs out on the budget, it runs out. Add more money to it, if you desire, with money from book sales...if you make any.

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