Unless you are wildly wealthy, you probably have some experience with budgeting. Not all of us can be “Oprah rich.” In the world of self publishing, it is easy to spend a fortune. Before you publish your book, I encourage you to create a budget. If you wait until the book is published, you run the risk of getting caught up in the excitement of the moment and spending more money than you should. I am no expert on this subject, mainly because each book has a different audience. However, I would like to share my own experience.
First, I opted to have an eBook as well as paperback version of my book. While I fully expect that most people will buy the cheaper, more convenient eBook, I wanted a traditional option. And, quite frankly, I wanted to buy something I could hold in my hands and say, “I made this.” CreateSpace, the vendor I used, allows authors to buy their paperbacks at a reduced price. I really appreciated this discount. Still, I set a budget for how many books I initially wanted to buy. I knew it would be easy to get carried away and buy loads of copies that would collect dust on a bookshelf somewhere.
Second, you need some type of online presence. Social media sites like FaceBook are free, but you must do all the work with setup. You can create your own website in lieu of or in addition to a social media site; a custom website might have fees, though. Do your homework. Compare all the potential costs. Will you have a custom domain name (i.e. creneefreeman.com)? How much will registration cost? How many pages are included on your website? (A page is each section. For example, on my website, the “Where to Buy” section is one page, “The Blog” is one page, et cetera.) Do you have to design every piece of the website, or do they provide design templates? Once you know what you get for your money, you can determine which vendor works best for you. Then, you have your “online presence” budget.
Third, what about advertising? Everyone wants you to place an ad on a website. They entice you by saying the ads are only $5/month or some fee that sounds nominal. The costs can accumulate quickly.
I confess that I am on the fence about advertising. At this stage, I would like to see what happens by simply having an online presence and selling on Amazon. I am sure I will do some form of advertisement in the coming months, once the newness of my book wears off, and sales are slow. I will write a post when I make that decision.
Over the last few posts, you have learned by now that the marketing side of things can be a struggle. You have a lot of decisions and work ahead of you after you write your book. Apply the same careful planning to this process as you do with other aspects of your life. Take a deep breath. Create a budget. And, try to have fun! The sooner you can get through the marketing phase, the sooner you can start writing the next book!