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budgeting your money


Budgets: Editing

As I work on the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion, I am already thinking about marketing the book. The first book was a real eye opener about all the extra work required in self publishing. I thought writing the book was the hard part. Oh, no, the business side is even more difficult.

Writing is such a creative process. I found it a bit difficult to switch off the creative side of the brain and turn on the business part when the time came. I would like to avoid the same mistakes when the sequel is released.

I have talked in the past about the importance of setting a budget. I do not consider myself an expert on the topic, but I can offer some insight into the kinds of things that weigh on my mind right now. For the next three weeks, let’s explore three items that should be considered for your budget: editing; formatting and design; and advertising.

Once the book is complete, you might ask yourself whether or not you should use professional editing services. A person can edit your book for everything from grammatical errors to story problems. It is up to you how far you want that person to go. More importantly, how much are willing to spend for the service?

In my case, I paid $100 to have the first 25,000 words of my book reviewed for content only. I am so glad that I did. She identified a major problem with the opening and suggested a different approach to the prologue. As a result, I completely rewrote the prologue and scraped the first eight chapters of the book. In my opinion, the end result is better than the original.

The Internet is filled with people who offer editing services. Do your research carefully. How many books has this person edited? Have you read any of those books? Exactly what services are offered for the fee you will pay? How quickly will the person return the edited work? Do they provide a contract stating that your work is your own? This last question is important. You don’t want someone to steal your idea!

So, what are my plans? Honestly, I am still undecided. I read the first book, Through the Mist: Restoration, and found a few typos. If I had hired an editor, I would like to think that he or she would have found those mistakes. I plan to follow my own advice and see what’s available and how much it costs. Check this blog. I am sure I will write about it when I make the decision.

I plan to devote some amount of my budget to editing. After all, loads of grammatical errors or a sluggish story will disgust readers. I want people to read my book and feel happy, not angry at the mistakes! Consider adopting the same strategy when you publish your first book. Keep writing



Budgeting: Your Money

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. 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!