How to Trim Costs for a Self-Published Author

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Hi everyone,

Finally, back into the swing of things. I promised myself I’d get going by March. Well, it’s March! My post today isn’t too long, but it focuses on one of the biggest challenges facing a new author – one without prior book sales or a person who (like me) sees bumps from new books but not earth shattering sales numbers.

So how do you budget for a new book? If you’ve published books previously, you’ll already have your guidelines. For me, an average ‘budget’ for a new book looks something like this…

Editing ~$2000

Formatting/Cover Art/Illustrations ~$750*

Publishing/Proofreading/Copyright Fees, etc ~$100

Advertisements, Giveaways, Shipping ~$150

So as you can see, nearly $3,000. Definitely a long term haul. Obviously, your experiences may vary based on editor, cover art/illustrators (or lack thereof), and how much advertisements/giveaways, etc that you do.

Editing – Your costs for editing can vary based on how much of a book you have, and how good of a writer you are. Most editors will be nice, and lower their price slightly (in my experience) the better the initial writing is. The less work they have to do, the faster they can do it in, and the more jobs they can complete, so they’re happy too.

I wouldn’t suggest skimping on editing, but you could easily save yourself some money through extensive use of beta-readers and friends/family who have skills (Also, it helps to bake brownies).

Formatting/Cover Art/Illustrations – All this can easily be trimmed in most aspects. Formatting – you can learn this, especially considering that most of the big companies use only a handful of formats – The catch is if you get it wrong, your work will look super unprofessional.

Cover Art – Shop around! You can check out a variety of people and places – look up some books whose covers your like and email the authors to ask where they got theirs done. Unless you’re a really good artist, I recommend you not do them yourself – Online, people really DO judge a book by it’s cover.

Illustrations/Maps – Perhaps the easiest one – If you don’t need them, you don’t have to pay for them!

Advertisements – Here, your own readers and social media accounts can really help you. Although, it can be hard to cut through the chaff and find the perfect groove. Networking, like this recent Facebook group I’ve joined, can really help here. You don’t have to pay for readers/likes, etc. I’ve already shared how I felt Facebook advertising, but both Amazon, Google, Goodreads, and others have more targeted (and, personally speaking, more useful) advertisement abilities).

Publishing Fees – Especially if you’re publishing a print book, you can’t really get around theses. But be smart – make sure to check the physical proof copies before buying a big order, otherwise you could be out some serious money for books with errors that are glaring! Also, there’s something to be said for getting that sweet, sweet Copyright letter from the Library of Congress!

Hope that helps everyone! Whew – this post turned out to be longer than I thought! Let me know – what other ways do you have to trim costs?

Brass Legionnaire Ship Diagrams

Tactical Layout of the H.M.A.S. Scioparto

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Saturnalia!


Merry Christmas and Happy Saturnalia (the Roman holiday that inspired many of the traditions of the Christmas season)! May your day be cheery and bright and keep you full of delight.

Lots of Happy Wishes – Daniel, Julius, Constantine, and the Rest of the Team

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How I imagine the train station must be in the next few days of holiday travel.

How to Publish an eBook!

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Salve!

Here’s a quick and dirty set of directions explaining how to Publish an ebook! Had to write this up for a fellow author interested in self-publishing, so here goes for you, hope you enjoy. Let me know if I left anything out!

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Round Up of the Steel Praetorian Blog Tour and Thanks!

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Hi everyone,02-devastation-of-sundsvall

Just a quick update! I’ve done a wonderful interview over on Hazel West’s blog about Steampunk. This is the last of my blog tour posts for Steel Praetorian. I hope you’ve enjoyed it! I’ve certainly had a blast ‘visiting’ all of my wonderful hosts blogs. Here’s a recap in case you missed it. All these sites are wonderful places to visit and explore, with some talented people running them! Plus, I owe all these people a huge thanks for hosting me during the busy month of November!

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Interview with a Senator


Salve readers of the Constantinople Courier!

Coming to you from an undisclosed location deep in the hillsides of Thrace, I’ve traveled to meet a very key person in our on-going efforts against the traitorous uncle of our beloved Primus Imperio Constantine Tiberius Appius. We’ve got a lovely one-on-one interview with up-and-coming Senator… Excuse me, Senatora Octavia Pelia. Thanks so much for agreeing to this quick chat.

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Signed Print Author Copies Now Available!


Hi everyone,

If you’re interested in a unique gift for yourself or your family, I’m now offering signed print editions of my novels for anyone who wants to purchase one. Simply send me an email through the Contact Me section at the top of the page. Send me what you’d like to order, any messages (Within reason now!) you’d like to see, and I’ll tally up your order and send you a paypal invoice. You’ll be able to get the print novels at 10% off, plus a personalized message. If this works well, I’ll consider leaving it as a permanent feature and option here on the blog.

Let me know what you think! Ciao!Brass-Legionnaire-728x90-banner-ad

Steel Praetorian Now Available in Paperback!

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Salve!

With the holidays coming up, I know everyone is desperate to order Steel Praetorian for their friends, neighbors, and family. So, without further ado, here’s the link to the paperback version of the novel! Right now, it’s only available through Createspace, Amazon’s PoD Service, (EDIT NOW UPDATED – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON) but it should be available via Amazon proper within the week, and other print-book channels in the next few weeks.

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Get your print copy today! Also, if you can contain your reading pleasure, and wait until it appears on Amazon, you can get a discounted version of the ebook if you order the print edition. So if that’s your thing, get double the Romanpunk Adventure at a reduced price!

How to keep your Writing Mojo – 2016 Edition!

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Salve Writers! Today I want to talk about how I keep my Writing Mojo (or whatever else you want to call it!). Hopefully my fellow writers (and readers) will find this interesting!

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Are Facebook Ads Worth the Money?

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Salve Facebook Romans! (Err, I mean real Romans!) As I’m recovering from the release of Steel Praetorian, I’ve been thinking about some things in my writing world I’d like to change.

Today we have a great article written by yours truly about Facebook and Advertising. Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Twitter and other social media sites) seems to occupy more and more off our lives, and everyone seems to be on it all the time. But does this popularity translate into more sales?

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What’s Next for the Steam Empire Chronicles?

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Salve Romans!

So I’ve been thinking about what is next for the Steam Empire Chronicles. Obviously, I still have to finish Laurel Emperor! But what then?

Here are a few long term goals. So far I’ve got the following ideas…

  1. A novella about the Battle of the Teutonberg forest (victory for the Romans, of course!)
  2. A novella about the arrival of Romans in the New World.
  3. A novella about the last real gladiator of Rome
  4. Compose all the novellas into an Anthology with a bonus novella inside – definitely would consider adding illustrations to this novella collection.
  5. Make a giant omnibus of all the Steam Empire Chronicle Novels into one large print book (Not digital) – definitely add some more illustrations to Steel Praetorian in this, and then adding them to the current ebook as well.
  6. I’d love to get some audiobooks done, but only if there’s significant interest. I’m thinking a kickstarter for this would be worth it.
  7. Without revealing any spoilers, if people seemed interested, I’d start working on some spin-offs focusing on characters, especially in the new world or in more ‘historical’ situations in the novels.

Thoughts? What would you guys like to see?