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…
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?