Research · WIP Wednesday

How Much To Invest?


As writer we invest our time and our souls into our writing without a second thought, okay may we do think about it but to not do it would only lead to madness, after all those voices in our head must have an outlet somewhere.  But today what I want to talk about is something I have just been considering the financial cost.

Now we all know we can publish free through Amazon and other sites for Kindle, we can publish paper copies via Createspace or Lulu where people pay for print on demand copies that technically cost us nothing.

So far sounds good if you just want the profits without giving anything back.  If however you wish to give away freebies and promotional material it can start getting pricey and that is not just for self-published authors many of those I know writing for small publishing houses have to produce their own promo stuff.

This gives you two options, invest in a decent printer, design software (although there are some good free templates out there), then pay for countless cartridges of ink and reams of card and paper and make your own, or buy.

I recently mentioned to Mel over at Melchelle Designs they should do a full media package after I had spent several hours trying to make a Facebook Banner because we don’t all have the time or skills to create amazing artwork or to convert it into all the formats we may require.  But even for those who can once you have done so and begin looking on-line at prices for you promo material it can be daunting and very off putting.

You find a site that sounds reasonable the product looks good you begin looking more closely $25 for 50 book marks sound great then you discover you need to add $104 for shipping because you are in the wrong country .  You begin your search again and find another that seems great until you discover they would like a £30 one off setting up fee – now this would be fair enough twenty years ago where a person was manually required to set up machinery to print but in today’s digital age where they fly off at the touch of a button it is rather unfair.

For those who have already had one or more books out there is the hope that some money has been made which can be invested back into the ‘brand’ but for that first book sent out into the universe any promotional materials must be funded from the family pocket.  Websites like Zazzle allow you to design products fans can buy which you could purchase yourself as give-aways but lets be honest really until you develop a real following the only one hitting buy will be your mum if you are lucky.

The real question is how much do you invest and in what?  We all know that business cards are a must once we start having those books to push (I haven’t yet managed to design mine I may just end up with simple ones but then what is the point if it does not relate to your product?) I decided rather randomly how to determine how much I spend based on having saved money from stopping smoking.  now as much as I would love to say I had saved it all and could spend it all on promotional stuff instead I have determined that one packet of cigs was costing roughly £7 multiplied by the ten weeks I have stopped so far so that means £70 to spend right now and will have another £35 come release date.

I can see the cogs turning trying to work out dates well…..I know I originally said January but I have decided that the release date barring disasters will be ….. drum roll please

Wednesday 20th February.

Right I need to go do some writing for some reason it seemed like a good idea to launch a serial story on my blog in the run up to a book launch plus I have business cards to design, bookmarks to order, maybe some postcards then when the book is launched I will buy a couple of copies sign and giveaway.

9 thoughts on “How Much To Invest?

  1. I should definitely offer more services at Melchelle Designs – but they’d all have to be digital. I don’t have the means to make actual bookmarks and ship them out and all that. But Facebook/Twitter/Website headers and banners, author photos, etc. I think I can do.

    As an author on a budget, what would you pay for such things?

    I can’t wait to see the bookmarks you made! Oh and… we gotta wait til nearly the end of February now!?!? *sigh* Oh, okay…

    Rock on, Paula! 😀


  2. That’s a hard question. I definitely have to start keeping track of all the money I’m spending on self-publishing, because I have a feeling it’s going to add up to a lot.

    On a slightly different note, I used Vistaprint to print my business cards and they were cheap and awesome. So if you’re still looking for possible printing options, pop over to their site and give it a look through.


  3. It’s good to have a plan, and reinvesting the money saved from not smoking is a good idea. As I said, I did our taxes this week, and I have my numbers. I know the money generated from my books doesn’t include December at Amazon, because that won’t pay until the end of January, and Smashwords only has what each outlet reports, so I know there are still sales “out there” with them, but … in 2012, I made $210.68 on my books, and my expenses were $1,041.63. Oh my gosh!! My expenses included the costs for my covers (including the redesign of two of them), advertising (that has so far been horrible), so much paper and so many ink cartridges (!), other supplies, and book promo giveaways. I didn’t add in the cost of m&m’s. They say you have to spend money to make money. Here’s hoping to a better 2013 and being on the “making” end. I’m starting by giving away more books! 😉


  4. There are sites who do free business cards – you only pay for postage and packing and I think it cost about 80p to upload our own picture instead of using their standard templates.I just used a picture of my book.


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