Costs of Self Publishing A Book

If you’re like me and decided to self-publish, you might come across some promo pitfalls. Self publishing a book requires marketing savviness and putting together a strategic plan beforehand, which may seem daunting. And even then, after you seemingly have all of your ducks in a row, you have to also be financially prepared to deal with unexpected costs you’ll incur.

Whether you chose to self-publish a book or go through a publishing house, promoting your work falls into your hands. Let’s face it, raising awareness about your book involves a lot of self-promotion. Where do you start? First there’s building a website for your book and next you might turn to social media or online media marketing. After you’ve exhausted these efforts, meaning you’ve outfitted your website with a blog and amassed an enviable social media following, you’ll have to start to get creative and that creativity costs.

Basics Costs

We’ll start with the basic costs–your website, business cards, book cover design, and social media platforms. You will inevitably incur multiple costs setting up your website, though they’re nominal at best. There’s a small fee for reserving your domain name, usually under $20, especially if you go through Go Daddy or Sustainable Domains. If you don’t have hosting in place, you’ll also need to get a monthly subscription to a hosting site like Bluehost. Fees for hosting are around $10-15/month or you can pay upfront for the full year and receive a discount.

Business cards are the next essential when it comes to publishing a book. Similar to costs for having a website, purchasing business cards shouldn’t break the bank. With sites like Vistaprint or Moo, you can order 100s of cards for around $50 or less and that should last for months.

Hiring a book cover designer is another must for indie authors. A great cover design can set your book a part, which should be a feat most authors strive for. To avoid having a poorly rendered cover, invest in an experienced graphic designer. I put book design (or visual design for that matter) under basic expenses, because with tools like Fiverr you can get amazing graphics for your book promo campaign for under $20.

Setting up and posting on your social media platforms are, of course, free. Yet when it comes to increased engagement and driving brand awareness, paid options are available. This may be the best route to go for a few months, especially if you’re a new author. Costs for promoting or boosting a certain post on Facebook ranges anywhere from $5 upwards, whereas if you want to promote your page or create a targeted ad, costs can vary. For Facebook, generate a spending a cap and maybe start with $100/month if you’re low on funds.

For Twitter, you can also pay to have certain posts promoted, or have your entire account promoted. Once again, set a spending allowance and gage accordingly to how many followers and post engagements you’re receiving.

Moderate Costs

When it comes to self publishing a book, it’s natural to invest in more pricier promotion tactics. To drive more awareness, you’ll have to spend a little bit more. Things to consider are entering writing contests, running a promotional giveaway, and giving books away for free.

Entering book writing contests, I’ve found, can easily drain a budget. Not only are there entry fees, you also have to account for purchasing your own book to submit (unless you have an ebook), and the shipping costs.

Depending on how many writing contests you want to submit your book to, you’ll have to budget accordingly. Entry fees can vary from free to $90 for one book submission. However, if you want to submit your book under different genres or if you have multiple titles, there are additional fees.

Other moderately expensive costs include running a promotional giveaway. Signing up to run a giveaway through woobox.com or rafflecopter.com isn’t too pricey. However, promoting the giveaway through ad placements, purchasing the prizes and having them shipped can all add up quickly. Make sure to have an idea of which websites you want to promote your giveaway on and how much it will cost before running a promo.

Lastly, an expense that may be overlooked, is purchasing your own book to give away for free. This can easily offset your weekly or monthly budget. Think about how many copies you will need for a certain period of time, including books you’ll send to book writing contests. Are you going to send books to certain media influencers, previous professors, book store owners, candidates interested in doing a review, etc? Invest in Amazon Prime for free shipping if you’re going to continuously purchase your book throughout the year.

Expensive Costs

Costs that can really cause some damage if you’re a new author on a budget, like myself, may include purchasing and distributing press releases using PRWeb.com, buying advertising space, and having your book displayed nationally at different expos like Book Expo of America.

Preparing a press release isn’t too pricey, especially when using the aforementioned site Fiverr to help. However, submitting a press release through an industry-standard, credible site like PRWeb.com can be cringeworthy when keeping in mind finances. To submit one press release with a link (and of course you want to have the option to link back to your site), comes in at around $250. If you submit a press release per quarter, you’re already looking at $1K. Or more importantly, if you’re hosting events or a newsworthy promotion on a frequent basis, you can easily end up spending more.

When organizing your event, giveaway, or promotion, make sure to factor press release creation and distribution into your budget.

Purchasing ad space is also significant and important to increase exposure of your book, heighten brand awareness, and drive sales. With virtual ad options available through Google or on relevant sites using buysellads.com or blogads.com, you can except to spend upwards of a few hundred dollars. And that’s just online. Considering flyers, posters, pedicabs, or even a billboard? Expect your spending to increase even more.

Last but not least, having your book displayed at large national expos or conferences can be crucial to get your work in front of industry professionals. If you can’t afford to attend these expos in person (a trip to Book Expo of America can run around $3K-5k for airfare, hotels, booth arrangement, having books on hand for a giveaway, etc), you can opt to have your book displayed without you being there. For BEA, display costs are $300. Plus you have to ship them your book.

Self publishing a book can be stressful. From constant self-promotion to setting a financially solid budget to market your latest work, being an indie author requires savviness on all fronts. With the guide above, map out a blueprint of what and when to spend money on for additional publicity.

How to Use Facebook Create Fanpage

Getting Social with Social Media Part III

Friending Facebook

Guest post by Megan Cyrulewski

If you’re like me, you are right in between the generation that has no idea how to use Facebook or other social media outlets and the generation who only speaks in social media acronyms. (Just laugh. Don’t say you are LOLing.) When I was offered a contract for my book, one of the conditions was that I create my own website and social media pages. Up to that point, I only had a Facebook page. I had heard about LinkedIn, was scared of Twitter and never heard of Tumblr. Since I was already on Facebook, I decided to tackle that social media site first. Luckily, creating a Facebook page for your business or brand is not as scary as it might seem.

First things first: Who are you? Why are you creating a Facebook business page? Do you have your own business? Are you an author? Figure out who you are. Then go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Choose who you are from one of the following groups:

• Local business or place
• Artist, band, or public figure
• Company, organization, or institution
• Entertainment
• Brand or product
• Cause of community

How To Use Facebook Fanpage InfoThen start entering your basic business information. You will have to put in your address but you can choose to keep that information private. After you have read the Facebook Terms and Conditions (or just click the agree box like we all do) you are ready to get started.

Choose a photograph that represents yourself and/or your business. But make sure that the photograph is interesting enough so that people will want to “click” on it. For example, I first used a picture of myself. I didn’t really get a lot of visitors. Then, I used a picture of my daughter. (I have no shame, I know.) It worked! And since my memoir is about my daughter, the picture tied into my page.

After you choose your picture, right up a little blurb about your page. What is the message you want to get across in two sentences or less because that’s about all of the attention span you are going to get from visitors. As a side note make sure to include valid keywords so you’ll register in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). If your blurb sounds appealing, people will inevitably “like” your page. If not, they won’t. The more “likes” you get, the more people know about you. The more people know about you, the more they share your posts. And it goes on and on.

What is different on your business page than your personal page is that you have an admin panel. This shows a bunch of statistics that you will not understand for about the first month. It’s okay. All you need to do is keep sharing your page wherever you can. Ask your friends to share your business page on their Facebook pages. If new people like your page, ask them to share it on their page. Send out an e-mail to all of your friends and contacts with a link to your page. People don’t have to be your “friend,” they just have to click on “like” and that’s it!

Advertising is a great way to get your page out to the masses, but be very careful about the terms of the agreement. You can set a budget if you want to advertise. For example, I set a budget of $100 to advertise for a week. I ended up getting some likes out of it. I think it’s definitely worth it once in a while, but the choice is up to you. Mainly, I just kept bugging my friends until they shared my author page on their pages. They’re your friends for a reason, right?

How to Use Facebook Boost PostFinally, make sure to post frequently; images are more likely to attract “likes” compared to paragraphs of text—but we knew this! If you’re an author, consider tapping into Pinterest’s database to find free images to share, like author quotes or DIY book projects. In fact, the images you select don’t have to be 100% related to your page, they just have to make contextual sense. Let’s say, for example, you’re marketing your new book, instead of posting ads day-in and day-out on how awesome your new manuscript is and how others should buy it (a surefire way for people to “unlike” your page), post something funny to get people to laugh. Once you get people to engage by “liking” or “sharing,” you are automatically improving your stats which in turns improves your visibility in others’ Facebook newsfeed. Don’t be afraid to use Facebook’s “Boost post” tool either, exclusive to fan pages. Set a budget and according to how much you want to spend, Facebook will make sure your post reaches a certain amount of people that day. It’s a great way to gain more “likes” with as little as $5.

Read more from Megan by checking out her website here or following her on twitter @MeganCyrulewski

LinkedIn-Dominant

Getting Social with Social Media: Part I

How to Navigate LinkedIn

It came to my attention today, after attending Tammy Bleck’s (aka Witty Woman Writing) workshop on social media, that there is an obvious age gap when it comes to utilizing online social marketing tools. Being the only youngster in the crowd–and I use that term loosely–I came expecting to further my social media knowledge in the realm of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, and Pinterest.

Though the course served more as a quick and helpful refresher, what I did learn was that not everyone is on the same page as I am when it comes down to this stuff.

I would casually watch multiple audience members huff and puff when they didn’t quite get how to navigate a certain feature such as the “share” button or fully understand what a “timeline” referred to, both terms native to Facebook. This was the verbiage that I had grown up with!

Hopefully with a bit of extra help, I too can help you pick up some of the basics when it comes to setting up various social media accounts for your business, product, services or even personal use.

We’ll start with LinkedIn, a business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) platform. With a résumé style template, this profile is ideal for job seekers, business owners, and larger companies. Of course LinkedIn is not exclusive to the latter mentioned, it’s available for anyone who’s inclined to promote themselves and the skills they offer, as well as those interested in making connections in a particular industry.

Here’s a list of things you need to do when setting up a solid profile:

LinkedIn-Profile-Example1) Include a professional photo.
2) Adjust your headline to reflect your current occupation or career path.
3) Create a brief, as well as catchy summary of your professional experience under “Background.” You can also include a link to your website and portfolio in this section.
4) List your experience in bullet format (think of this as your virtual résumé).
5) Request recommendations from friends. Just like back in the old days when you were applying for college and needed multiple recommendations, this tool allows previous co-workers and colleagues to write glowing reviews about your skills.

The tips above will not only help you promote your business successfully if you are an entrepreneur, LinkedIn is also one of the top places where recruiters now look to hire. Having a professional network will enable companies to breeze through your résumé, portfolio, and recommendations with no fuss, and ultimately contact you if you meet their hiring needs.

Once you have the basics down on LinkedIn, feel free to join groups and post in your newsfeed to make connections. To join a group, simply search in the top navigation bar for any area of interest you’re pursuing and voila, a list of groups will populate. Once you’re approved to join by the group’s moderator, feel free to post and share things in order to build up your level of participation (LinkedIn actually measures this for you, which will be visible on the right side of your screen when you click inside a group) and ultimately network.

When it comes to posting in your newsfeed, you can do this from your home page. In the “Share An Update” text box at the top of the page, post article updates from popular news sources like the NY Times, Yahoo, Reddit, etc. or share messages of your own such as job updates, quotes, or even links and photos to your blog. Clicking on the paper clip in that same text box will allow you to attach an image if you wish. Or if you are sharing a link, an image will automatically populate.

Share An Update on LinkedIn by clicking in text box on your homepage.
To review everything that you have posted, located on the homepage in the top right corner under the paper clip, you will spot an “All Updates” feature in black text. Simply click that to review, edit, or delete what you have posted.

Once you have mastered the ins and outs of LinkedIn, you can use this robust social networking tool to meet professionals in your industry of choice as well as market your talents.