Question for the published.

Created over 1 year ago by Chris Picone with 5 comments
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Img 1188 Billy O’Keefe · Author · edited over 1 year ago · 6 likes
Look at your first book like it’s a business. Be prepared to lose money on it when it all shakes out, but spend your money wisely, on investments that will grow your career more than sell some copies of your book. 

I wouldn’t spend a single cent more on marketing while your book is crowdfunding. People won’t bite if they don’t know you. That’s just the nature of crowdfunding something like a book instead of the next amazing must-have Kickstarter invention. Buzz won’t spread no matter how enticing your book is, because at the end of the day it’s still a book and not a 3D printer that also is a drone that also cleans your house. Word of mouth and personal appeals are exponentially more effective, and they’re free, so concentrate on that.

Instead, save your money for a publicist for when the book is funded and ready to leave production. Play in the press is far more valuable than anything you can get from advertising on social media. Get someone who knows how to do that for you. Additionally, shore away additional funds for awards contests. Even if they don’t net you a single sale, getting nominated for (and/or winning) awards is immensely good for your credibility if you want to use your first book as a springboard for an agent and a career.  

Img 2511 Jane-Holly Meissner · Author · edited over 1 year ago · 2 likes
I would say that spending a little money on a cover isn’t a waste, but then again, people here are mostly judging on the content of your sample chapters and the strength of your pitch/synopsis. Friends and family are supporting YOU not necessarily this specific book. After you are funded you will need to buy your own cover for Quill, but full Inkshares means they are going to get one for you, so don’t splash out on a $1000 cover artist during the campaign.
Pic222 Chris Picone · Author · edited over 1 year ago · 1 like
Hi Evan,

Sorry mate, I’ll try to clarify my situation.  I realise that I won’t see any money until the book’s published, and I realise it’s not a spend money to make money situation.

But things add up.
Cover art, book trailers, flyers, business cards, printing, reciprocal purchases.

And since I’m completely new to any kind of marketing, I also tried my luck with promoted posts on facebook, twitter, etc.  I had exactly the same results you did; plenty of clicks but very little conversion.  But I still had to give it a go so I could at least say I tried it, and that amounted to $100 on it’s own.

I’m not concerned with most of these costs as I figure many of them come with their own pay-off.  I just don’t want to spend more money than I’m likely to earn back, because if that’s the case I’m potentially better off self-publishing.
18278952 10105531439962004 7699412381249820269 o Evan Graham · Author · edited over 1 year ago · 1 like
You won’t make any money at all until it actually comes out: all the funds raised during your pre-order campaign go directly into production expenses. You’ll earn royalties once you hit that goal, if I’m not mistaken, but they won’t be sent to you until the publication date comes, which can be as much as a year or more after you send in your manuscript. So whatever expenses you intend to recoup from your campaign, be prepared for a very long wait on them.
Honestly, though, this isn’t entirely the kind of situation where "you have to spend money to make money" thing comes into play. I experimented a few times with paying to run ads on google and facebook and the like, and I was met with absolutely zero success. I got a fair number of clicks, but no new purchases. I’d entirely advise against that route, unless you really know what you’re doing.
Paying for a good book trailer or a professionally designed book cover are good for your branding, and make your book a much easier sell, but ultimately won’t do anything to draw people in on their own.
Put money into this if you’re able and have a plan, but the resource you’re really going to need is time. You have to go out and personally find every single reader on your own, and money won’t directly help with that. If anything, I’d say taking a week off of work is about ten times more valuable for your campaign than a thousand dollars. If you’ve got $20 to blow, instead of paying for a couple days of facebook ad boosting, give it to the neighbor’s kid for him to mow your lawn so you can scrape together an extra hour or two of campaigning.
Pic222 Chris Picone · Author · added over 1 year ago
What I’m asking here is potentially very sensitive and you may not want to divulge, but I’m hoping you can see the reason why I’m asking and at least either contact me directly or provide some guidance as I’m sure other crowdfunders are worried about the same thing.

How much are you making from your book? 

Stay with me - my concern here isn’t actually about the profit, or how much you personally are making (totally your own business).

My concern is, what sort of limit should I be placing on the amount of money I spend marketing my book?  For example, if I was to spend $1,000 on marketing (which may come in the forms of paying for book trailers, advertising costs, and the multitude of other expenses potentially involved), am I actually going to make that back? 

I think we’ve all discovered how difficult it can be to sell 250 copies, let alone 750.  So when I do the maths and realise I will have to sell ~500 copies of my book (not including the 250/750 I’ve already sold) to make that $1,000 back before I can even begin to make money off my book, I’ve got to wonder if it’s worth the expense and the risk? 

I expect the 750 goal hard publication would have a decent chance of surpassing this, due to marketing power of the publisher and distribution chain.  However, my understanding is that Quill only adds you to their catalogue and does not actively promote your book, so I’m wondering if that’s actually a viable option?

Chris Picone