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Tara Woods Turner Some indies will spend crazy amounts of time and money shooting for commercial success while others pride themselves on being frugal and keeping their money in their pockets. Time and money are both investments so how much of either is reasonable when it comes to publishing, marketing and promoting our books? Where have you drawn the line and what seems to be working for you?

message 2: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Publishing: $0.00
Marketing: $0.00
Promoting: $0.00

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

Seriously, though...

Paid promos. I did end up on one ad (without paying haha!!) and would totally consider them in the future. What I thought was just random luck turned out to be the magical workings of an ad. Okay, it was still random luck hahaha!!

An editor. I'm paying for a cheapo one from now on just to catch my typos/errors cuz there are a few copies of my book floating around with a boatload of mistakes LOL


Tara Woods Turner lol @ priceless. I'm so glad you mentioned editing - always, always worth it imo.

message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol Marshall | 102 comments I'm new to indie author world. My series will be released (fingers crossed) within a month to an Ebook edition. I spent money on a editor and it was worth every dime. I tend to get wrapped up in my stories and grammar goes out the window, down the block and gets run over by a car, so an editor makes my work flow. She's also been endlessly patient with me and guided me through this new world. A good editor is priceless.
Next step cover art...

message 5: by C.T. (new)

C.T. Phipps As a mostly successful independent author, I find money investments aren't worth the, well, money put into them usually. The Rules of Supervillainy became a success (15,000 copies sold in its first year) because of good word of mouth, a funny cover, and the fact I spent a lot of time building a fanbase but mostly because people liked it and wanted to share about it. Cover art can help but I remember seeing a fabulous piece of art on a book and then opening it to find the author had spent a lot on the cover only to not bother buying editing (it had no paragraphs).

message 6: by John Hooker (last edited Jul 31, 2016 10:49AM) (new)

John Hooker | 90 comments Oh no! (everyone is going to hate me). I spend nothing at all on any of it: I used to publish (non-fiction) through academic publications, mostly by invitation: They don't really pay (except with copies) but for academics it means professional advantages. Being independent and amateur, that does me no good, anyway. Academic publications are usually expensive and hardly anyone reads them; they can be very restrictive on what you write about; they insist on certain types of formatting; you have to have the "requisite" number of references (being cowardly, they really don't like anything too original). But I'm a senior and get pensions so I don't need to make money. I dropped academia (mostly) and started a blog, now I'm starting Ebooks. My motives are: freedom; ways to develop my ideas; something to leave in case my grandchildren want to know more about grandpa once they are older and I am dead; and to make sure my ideas are "out there" so people can find them if they look.

My late wife used to be my editor many years ago, but each year she has less corrections. Now I do my own. I also do my own graphic work.

For me, promotional work seems as if it would cut too deeply into my working time, but before I get burned in effigy, I do sympathize with those who actually want/need to get some income!

My novel was actually a way I could get some ideas, unsubstantiated with proofs, out there (and a bit of a break from a very technical project).

message 7: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Carol wrote: "I'm new to indie author world. My series will be released (fingers crossed) within a month to an Ebook edition. I spent money on a editor and it was worth every dime. I tend to get wrapped up in my..."

$700 on developmental editing my novel; not yet published.

i'm thinking of spending $100-$200 on a custom cover. maybe copy editing.

(oh i forgot. i pay my daughter for proofreading.)

promos - i'm on the fence.

depending on your niche, you might need to spend more $ on promotions to get that discoverability. if the genre is more popular than you might have to spend less b/c there are more voracious readers who are looking for more.

i'm thinking that there is a certain amount of $ that you might spend in order to increase your chances of pushing yourself out of your niche into the larger genre and even into the "all kindle" bestsellers.


message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol Marshall | 102 comments @Alex I'm currently in talks with an artist over my cover...that's about $100. I've spent about $1200 on editing but that's two books in my series with countless reviews and final touches plus formatting from my editor. Also her giving me endless guidance as to what to do now. I will spend some cash on promo's not sure how much cash, not much though can't afford it.
All for what? To get my first book of my series out with hopes that I make just enough in sales to get my second book in the series out with hopes that I make just enough in sales to get that third book out. I'm investing in my dream and it may work out or not.
It's hard but I'm trying my best to think about the long term of this. If all goes well my first book will be out within the month, when I think about it my stomach curls.

message 9: by David (new)

David Kimmel (dakimmel) | 28 comments I think it depends on your ultimate goals and who you're ultimately writing for. I spent a significant amount of time ensuring my first book was as well-written as possible (ie - plot, characters, grammar, spelling, etc.). This included so many rewrites that it drove everyone around me nuts (I also made myself a little crazy). I also spent a pretty good chunk on the cover, as I believe that is a key piece of presenting your work to the world. I did all that in order to put forth the best possible work I could do. The book is the first of a three-book series, and my hope is that over the long-term, the investment across the three books will pan out. Having said that, however, whether they sell enough to cover my investment or not, I still want all of my books to be the best they can possibly be. They (hopefully) will remain long after I'm gone, and I want them to be a positive representation of me. So, ultimately, while I hope they find an audience that reads and enjoys them, I write for myself, with the goal of creating something that I am happy with and can be proud of.

message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol Marshall | 102 comments @David BOOM exactly...well said

message 11: by Gippy (new)

Gippy Adams | 99 comments I spent money (well worth it) to have Writer's Relief help me publish my first novel. Believe me, they did the important work. My book had been edited first. Time is a problem for me right now so it was the only way to go. Then I gave away tons of my print books. That paid off for a bit as many passed them on or put the word out.

Then things slowed down. That's when I got my book into as many sites as could (mostly free), and keep up my four social media sites, created a FB page, and went word of mouth: local library, local book store, etc. I'm still not close to the bestseller list and since every one is requesting a sequel and people tell me constantly (strangers at first) how good my book is, I don't understand why it is not moving.

The other problem is getting people to review your book. They will say, 'sure' and mean well, but forget or don't feel comfortable doing it. I have 12 reviews, two on here and that hasn't changed in quite a while. Hope the sequel helps, but I write because I love it. Don't really care about the money, but trying to get to people with a message to may save lives or save generations from grief.

message 12: by Anna (last edited Jul 31, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 552 comments If it's your hobby, then what would you spend on any other hobby? Golf, stamp collecting, cycling, riding, art classes - all cost money, some cost a lot.

I decided that I would only spend what I earn through my books' sales. I did very little advertising at first because I didn't know how to go about it, so a little pot of money built up by the time I'd found out about marketing/advertising.

I'm not saying that's the best way - far from it. I think one way of measuring it is to invest as much on your writing as you would if your hobby was, say, tennis.

If you have money to spare, your writing is as good as anything else to spend it on. If you have a family to feed and all that goes with it, I think you can still easily justify spending what you earn.

@David resonates with me too when he says he wants his books to be the best they can be and it will be something to leave of himself.

message 13: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments @Miss Marie: I think you've sorta found your sweet spot. This girl applauds you!

Oh, and I should clarify. I meant promo email thingies (bookshark, bookbub, etc) not the sponsored or pay-per-click ones. Don't know what they're called hahahaha!!

message 14: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne Bland (roxanne2) | 102 comments To me, it depends on how much money you can spare and still keep a roof over your head and eat. I have a budget, but even so I do as much free stuff as I can. For example, there's a book internet radio show called Author's Page, and they do 15-minute interviews, free. Do your research, though. I did a blog tour for almost $400 and it was pretty useless (live and learn). This time, my 2 blog tours are specifically aimed at my genre, and both tours cost a little over what I paid for that one.

Tara Woods Turner Roxanne
Try Goddess Fish for your next blog tour. I paid $45 for a week long tour with 7 stops. The company is comprised of authors and they take their job very seriously - no hidden fees, no tricks. They were very professional and sent me meticulous emails about the process and what my tour would entail. I can't attribute many sales to the tour but my book had only been out for two weeks. I did, however, have a wonderful experience and my google search results became denser almost immediately. I would use them again in a heartbeat. Their average package is around $65.

message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Copsey (ian_d_copsey) | 69 comments That's the difference between going through a literary agent - that can take years to be accepted... or not... or being an Indie and "do-it-yourself."

This business, like any other, has a product that needs to be put in front of potential buyers, be easily visible and known. That's why companies pay bucks for advertisements otherwise the product will never see the light of day. Unfortunately, that requires investment and it's up to individuals how much they can invest...

I'm attempting to do that for my book but I'm close to giving up because I've invested more than I'd like - but from reviews it appears to be a potentially successful book... The next few months will be do or die!

message 17: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4353 comments Mod
I do my own covers and editing, etc. So, no money out there. I have not spent a lot of advertising.

I have spent hundreds on travel expenses, taking photos for covers and for research, though.

Tara Woods Turner Ian
I see your dilemma but remember that when we're old regret stings far more than failure.
It sounds like the travel and photography had the potential to enrich and add interest to your life.

Best of luck and much success to everyone here :)

message 19: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Carol wrote: "@Alex I'm currently in talks with an artist over my cover...that's about $100. I've spent about $1200 on editing but that's two books in my series with countless reviews and final touches plus form..."

ganbatte! (that's japanese for persevere, work hard, you can do it!)

i also have a 3-novel series in the pipeline, but i'm not nearly as close to finished as you are.

message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Copsey (ian_d_copsey) | 69 comments Alex G wrote: "ganbatte! (that's japanese for persevere, work hard, you can do it!)."


message 21: by Eva (new)

Eva Pasco (evapasco) | 90 comments While I've already shelled out a pretty penny, the best is yet to come when I make the initial bulk purchase of my book.

I do intend to book a blog tour, but primarily will seek free promotions and hammer away at Facebook. The key is to line up those reviews every which way but loose. That's when an author's creativity comes into play for Giveaway angles.

Once burned, twice learned: cleaning up my act, I'd given away my surplus population of my first novel at Goodreads and just one review came from it. This threw me a learning curve to change my playing field where I can be in control at the helm at Facebook.

message 22: by Carol (new)

Carol Marshall | 102 comments @Alex thank you for the support. I'm a nervous wreck about all of it. The pressure to have an online presence is stressing me out....I'm not a big lover of social media. I have a feeling there are other sneaky costs that are coming up that I am not aware of yet.

message 23: by Renate (new)

Renate Pettersen | 1 comments If I had the money for a pro editor I would not have hesitated a second to use it. Instead I ended up spending about 6 months longer than planned, to edit my first novel myself.
I would also have gotten help with the cover and payed for advertising if it was possible.
I`m still satisfied of the result though...I did not expect to make much money of my debutbook anyway :)
But all that time spendt trying to get people to notice, read and review the book has been exhausting - so I`d not save on anything to not have to do that.

message 24: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Tara wrote: "Some indies will spend crazy amounts of time and money shooting for commercial success while others pride themselves on being frugal and keeping their money in their pockets. Time and money are bot..."

As a few others said, it really depends on how you approach publishing and what your goals are. For some authors, just getting their books out there is satisfying enough, and that's fine.

For others, it's a business. Like any business, it requires some investment. My guiding principle is always to have a positive ROI; that is, I make more money than I spend.

message 25: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Ian wrote: "Alex G wrote: "ganbatte! (that's japanese for persevere, work hard, you can do it!)."


indeed. to all of us!

message 26: by Anna (last edited Aug 01, 2016 11:46AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 552 comments Tara wrote: "Ian
I see your dilemma but remember that when we're old regret stings far more than failure."

Very true. I have written a whole book based on the theme of it's not the things that you've done that you regret most but the things you've left undone. So do think carefully!

message 27: by Lea (new)

Lea Vaverchak | 1 comments I'm still new to this process and am still learning. I write Christian curriculum for middle school girls for a group I created called Girls For God. I'm working to make Girls For God a non-profit organization in which we'll work to start GFGs in churches and communities. So, for me money spent in all of this is for a greater calling and well worth it. Def not out to make a profit, just to reach the masses. I've been fortunate to meet other authors and have been able to make connections with an editor through that. She was fair and worth the cost. My graphic designer goes to my church and has also been very fair. Writers conferences have been amazing as you get to meet and talk to many agents, editors and authors. It's all about connections and face-to-face meetings in my experience. God has opened many doors in this journey of mine. Appreciate this thread and hearing everyone's experiences!

message 28: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments Thanks for reminding me that I need to start looking for a writers conference to attend. It would be my first, so I have no idea what to expect. Hopefully I can write it off... (pun intended)

message 29: by Thomas (last edited Aug 02, 2016 06:37AM) (new)

Thomas Everson (authorthomaseverson) | 424 comments Long post incoming!

I spend money because writing is my passion. I've earned far less than invested, and I'm okay with that because the majority of people who have read my books have really enjoyed the story so far. If I eventually achieve commercial success, cool. I'd really like that actually. But my real drive is about entertaining, so as much as I'd like to even earn back my initial investments and then some, I'll keep pushing that publish button even if I never do.

The answer of "what's reasonable" is interesting. I could hit publish for free, for sure, but I wanted to make sure that I had exactly what I envisioned for my final product, and that meant spending money. For me, each book has cost me around $1900 to push that publish button (cover artist, editor, copyright filing, setup fee, ISBN). I do my own interior formatting and the book jackets myself to save a little money. Then there's buying copies, promo materials (making book marks, creating a display banner for that book, other visuals). I've paid for advertising on GR and FB. I've spent money to attend conventions and fairs. All that has added up to a lot more money spent.

The time investment: Going to those cons and fairs. Being a speaker on panels even though I know a sale is completely unlikely from that. Research on tactics that work to get people interested. Being part of a local author group. Joining other projects and networking for non book related writing (currently writing an episode manuscript for a friend's series that he'll be directing and producing). Talking to every one willing to stop and say hi and making even some small connection just on a personal level. All in hopes that someone will pick up my book and say "I'll give you a shot."

My line in the sand: Honestly, there's a lot more I'd like to do if I had the finances. I'd make going to every fair and con I could as a vendor/artist priority. That's a LOT of money as some con booths can run pretty high on price. I'd also do paid advertising on high traffic sites. But that's where my line is right now, balancing life finances and bills with the wants of my author life. Unfortunately the real life finances and bills are eating up every last dollar right now, but somehow, some way I'll find the money I need to do more for promotion.

As for other promotion, I'm giving my first book away as an ebook in an attempt to gain interest by new readers. So far, since going free on May 19th, it's been downloaded 201 times on Kindle US and 600+ from Smashwords and those they distribute to. This has been with no paid promotion. It's either been because of sharing that it's free on Twitter or FB.

Is it working?: I'm happy with the number of physical books I've sold so far, and with the number downloaded. It's certainly slower than I want because I don't have the money to invest in advertising right now, but I'm not getting 0 downloads/sales, so yes it's working.

message 30: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments I don't spend money. Basically because I don't got any spare!

I write because I love to and it is one of the greatest joys of my life.

But I have very little ambition and a stubborn streak about a mile wide that says each of my books is all my own work and I'm darned proud of that.

message 31: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments I am still getting ready to publish mine. I decided to spend money on a professionally designed cover, because people really do judge a book by it. And I'm spending money to set up my own publishing company, because I think that people are more likely to read/review it if it isn't obviously self published. I would like to have the money to have it professionally edited but it's too pricy. I do have lots of beta readers though who have given me story feedback, and my husband is line editing it. And I've edited it and pared it down and edited again for years so I think it is okay.

Basically, I'm spending money in places that I think will increase sales. But I have no idea if they will pay for themselves or not.

message 32: by David (new)

David Kimmel (dakimmel) | 28 comments So many great posts here - I wish there was a "Like" button for individual posts!

message 33: by Peter (new)

Peter (pdinuk) | 77 comments I'm a traditionally published author of a couple of books some years ago but have been learning about self-publishing in the past few months. I'm helping my wife with the promotion of her new nonfiction book (social history/family memoir) and we're doing a Kindle Countdown in about 10 days.

I've investigated most of the promotional sites and I find that the ones that get best feedback are the ones that are pickiest, particularly in requiring you to have 5, 10 or even 20 positive reviews.. Bookbub is the obvious example, but there are similar issues with e.g. Fussy Librarian. This is made more difficult for us in the UK, because Amazon reviews do not in general show up on other Amazon sites.

Also, I won't name names but some of the sites seem to differently branded offerings from the same outfit, which for me has a whiff of scam.

message 34: by Dorothy (last edited Aug 11, 2016 11:23AM) (new)

Dorothy Bennett (alysblugwn) | 47 comments I put a lot (for me as a retiree) into my first novel. A year later, I've gotten about 3/4 of it back. I thought the second one would be easier, but I'm having trouble getting those first few positive reactions to jump start sales. So just having more books out there isn't a solution, although people talk about having a "body of work." If you want a good, professionally published book, it takes some bucks. I know there are cheap ways to go, but I also hear about bad bindings, poor paper stock, and a less than professional look from some of the inexpensive sources.

message 35: by Lyndon (new)

Lyndon Hardy | 17 comments Tara wrote: "Some indies will spend crazy amounts of time and money shooting for commercial success while others pride themselves on being frugal and keeping their money in their pockets. Time and money are bot..."

Tara, a very good question that many of us wrestle with. Unfortunately, there probably isn't a single answer that fits all.

I would think that, at the very least, we would all hope to recover our publication expenses with revenue from our saies. Yes, your book might break out and sell a lot, but from what surfing I have done,it looks to me that, more realistically, sales for a new author might be no more than 250 copies. That translates to around one thousand dollars of income for print copies.

Perversely, one thousand dollars is what one could spend on editing, proof reading, a cover, and layout. So, it is a gamble. You might break even or you might not.

But that is not the question, really. More important to answer first is "Why do I want to be a published author?" Get an aswer that you believe in to that, and then the economics becomes a non-issue.

message 36: by Jen Pattison (last edited Aug 14, 2016 12:11AM) (new)

Jen Pattison | 13 comments I had to keep my budget as low as possible. I paid for a professionally designed cover seeing as I don't have a single creative design cell in my body, and for professional formatting as I'm a non-techie and don't really understand it. Looking at my finished product, I think it was well worth the expense. I had quite a tight timescale from the initial idea to publishing the book, perhaps if I had allowed more time I could have got to grips better with the tech issues and marketing research. Creating a polished product with good grammar, a good narrative flow and correct spelling (I must have proofread it a million times) was my priority though.

I had a zero budget for marketing and don't like pushing myself forward (no-one could ever accuse me of being outgoing) but made the brave step to approach the owner of a blog site on debt issues that has thousands of followers, to see if she would like to read a copy of the book. She replied back enthusiastically and invited me to do a guest post on her blog. Sales had been really slow, but the blog post coincided with the start of my Countdown promotion and it certainly helped to get sales up. It has also doubled the number of my Twitter followers.

message 37: by E.M. (new)

E.M. Thomas | 7 comments I'm looking to use Goddess Fish in October, which will ideally coincide with my second Kindle Countdown. Word to the wise and uninitiated - you need 8 weeks in advance to book a lot of these tours, so plan accordingly [I didn't investigate that closely enough at the outset, so learn from my mistakes! :) ] Some of the blog tours give you a 2-3 week estimate just to give you a reply to your request to use their services! Buyer beware.

message 38: by Jack (new)

Jack Anderson | 2 comments I review quite a few self-published books -- it's always a good idea to get an editor even if you have to pay for it.

If I find that the book is very good and needs an audience, sometimes I'll help an author set up a tour.

As for blog tours, it helps to do some research before you spend money. It is quite possible to actually increase your sales, even after a short tour.

message 39: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments The only money I've spent is on Twitter advertising, probably £200 to date. I'm considering setting a budget for Facebook advertising, but at the moment it looks expensive, thus I'm doing it alone using hashtags etc... But, according to the page read count on KENP, Delphian has a lot of readers at the moment after just one free promo and the resulting reviews so far are 5 star, so I'm not sure I need to spend a lot of money... Still observing and learning and adapting... I will set a national press advertising campaign budget if necessary...

message 40: by Shari (new)

Shari Sakurai (shari_sakurai) | 64 comments I spend money on proofing and cover design, but I've stopped using paid advertising as I've found it isn't really worth the money for me.

message 41: by S. (new)

S. Thomas (sshanethomas) I buy book covers, and character sketches for the interior, pay for a website platform, and copyright certificates. About $800 total. I also have about $500 in paperbacks consigned all over NY and New England.

I paid back everything to myself and opened an account for the leftover royalties.

With book 2 royalties I'd like to pay myself 50%, save 25% for Uncle Sam, and reinvest the other 25%.

My only experience with paid marketing was on Kindle devices and I feel that it was a total waste of money.

I skip paid editors and spend a ton of time inwriting workshop at I latch on to other writers who work well with me and where we find mutual enjoyment in our projects. One guy is a grammar hawk and a couple other give great content feedback.

My mother in law finished my latest book over 3 days, so I feel like I've reached a gigher level in my story telling ability. Not only has workshopping provided a free edit from a peer group, I've improved at the craft by challenging others' errors or vague bits.

The economy is tough, even a hobby has to pay!

message 42: by Carole (last edited Oct 14, 2016 03:12PM) (new)

Carole P. Roman I think the person who said there are two ways to approach this said it best. An author can write because he/she loves it and treats it as a hobby or you can treat it like a business. I have done both. My son wrote his first book with no investment, not even a Facebook page. We are not social media people. It was self-help and developed a huge cult following. It paid for its own minimal cost and he changed his pen name and decided to write horror, followed by a paranormal romance. That book was chosen as a Kindle pick and stayed in the top of its genre for a long time. At the same time I launched a children's book, that while garnered critical acclaim sold nothing. I then decided that if I wanted to make a mark, I had to brand myself and I set out to market all of our books. In for a penny...and I invested pounds. I tried everything from putting ads on the NY subway (great for ego, not's so great for pocket) to hiring a social media person (the best investment). I have done radio ads all over the country (work but only after a lot of money, a blitz of ads for at least three weeks) to building a massive mailing list of reviews- (thank's Amazon- you've ruined that one!). It is costly in time as well as money- but I can honestly say we have a real business now. After four years, I can tell which blogs are productive and when I do budget for a marketing project- I know where the money will be best spent. Getting your name and books known are the only way to produce an income from this. If you have multiple books- chances are the more popular one will carry the dog (non-producer). At present, I have over forty books out- some make a dent, others lay an egg. Either way, we promote the ones more likely to create that fan base that leads to sales.

message 43: by Ian (new)

Ian Sylus (ianksylus) | 13 comments Cover Artist: Hasn't exceeded $60.00 per cover (Digital + Print)
Editor: $300.00 per novel (Out of my two, they haven't reached the next word count threshold to increase the cost.)
Promotion: $0.00 thus far, though if I could measure the time I've spent offering/talking to readers and fellow indie authors, and I paid myself federal minimum wage for said time spent, I'd probably be in the $3,000.00 range or so. Lots of time, barely any success.

Also, as a note, I keep in very good contact with my cover artist and editor even when I'm not currently on their client list. This is a family for me, I'll carry the amazing people I've found all the way to the end if they let me. (Plus, they enjoy the publicity I do for them.)

When it comes to spending money on it, I don't begin a column in the red, slowly growing to the green once my profits outweigh the costs. I've been writing forever, only in the last few years have I decided that my passion is worth my time and tears. I don't look at the money spent as a cost. which I know, sounds ridiculous and all. I found what I love, and I'm letting it kill me (happily).

message 44: by Kerensa (new)

Kerensa Lewis (kerensalewis) | 2 comments I guess it depends how you see your writing. I've been writing for years as a hobby for Wattpad and the like with no real intention of publishing for profit. But now I've decided to self publish one of my books (still very much a work in progress!) I've decided to spend a little on a professional editor and cover art. I suppose I see it as like an other hobby that I don't mind spending a bit of money on. But I agree with most people on here, you have to know when to say when. It can be a total money pit if you pay for all the bells and whistles at every stage!

message 45: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments The only thing I've spent money on is having my book converted to a Kindle format since I don't know how to do it myself. Other than that, I don't have enough money to do much investing - and by not enough I mean next to nil. But I'm also fortunate in that I have friends and family willing to help me out with editing, and art skills that allow me to do my own covers.

message 46: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Friends and family can be an invaluable help, as well as your own skills. Anything you can do for yourself at the beginning of an indie career, or with the help of those close to you who will do it out of friendship or love, saves you money you might not have.

Prior to release, the only thing I'm spending money on is a cover, because I've learned the value of a top-notch professional cover, I know how badly I suck at creating them myself, lol.

message 47: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Bennett (alysblugwn) | 47 comments Alex, I couldn't agree more! Writing can be a money pit if you go overboard. Do what you can, get friends to help in any way you can and any way they are able, and buy only the most important things that you can't do or do well.

message 48: by Alfred (last edited Oct 14, 2016 05:39PM) (new)

Alfred Eyrie | 42 comments I know people put a lot of emphasis on book covers, but I've re-designed book covers several times and it really doesn't seem to make a difference. Of course, I keep my editor, my publicist, and my artists all within the family (which is not to say they are amateurs--they do have some education in this area), so the monetary costs are pretty low, but advertising has become the real barrier between us and the reader.

I've blown a lot of money on book review sites, Amazon and Goodreads ads, and local bazaars and book fairs. It's gotten to the point where I won't pay unless the game is fun. Trying to get an ad to get clicks is fun. Trying to just make money's not fun because it's a losing game.

Of course, my niche is also kind of a small one. My first book, under my real name, was about humility and keeping a low-profile amidst a culture of "god-worship" and the strive for celebrity status. I consider it an ironic success to have been all but ignored despite the amount of credit card bills I racked up over the years trying to get it into the readers' hands.

Continuing with the "ironic" success, I am writing, at the moment, under the profile of the guy nobody listens to--the Rodney Dangerfield of ghost literature. My current book is about my childhood being ignored or dismissed when I'd complain about the creepy goings on in our old house (It turned out all the neighbors knew it was haunted and were quite surprised that our family lived there as long as we did). Again, even though I've spent quite a lot on promotion, it is still an ironic success that even the advertisement services I'm using don't seem to list my particular niche. Of course, not having the niche listed doesn't help with my Dangerfield complex. I mean, really, am I the only guy in the world trying to publish a true ghost story?

message 49: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman Alfred wrote: "I know people put a lot of emphasis on book covers, but I've re-designed book covers several times and it really doesn't seem to make a difference. Of course, I keep my editor, my publicist, and my..."

"am I the only guy in the world trying to publish a true ghost story?"
What a great marketing device- it caused me to go out and buy the book (kindle). Get on as many blogs as you can- with the popularity of the Hollywood and Long Island mediums, write some article on various blogs about indigo children and their ability to see and feel thing others cannot. Your bio will direct them to your book. I watched a news program last week where they interviewed an author who talked about the 37th Parallel or the Alien Highway. It did what it was supposed to do- I bought the book and read it. The only way to make the books pay for themselves is by getting word of them out there. The least expensive way I know, is to get on as many blogs as you can.

message 50: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Ross (httpgoodreadscomhannah_ross) | 15 comments I'd say it depends on how much you have.

If you have some disposable income, it would be great to invest in professional editing, cover design, some marketing, etc. For me, living on a very tight budget, spending money on book promo might actually border on imprudence.

If you have plenty of time to hang out on social media and blogs, great. Being a busy person with a day job and a family, it's hard to carve out time even for writing, so I do a little social media and try to make it count.

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