Authors wear many hats these days. We create stories, promote our novels, and some authors even publish their own books. Gone are the days when authors sat in a room and solely wrote a story, handing it off to another professional, so they could jump back into their imagination.
Promotion, or should I say discoverability, has become an author’s responsibility. What is promotion?
The free part of promotion is publicity. This is getting the word out about your novel at no monetary cost to the author. This could include giving an interview to the local paper, writing a blog post, or speaking at a library. With these events, your wallet stays closed, yet readers learn about you and your books. What publicity will cost you is time and gasoline.
When you open your wallet to promote your book, promotion becomes marketing. Advertising on any social media platform will cost you money. Running a giveaway on Goodreads isn’t free. Buying print advertisement is going to make your wallet thinner.
My advice to authors, whether they are established or just beginning their writing journey, is to set aside funds for promotion, so readers can discover your story. Hopefully, they will purchase it too.
Many publishers aren’t covering the costs of promotion. Cash advances that were once abundant, are dwindling or getting smaller. Some authors do not receive an advance to offset the costs of promotion. Indie authors are covering all the costs of birthing a book and launching it.
Readers enjoy bookmarks, pens, and cute trinkets linked to your book. Many times, the cost of all the “fun stuff” comes out of the author’s pocket. There are charges for business cards and the mailing of books and swag to giveaway winners. Planning for these expenses and saving funds for them will make you a savvy author.
Remember to keep track of your business expenses as many costs associated with being a writer are tax deductible.
Keeping track of expenses and receipts can be time consuming and boring. But if it gives you more money to put toward your book’s discoverability, the time is worth it. There’s an old saying that money makes the world go around. We know it doesn’t but having extra funds to launch a book into the world and fuel its discoverability doesn’t hurt.
Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical Fiction and loves bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Her WWI Historical Until June released in 2020. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.