Episode #8 of the course How to write best-selling, award-winning fiction by K.C. Finn
Today we’ll explore how money can be utilized but also wasted in the world of writing. I’ll give you my valuable advice on what’s worth spending on and how not to get ripped off.
It would be wonderful to think that you could step straight into the old-fashioned world of traditional publishing, where designers fall at your feet to please you with their creations and stunningly learned editors transform your work into the best version of itself. Advertisers too are creating engaging campaigns to draw readers in to purchase your latest best-seller.
For most writers, this is still the dream. For true writers, and indeed the majority of people who make their daily living as a writer, they know that self-promotion and self-funding are key to their overall success. Even if you do have bags of money to spend on a gorgeous cover and formatting for your book, it doesn’t mean that you should do so. Let’s look at some of the ways we can spend funds sensibly to produce a great product that will make you money rather than lose it.
These are the most key elements of success in the world of self-publishing and small press:
• Knowing Your Limitations – Don’t try to do everything yourself, unless you’re certain you can produce something of good quality. If you have a few years in graphic design, great, go ahead and make your own book cover. But if your grammar’s not so hot, put some cash aside for a good editor.
• Taking Recommendations – Authors who have beautiful covers, superb editing, and good marketing know what they’re doing already. Ask who did their work and (if they’ll tell you) how much it cost. Proven success and recommendations are always the way to go.
• Believing That Advertising Pays – The biggest advertising companies (for example, ad giant BookBub) got that way for good reason. Look for reputable firms that can produce data to show you their previous good results, and don’t be afraid to spend on them.
• Shopping Around – Even if you think you’ve found a good deal, do some Googling and ask around to make sure you’re getting value for money. Fiverr, for example, can be a great place to find talented people for low fees, but it’s also a playground for swindlers who don’t deliver on their promises.
Now It’s Your Turn
Today’s task is to make a business plan. Make an assessment of the skills you have (e.g., editing, design, marketing) and the skills you don’t. Check your author network to see if you know anyone you could offer to trade tasks with (e.g., to proofread for them if they’ll do it for you). Decide on how much you’re willing to put into your book, then keep about half of that amount back for advertising. From there, you can start to research the best people and prices for what you need.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at our last writing element, which focuses on how to open your novel. (No, not physically!) We’ll be studying how to create an engaging starting point that builds intrigue and keeps readers involved in the plot.
Until then, get planning!
As part of your author research, try checking out this list from Savvy Book Writers. It features different sites you can get signed up on for free initial book promotion.
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