How Much to Invest in Your Book and What It Means to Your Workload
When you think of your budget for your book, start to think in terms of both time and money. You will be spending both on your book. There is no right or wrong budget as long as it works with your pocketbook, your daily calendar and your expectations.
The Blunt Bottom Line:
How much money you are ABLE to invest will tell youhow much time you will HAVE to invest. How much of each you DO invest will control how many books you sell.
We will assume that you want to effectively market your book over the course of ONE YEAR.
In that time you will accomplish all of the marketing for the initial launch of your book.
After the first year you can then decide whether to continue marketing this book or to move on to your next one. In the scenarios listed below you can adjust the time spent per week IF you also adjust how long it will take to finish your marketing.
If you have less than $1,000 to invest in marketing, you will be using only the low or no-cost marketing tools. Your time is your greatest asset, plan on investing it liberally. All aspects of strategy and implementation will fall into your hands. You should allocate at least 40 hours per week to handle all of the strategy and implementation.
If 40 hours per week is not possible to do, then adjust the length of time you will take to market your book. If you can put in 20 hours per week, then plan on taking TWO YEARS to finish your marketing.
If you have between $1,000 and $5,000 to invest in marketing, you will need to plan to do most of the marketing yourself. You’re going to be able to use some of the low-cost tools we’ve shown you but will not be able to hire on professionals to implement your campaign. Again, plan to allocate a significant portion of time towards strategizing and implementing your marketing.
In this case, allocate at least 30 hours per week.
If you have between $5,000 and $10,000 to invest in marketing, you can probably hire out one key component of your marketing implementation and reduce the amount of time you are required to put into the marketing efforts. You will still need to invest plenty of time strategizing and implementing your marketing. At this level of monetary investment you can expect to spend at least 20 hours per week with strategy and implementation.
If you have between $10,000 and $20,000 to invest in marketing, you can hire out a few more aspects of your marketing implementation. On the higher end of that budget you can get most implementation covered. You will still be investing time in the strategic coordination of your campaign. With this budget you can allocate 10 hours per week for strategic coordination of your marketing efforts.
If you have between $20,000 and $50,000 to invest in marketing, you can hire out almost all aspects of your marketing implementation. You should still plan on handling the strategic coordination of your campaign. Allocate at least 5 hours per week for strategy.
If you have more than $50,000 to invest in marketing, you can hire out everything, including the strategic coordination. Any amount less than $50,000 will not afford you to hire out the strategy as well as the implementation. With this investment you can hire professionals to do their job and go back to writing knowing you have everything covered.
Since the strategic coordination is obviously the last thing you can hire out, then it stands to reason it is the first thing you should learn, regardless of your budget. Whether or not you plan on handling the implementation of your book marketing you need to know what needs to be done and who can help you do it.
Ways to Fund Your Book Marketing
Ideally, you have money already set aside to fund your book marketing. It is allocated specifically for this function, sitting in an account ready to be put into action. However, if that is not the case you may be wondering how to fund your marketing. Here are some of the common ways that other authors and publishers do it.
Credit Card / Line of Credit The most common way we see authors funding their campaigns is with a credit card. It is probably the simplest way to do it. As always with credit cards, be aware of the interest rate you are being charged.
Home Equity LoanWhile it may be more paperwork upfront, it will certainly save on the interest rate. It is also likely to be a tax deduction personally. (But of course check with your accountant on that.)
Investors Finding someone else to fund the marketing is also something we see quite often. These investors can be family, friends or actual venture capitalists. Be aware that these folks will want to see a business plan including a full marketing plan and financial estimates. See our Book Marketing Profit System for a template book marketing plan. (WWW.MARKETABILILTY.COM)
Tapping into 401K / IRA / College FundFrankly, this source of funding is the one that makes us cringe. Not only are you betting your retirement or your kid’s college funding on the success of your book, you are also paying taxes on the money you take out, thereby substantially increasing the amount of money you are actually investing. Please consider very carefully before utilizing this option.
Using Book Sales to Pay for Marketing Sounds good in theory, but it simply will not work. You must invest something to get started. You can then re-invest your book sales revenue into more marketing, but the first sale will not happen without marketing. This is a classic which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg scenario.
A Word of Caution (or When NOT to Fund Your Marketing)
Over the years we have seen many books fail due to lack of funding. That is quite sad. We have also seen many books fail DESPITE having adequate funding. That is just plain horrible. We have met authors who are $20,000, $30,000, even $50,000 or more in debt from producing and trying to sell their book.
If you are in a situation where recouping an investment is critical to your financial security or not selling books will place you in serious financial hardship PLEASE do not invest more than you can afford to spend in your book.
We strongly suggest that you set a limit on your budget that is something you can live with, even if you do not sell a single book. If that amount is low or very low, don’t despair. As you’ve seen, there are plenty of low cost ways you can market your book.
Now, don’t think we are trying to talk you out of marketing your book nothing could be further from the truth we just want to make sure you are proceeding carefully. We do believe you can sell your book and we’ll do whatever we can to help you!
Allocation of Funds How to Prioritize Your Investment
With any investment you want to invest wisely. (Especially for your book.) The last thing you would want to do is waste all the time you spent writing it. So how do you know what is the best use of your valuable time and your hard-earned money?
First of all prioritize your actions based on YOUR goals. You know what is most important to you about your book. Find the tools we’ve suggested that help you reach that goal and do those action items first.
If selling books is your primary goal then be sure to allocate equally in the areas of Awareness and Availability.
Awareness is anything that helps your customers find out your book is out there, such as:publicity, pay per click advertising, search engine, E-zines, reviews, testimonials, etc.
Availability is anything that makes your book available to purchase, such as:bookstores, your website, Amazon, libraries, book clubs, etc.
Don’t expect to pull demand with awareness only. You cannot simply tell people your book exists and expect sales to fall out of the sky. The book has got to be available to purchase - in a store, on a website, at AmazonŠ
Nor can you expect the product to sell itself with availability only. A book sitting on the bookstore shelf when no one knows it is there IS A BOOK ABOUT TO BE RETURNED. A website with no traffic is a site that is not selling any books.
Choose your actions based on creating awareness and facilitating availability. Do both.