Self Book Promoting

As most of you are no doubt aware, professional advertising is extremely expensive. This is a particular challenge for authors because the royalty on a per book sale is minimal. Using my own “Just Thinking” book as an example.  The most popular format to buy “Just Thinking” is eBook, which sells for around $4.75 – $5.00 (USD or currency equivalent).  That generates a remuneration to me of around $2.75 – $3.00.

Advertising in a single local bus shelter for 4 weeks would have cost me $400.00 (from a quotation in February 2019), so my obvious question to myself was “What are the chances of  traffic going past a single bus shelter ( in our small town) generating in excess of 130 book sales over a 4 week period? My answer was “Not likely”!  When you consider the exorbitant costs/sec of TV advertising then, unless you have corporate financial backing, it is not a feasible option. So what do we do?

We take every advantage to promote our books with presentations; perhaps a “local author” story in the newspapers; form ties with local business organizations; hand out courtesy copies as appropriate; use the internet and any social media possibilities. We really are only limited by our time available and our creativity. As one promoter of self-publishing noted “Be prepared to sell one book at a time. If you are waiting for those mass sales, you are likely to be disappointed. One sale at a time means your book is selling, and what more do you really want?” Wise advice.

So … in the context of being creative, I have made a video of myself reading “A Stray Named Ray” from my book “Just Thinking”. Whether I do any more remains to be seen so feedback is invited. If you are driven to checkout the book (i.e. my video was successful!). then amazon.com is the best place to read reviews, but FriesenPress Bookstore is probably the most competitively priced retailer, especially with paperback and hardcover formats. Enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Self Book Promoting

  1. A good friend published a book before e-books were popular. It required $17K because she had to print a certain amount of books. Amazon carried the printed book but she had a ton of copies in her home. She would do presentations at organizations and groups hoping to sell. She was lucky if she sold 5. She incorporated the cost into training programs she did and gave them out there. When she fully retired, she still had a lot leftover. I don’t know what she ever did with them. At least now, you don’t need that large up-front money for printing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite correct Kate. I used the POD (Print on Demand) option which is so nice for self publishing, and allows all book retailers to have one’s book available to them without the cost of inventory.

      I did explore the inventory option, but amazon (for example) wanted to ensure that they were not stuck with inventory over a period of time. Their suggestion to me was to take out book insurance which reimburses the seller should inventory have to be removed. I seem to recall that was around $6,000.00/year.

      Put that with an offer I received from a professional book promoter ($13,000.00/year), and it soon becomes obvious that self-publishing is a bit of challenge due to corporate/professional dictates in the field of literature. If you are not a celebrity in some field (politics, sports, music etc), or an established writer … then writing a book becomes a labour of love.

      However, and for the record, I have no regrets with “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”, “Just Thinking” or “The Odessa Chronicles” and would encourage anybody with a dream of publishing a book, to go for it! It will cost around $5000.00 USD if you have professional editing, advice on cover designs, and help with getting it set up for POD together with a sales monitoring/royalty generating program. Also for the record, none of my 3 books are anywhere close to covering their production costs at this point in time. That would appear to be a reality of self-publishing but, as in life, it should go much deeper than simple materialistic values.

      Liked by 1 person

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