Cindy Huff, author of the incredible, soon-to-be-released novel, Secrets and Charades, had an excellent post on her site, Writer’s Patchwork Blog, and she has generously allowed me to reprint it here in its entirety. This is her Marketing Tip #3. Numbers one (“You Gotta Ask“) and two (“Are You Participating?“) are important, too. Be sure to crash her site and read them.
This is sage advice folks, listen up!
Marketing tip #3 Budget
This is not a fun subject to talk about. Have a budget. I am focusing on doing as much free marketing as I can for my new novel. Free is always good. But to reach more readers, I am going to have to spend money. Gone are the days where the publisher paid for all the marketing. My budget is small so I am going to be very careful where I place those funds. Every publisher has their own list of what that is so I won’t elaborate here. If you are self-publishing then all the expenses of the book fall on you. A budget is even more crucial for self-pubs to stay on track with what needs to be done.
Facebook, twitter, and other social media are free forms of marketing. Just don’t make every post about your book. There’s an 80-20 rule. 80% of your posts is about other things; your characters, your setting, funny things, memes and photos, other author’s books, promoting other people’s endeavors and 20% talking about your new release and buy my book posts.
Word of mouth is free advertising. Encourage your friends, family and launch team to spread the word.
Marketing cost may consist of launch party giveaways, both virtual and live parties, bookmarks, postcards, flyers, ads. Other possible investments might be craft fair table fees and book trailers. Video trailers are becoming very popular but may not fit your budget.
Marketing never stops
I will need to continue to market after the initial sales. Funds from a portion of the sales must go toward ongoing marketing budget. Authors are in business. So, I better not use every dime of my royalties for household needs or a vacation. A percentage must stay in the bank.
Once that first book is out I will need to continue producing more books because the possibility of that one book becoming a best seller giving me millions of dollars is highly unlikely. So, I’ll need to budget funds for editing and advertising for those upcoming projects as well.
Test the waters
If one form of marketing doesn’t get me the results I desire, I’ll try another. I’ve been advised not to invest more than I am comfortable losing on any new method. Test the waters with the smallest possible investment. If I’m happy with the results I’ll invest more.
If your income exceeds your output, you are a success.
Don’t know what is a reasonable budget? Refer to my marketing tip #3. Ask author’s with good sales figures what they have done.
No amount of budgeting will work if your manuscript is not well-written. Always make craft your number one goal. That said. Even a well-written manuscript won’t sell if it is not marketed well. Writing and marketing go hand in hand.
About the Author:
Cindy Huff has been writing since high school in many arenas. She served as a guest columnist for the Beacon News, wrote scripts for Children’s Bible Hour, children’s stories for various publications, as well as magazine articles and devotionals in a variety of publications, Not to mention a plethora of skits, monologs, and mimes performed in church services and by homeschoolers. She also coached drama teams and a teen mime group.
Cindy was a member of the Christian Writer’s Guild and completed both the Apprentice and Journeyman Courses offered by the Guild. The mantra, “writers never stop learning” is important to her. She is a member of Word Weavers International and president of the Aurora, Illinois chapter. Like most writers, she reads extensively to improve her writing skills and immerses herself in the beauty of the written word.
I had the honor of reading her Secrets and Charades, her debut novel which will be available March 2017. It won the 2014 Editor’s Choice Award from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and for good reason. All of Cindy’s work and study is evident in this novel. Her novels will be an excellent addition to the world of Historical Fiction.
You can her here: