Your Book Promotion Budget

If you’re like most nonfiction writers, you’re counting on your advance to live on while you write your book. You can’t afford to spend money on promotion. Major publishers will not buy your book because you include a big promotion budget. Nor will they reject your book if it’s a small one. Most authors can’t afford a large promotion budget, so they just put down what they can afford without compromising their lifestyles or going into debt.

Regardless of how much money you can use for promotion, you still want the greatest value for every dollar.

If the essence of guerrilla marketing is substituting time, energy, and imagination for money, why mention it at all? Keep reading.

Promoting your book will cost money.

The list of what you will do to promote your book must make sense in relation to your promotion budget. For example, the basic promotional tool for publicity and getting booked for talks is a media/speaker’s kit.

Buying folders, printing the news release and other parts of a kit, and mailing them will cost money. For major media, you will also want to include a copy of the book. You can economize by just E-mailing or snail-mailing a news release with a return postcard that says a media kit is available at your Web site and asking recipients to call, E-mail, or return the postcard if they want a book and a press kit.

But if you’re planning to mail 1,000 copies of your book to key people in your field, you can’t include a promotion budget of $1,000, because editors know it will cost far more than that. That will destroy your credibility as an author who knows what it costs to promote books.

No matter how much you can spend, you have to convince publishers that you know the audience for your books, the best way to convince potential readers to buy them, and how to create a promotion campaign that will be as effective yet as inexpensive as possible. You want to prove that you are a pro who is ready for Big Apple publishers and who knows how to get the biggest bang for the littlest buck.

Reprinted from “Rick Frishman‘s Author101 Newsletter”
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