Books Don’t Just Publish Themselves

With this post I’m gonna break down the costs involved in turning Friends We Haven’t Met into a reality — an actual book you can hold in your hand. This cost breakdown will also be on the campaign page when it launches on the first of May. May first. My birthday.

*pauses whilst you add that to your calendar*

So, I’m not doing this for the money. Well, I AM doing it for the money but not ‘for the money’ in a ‘I-wanna-be-some-big-shot-well-paid-author’ way.

*Laughs maniacally*

Authors don’t get paid well. The big ones you hear about who are making millions? They represent something like 3% of the authors in the world. I made that stat up but the point is: This is not a well-paid job and I’m not doing it for the money.

I write because I love it and I’m doing this campaign because I want to do the publication of my first fiction book well.

Doing it well entails the following:

  1. Working with a proper editor
  2. Thanking all the people who support it by sending them the book and perks in a timely fashion
  3. Marketing the book to book sellers, reviewers and the general public for future sales

I’ve found an editor and they’re awesome. We get on really well and have already worked together on the editing of the first chapter. They are a professional, like I’m a professional. They need to pay rent and buy awesome bow-ties for their outfits and fund their own writing projects. I want to ensure they’re properly rewarded for their time, expertise and energy.

Editor budget: $800 — $1000CAD

As with any crowdfunding campaign there are extra perks for backers, along with actual copies of the book. The book needs to be printed (Roughly $12CAD per unit) and posted, along with the perks.

Even if I only have fifty pre-orders from my friends and family, it’s not going to be cheap. Most of what’s raised from this campaign is just gonna cover these costs, but the number of backers will also determine just how much these costs will be.

Putting a hard number to it is difficult which is why I’m being really broad with my budget here. After the editor, this is the Most Important Thing. This book can’t exist if people don’t buy it and I want to make sure everyone who pre-buys is sent their copy by the end of September.

Pre-sale & perk fulfillment budget: $500 — $5,000CAD

Marketing for this campaign has been rewarding but also, at times, exhausting, time consuming and all-encompassing. I quit my job in January and have been working at this full-time since March. Unpaid. It’s a lot of work.

Marketing the book will be even more work and in order to do it well I can’t do it by myself. I don’t have the right connections, but I’ve found a PR company that does. This bit is important because, if I am actually going to feed myself and afford things like rent, it’s going to be book sales AFTER the campaign that make that happen. Everything during the campaign is just paying for — the campaign.

I’ve got a few options for marketing packages and how much I spend will be directly related to how much the campaign makes and what’s left over once the costs of editing, printing and perk fulfillment are covered.

Marketing budget: $141USD or $280USD


This is just a rough break-down and doesn’t account for things like TAXES, the cost of the design programme I’m using to do the layout and any other surprise costs that might come up.

It’s also hugely experimental. I’m doing a lot of guesswork because I’ve never done this before and there are no guarantees when it come sot crowdfunding.

The campaign could be a roaring success. A publisher might pick it up, which would free up the money I’m budgeting for printing for something else — like marketing or maybe having a book tour! But I can’t bank on any of that happening.

All I’m banking on right now is that enough people will want to read it that I’ll be able to, at the bare minimum, pay for the editing and printing.


Originally published at www.faunawolfcreations.com.