What we need

This post should have been called “What happens after you write a book if you decide to self-publish it,” but the title would have looked funny on the blog’s homepage.

Anyway, the first thing you should know, if you want to self-publish, if you see that releasing titles via KDP, Createspace, or Smashwords is free… well you should know that it’s not really free.

Using those services is free, but ensuring that you release something that looks like a book, reads like a book, and sells to people who are not related to you costs money. How much depends only on your budget and how much you can do by yourself.

That being said, we’re currently trying to raise $1,500 in order to release a compilation of short stories. The truth is, the actual amount is closer to $1,300 because of PayPal and Indiegogo fees.

And the first (and most important) thing to consider when crowdfunding a book is the cost of the perks. The cost of books, the cost of shipping, and all that.

Just to give you an idea: it costs me something like $10 (maybe even a bit more) to order a copy of one of my books from Createspace and ship it to wherever the person who wants it lives. The perk costs $20, but I receive something like $17 after PayPal and Indiegogo take their cut.

That’s a $7 profit, and its less than half.

Of course, there are other variables, such as people contributing more, and perks that cost nothing (such as e-books) and contributors who don’t select any perks.

So let’s say that in the end, we’re left with more than half. Let’s say $800.

That’s just enough to pay for editing, or if we get a good deal, we’re left with something like $200. And, yes, you need your book professionally edited. This is not the internet, this is something you’re asking money for, so it has to be as grammatically correct as possible.

Now comes the tricky part: the money wouldn’t be enough if I wouldn’t be able to design covers and format interiors for e-books and paperbacks. The work I do, that’s at least $500 in the world of freelance graphic designers. At least. Createspace charges more just for a professionally looking cover.

So, yes, we can get a book released, and we also get to use the remaining $200 for marketing and promoting, which means paying for ads on relevant websites such as Goodreads, hosting giveaways and contests. Stuff like that. I don’t think there’s really a need to go crazy when it comes to spending on marketing and promoting a self-published novel.

Word of mouth is still the most important factor when it comes to book sales.

For instance, getting reviews. That is, most of the time, quite free. You find book bloggers, and you send them e-copies of your books to review. If you nice (and do some research before you try to pitch them the book) odds are they’ll be more than happy to read your book, review it, and thus help you out.

Why?

Because reviews are an important factor when it comes to sales. It’s just as important as getting people to actually visit your books’ Amazon or iTunes page.

That’s pretty much why we need the money, what we need it for, and how we want to proceed. Currently we’re at 37% funded with only 5 days left. We’ve got lots of perks still available, there are still two special offers available, and we could really, really use your help.

If you can’t help us with a contribution, don’t worry. Share, tweet, tell your rich friends about us. You can’t imagine how important (and rather simple) clicking the like button on our campaign’s page is.

You can find our campaign page here.

Once more, thank you for all your support,

Cristian

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14 comments on “What we need

  1. Liz Gray says:

    I’ve been meaning to do this forever, but finally just purchased Jazz and The Writer! I hope you meet your writing goals! So proud of you; I didn’t know you were so young. I love to write; I just hate the part (because it’s hard work!) about trying to figure out how to publish. And yet, that’s the point, isn’t it?! Oh….and finishing a story helps too. KEEP WRITING. Proud of you!

  2. heila2013 says:

    Hi Christian,
    Liked and shared on FB. Just here there seems to be a problem to hit the Like button…. it doesn’t get out of the loading mode.

  3. chowanyau says:

    Thanks for sharing that. I did think it sounded too good to be true. There is always a catch and no such thing as a free lunch.Oh I thought these were just e-books to be read on kindle not books your can physically turn the page.

    Not to discourage you with the funding but I guess most who visit your blog are poor struggling writers trying to publish themselves. But good luck anyway.

  4. Piscis says:

    Well…I’ll tell you what – I may not be in a position to dump out a lot of cash, but I am a professional copyeditor, so if you haven’t already committed to one, I could be persuaded to help you out on that front.

    How long is the compiled manuscript?

  5. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing, a wealth of information here, thank you again.

  6. Bonne chance et bon courage! Keep up the good work.

  7. tour.tech says:

    Can’t agree more that with self-publishing there is hardly any returns if any at all. Just curious as to how to obtain contacts for self-publishing, and exactly who you went with ( I know you mentioned briefly)

  8. Reuben says:

    Hey Cristian! Thanks for sharing with us the struggles a writer would face when taking on self-publishing.

    I’m inspired by your story, and I’m sharing it on my blog here: http://tinyurl.com/fightingforthedream

    Once again, all the best in your endeavours!

  9. I like your strategy for self-publishing books.

  10. nancysbishop says:

    Cristian, thanks for the description of your e-book publishing process. Yes, it’s not as easy (or as cheap) as it sounds. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing your book of stories. Write on.

  11. shanuwater says:

    Thank you Christian, you really put writing a “free book” that is really not free… in perspective. This gives me a heads up on what to expect, as I continue writing my novel and bringing it to fruition. I am starting my book savings fund. lol, no, really I am. I have shared your request with FB and Twitter. Best of Luck on completing your needed funding.

  12. yakinamac says:

    Really helpful to see the reality of e-publishing – very best of luck!

  13. very enlightening post! thank you!

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