A few words of questionable wisdom from author Al W Moe - you can leave questions on each blog or go to my profile for direct email.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Marketing Budget for Self-Published Book

The world certainly has more writers, but apparently it needs more readers, too. According to Bowker (who handles ISBN's), there were 211,000 self-published books put on the market last year, up almost one-third in two years. Did you contribute to that total?

Turner Publishing expects to crank-out over 1,000 titles this year - and focuses on first printings between 5,000 and 10,000. Their marketing has to be spot-on and conservative to keep in line with those small but realistic numbers. Obviously re-prints are based on performance, and many titles rise in sales to reach six-figures, but what about your book?

Last year the average (according to Bowker, again) self-published fiction book sold for $6.94 - in softbound. Nonfiction works commanded nearly three times that figure, and sold more copies on average!

Next, take into account that e-books accounted for 41% of self-published units, but only accounted for 11% of sales dollars, mostly due to the average e-book sales price of $3.18 And where exactly does your marketing plan fit with these insights into national sales figures? Don't know? Better start planning!

According to Publisher's Weekly (2006) the average sales for a published book is about 500 copies. The chance that any published book actually gets stocked in an average bookstore is 100-1, but I know, your book  is special! It's really good! What to do?

Obviously marketing is everything when it comes to the sales of good books. Nothing can help a poorly written book, not even 99-cent e-book sales. If you spend a year writing your book and $1000 getting it edited and a few hundred on a spiffy cover and countless hours self-publishing and setting up websites and your Facebook and Twitter accounts, how much are you going to spend on marketing?

The  average amount of money spent on marketing from a completely non-scientific poll I've done of dozens of self-published authors is about $500.

If the big publishers plan on spending $5,000 to $7,000 for a first printing of 5,000 copies, your plan to spend $500 randomly with no experience, is accepting that your book will indeed sell less than 500 copies. Realistically, you can probably expect to sell 50.

Next we'll talk about an actual plan.

Thanks for reading - Al W Moe

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