Authors: Here’s a Checklist of People Who Want Your Money

I received an email about a new marketing service for authors–a virtual book tour that puts information about your book in “selected” blogs for three to four weeks (only on weekdays) for a mere $1,500. Not sure why the time is not better defined, but quick math says that service costs about $500.00 a week with no guarantee of sales.

An old quoted statistic says 80 percent of people want to write a book. That got me to thinking about the cost of dreams, so I thought I’d share a quick checklist of people who want your money to help y0u make your dream come true.

WRITING PHASE

Researchers (if you don’t do your own)

Co-authors/ghost writers

Transcribers (if you dictate your book)

Typists (if you don’t do your own typing)

Book editors

Manuscript proofreaders

PUBLISHING PHASE

Publishing fees (many publishers offer various level of packages, so pay attention to the details of what you’re actually getting for the fee)

ISBN (should you be your own publisher)

Designers (cover designers, interior layout)

Proofreaders (you’ll want your galley proofread)

Book printer (unless you do an e-book, in which case you may need someone to help with uploading)

Book binder (may be the same as the printer)

Shipping costs from printer

Storage fees for all those books

MARKETING/SELLING PHASE

Website (development and hosting)

Marketing materials (business cards, bookmarks, post cards, posters, signage for book signings or trade shows, props)

PR/Marketing professionals (virtual book tours, sales agents, media promoters, etc.)

Book reviews (yes, people charge for those)

Free books (you paid money to get your book to final form, then give it away to reviewers, as prizes, etc.)

Events (entry fees for trade shows, craft shows, book fairs, etc. plus table, table covering, chairs, displays, and whatever else you need to draw attention to you and your book in the maze)

Travel to events

Distribution (distributors take a percentage that can range up to 70-something percent of retail price)

B0ok store commission (book stores take 55 percent of the retail price and pay you the remainder)

Payment vehicle (fees for taking credit cards, bank fees for your bank account, etc.)

Postage (to ship the book to the customer)

Accounting fees (whether you use Quickbooks, an accountant, or whatever, you still need to account for income and expenses)

This is just a quick checklist for your reference and is not meant to be all inclusive. I simply want to make the point that if you publish your book, you want to make sure you’re aware of how just about everyone makes money off your book but you. That said, armed with this information, you can make good choices on how to spend both your money and your time. Go ahead and pursue your dream of writing and publishing a book. But know that lots of people will make money off your book before you sell the first one.

Happy writing!

 

 

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