The final aspect I am covering in my series about how much it costs to self-publish a book is book promotion. There is a wide range of prices again.
Promotional press pack prices
- Average: £31.50
- Prices: £29.00, £34.00
- Suppliers: 2 small businesses (one being me 🙂 )
Professional press and PR service prices
- Average: £165.00
- Prices: £195.00, £135.00
- Suppliers: 1 small business, 1 freelancer
- Average: £11.26,
- Prices: £20.00, £13.00, £8.41, £3.61
- Suppliers: 3 small businesses, 1 freelancer
These services give you an opportunity to publish a page about your book and have it shared with their followers and visitors.
- Average: £532.60,
- Prices: £1,664.00, £415.00, £399.00, £125.00, £60.00
- Suppliers: 3 small businesses, 2 freelancers
Other promotional items to consider
I’ve put together a list of items to consider like giveaway copies. I can’t give an exact figure for these, but I thought it helpful to give you some prompts so you can plan.
How to save time, money and hassle with book promotion
It’s tricky to get this right. The success of promotional activities can never be truly guaranteed. Lots of best-selling professional books only tick that box because the author paid an army of people to buy copies to boost sales. This activity is eye-wateringly expensive! Imagine the cost involved of buying 10,000 copies of your own book across an entire nation in a week. Staggering! It makes sense to get help with press and PR. The person you call on for help should have connections with the media that you can leverage to boost your chances of coverage. That said, you have to promote your book to rise above the noise of everything else out there in the marketplace. You’ve got no choice. Equally, if your book is dreadful, no amount of promotion will save it. Worse still, you’ll be raising awareness that you don’t really know way you’re talking about and you’re hopeless at sharing your expertise! Ugh!
Create a good quality press pack
I recommend that you create a press pack to help spread the word about your book. A press pack is a tool that is given out to journalists to explain more about you and your book. It helps create an excellent first impression and automate a lot of the initial contact work. There is an industry standard format for this pack. Make sure your follow best-practice.
Online book promotion tips
A lot of this you can do for free. It’s very much a grind – but it’s worthwhile. Whether you have a traditional publisher, or you’re going alone, you’ll need to do a lot of self-promotion. You are the author. People want to hear from you. Most of the sites I found online would suit fiction books more than nonfiction, but there were some worth contacting. Check out this list of 100+ book promotion websites.
Author platform website tips
Another thing to consider is your own author website. This is a positioning tool for you as an author, to help boost the authority of you and your book. (Tip: if you already have a website consider adding a new page devoted to your book.) You can use your site to
- explain more about your professional credentials, your expertise and your back-story
- offer downloadable samples of the book
- store your press pack
- list your social media channels
- publish your publicity
- list awards your book has received
- publish reader reviews
- give people the choice to sign up for email alerts
- generate buzz for books in the pipeline
- offer related products and services
- make direct sales
A quick note on direct sales. Although most of your sales might come from Amazon, if you sell books on your own website, the margins are a lot higher. In fact, any time you make a direct sale you’ll make more money per copy. Remember you’ll be the one to pack and ship the orders. If that doesn’t sound like you, choose a fulfilment warehouse to handle that for you. If you want to sell digital copies, try out Paddle.com or ejunkie.com and add the buy buttons to your website.
Optional book promotion strategies to consider
Obviously, the more promotion you can do the better! The more you raise awareness, the more sales you’ll make and the opportunities you’ll create. That said, I’m recognising that some people have very small budgets – so I have made these optional.
Launch parties and book signings
If you’re planning to hold a launch party, here are some items to budget for.
- venue hire
- complimentary drinks and snacks (this boosts attendance)
- enough printed copies to give away to all attendees (you can offer fewer copies and do a business card raffle prize if you are short on cash)
- branded items like popup banners, bookmarks and flyers
- marketing and advertising
- the cost for you to attend, travel, accommodation, food etc
Tip: If you’re on a budget, see if you can do signings at book shops, book groups, coffee shops or libraries.
Discounting to boost sales
Many people heavily discount their Kindle book at launch. Some give their book away for free to help build some buzz and get reviews. This technique is often used by fiction authors. They offer the first book in their trilogy for free for example. As a seasoned professional, you may not wish to give away your knowledge free because it undermines your credibility. You may seem “desperate” or “lacking confidence in your book” if you think you can’t charge the going rate for it. Remember, your business depends on your ability to charge top-dollar for your expertise. That said there are other options. You could offer a discount after speaking by explaining you’re not having to pay for shipping and you want to pass the saving onto the customer. This seems honest rather than desperate. The choice is yours. Review the other articles in this feature