- Promotion: That's just part of this business. New writers need to promote themselves and their work. It can be done for free using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, no-cost websites, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat and more. However, if you want to really make yourself seen, you'll need to possibly do paid advertisements on Facebook, particularly the weeks leading up to when your book comes out. There are also blog sites and reviewers that will read and write reviews for your books. Sometimes those are free, other times they cost money. It depends on the legitimacy of the site. The Fussy Librarian is also another website that emails subscribers book choices, but it is a paid service by the author, publisher or agent to have it sent out. Also when it comes to a website you don't want one that has the site's name in the URL such as weebly.com. This is a site that I pay for so I can have the domain authorcorinnescott.com This legitimizes my name and brand.
- Photos: Another example of cost that I've run into is buying photos for promotional posts, i.e. quotes from your book, book announcements or release dates, etc. Those photos aren't free and websites such as istockphoto.com, Shutter Stock and dreamstime.com all require you to pay to download their photos. Stealing from Google Images is not allowed due to copyright. So for every photo you want to post on Instagram or Facebook you will need to have purchased it before hand. Every. Single. Photo. This can get costly and a membership to one of those website is a good idea if you plan on using a lot of photos. Another way to go is canva.com. It allows you to use their photos to make your own book announcements, teasers, etc. It also has sizes available for Facebook cover photos or profile pics so you always have the right size jpg. A lot of photos on the website are free, but if you want any specific photos from them you will need to pay. But it looks very professional.
- Books, Swag and Gifts: Once your book is released or about to be released you will need to have an online release party to generate buzz and get people buying your book. You might also be invited by other authors to join their release parties or promotional gigs. When you do that you will need to have giveaways. This past summer I did a lot of release parties, including my own, and had to give away my ebook, paperback copies of my book, giftcards, and a bigger prize that went with the theme of my first novel. All of this was not cheap.
As I finish up my fourth novel, third in a series, I can't help but think about what it costs to be a writer. Notice I didn't say how much it pays, but how much it costs. Because it does and anyone who says differently isn't being honest. The only difference is just how much it will cost you. Some authors self-publish, which has its own costs, but I'm going to use myself as an example. I'm an author who has a agent looking out for them that helps create offers with legitimate publishing houses. All my books thus far has been published under Camel Press out of Seattle. Everyone's journey to being an author varies, but when you're just starting out there are bound to be costs so let's go over some that I've incurred.
Author of romantic suspense with a new novel coming soon!