If I felt last month like I was going to need a house to store the inventory of 2500 books, this month, I feel like I’ve just put a down payment on a house! All the self-publishing books warned me that I should expect to spend approximately $10,000 the first year in order to launch my book – Pajama School. I almost choked the first time I read that figure. At least I had the forewarning, though! In light of that information, I basically put myself on a spending freeze beginning last summer so that I could funnel as much money as possible into my savings account. I usually operate on a pretty slim margin as it is, but I started foregoing almost everything but the basic necessities so that I could afford to self-publish my book.
Well, now I can say that it was worth it! Yesterday, I wrote the check to the printing company for 50% of the final print cost. As soon as the books arrive, I’ll write a check for the remaining 50%. As much as the careful planning and saving helped, though, I could not have reached this point if it weren’t also for the Lord’s provision through the unexpected generosity of some amazing benefactors. I believe the Lord has called me to write this book, and He has led the way even when I didn’t think it was possible!
As a word of advice, though, to others who are planning to self-publish. Don’t underestimate what it will cost to produce a high-quality book! Start researching, cost-comparison shopping, and – above all – saving as soon as possible! 🙂
If you’re interested in tuning in to my live radio interview Friday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m. Central Time, you can do so at kcfn.afr.net. It will be part of the program “The Home Stretch” by Thomas A. If you’re in the Wichita, Kansas area, you can tune in to 91.1. It’s kind of hard to know how to prepare, but here are a few things I’ve done:
1. Typed a list of sample questions (I sent these to the show host as well). I’ve been thinking through and writing out answers to the questions, trying to figure out what I want the heart of my message to be.
2. Scoured the Internet for advice from others on how to give a successful radio interview.
3. Meditated on Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” I’ve been praying this for myself and have also asked others to pray it for me.
4. Printed out and reviewed a list of 40 suggestions/tips that my Marketing Manager sent me (have I mentioned how incredible she is? – thanks, Olivia!). This is helping me gain clarity in my thoughts and prepare some things I hadn’t previously considered.
The thing about radio interviews is that you can’t do them in writing…kind of a bummer for us writers, huh? 🙂 I’m not a very good “off-the-cuff” speaker, so the prospect of a live radio interview is rather intimidating terrifying. I think I’m beginning to see more of the big picture as to why God took me through the School of Contentment earlier this year. It’s certainly not pleasant, but I do believe that it’s good for me to be forced into situations that I’m not particularly good at in order to increase my faith and help me develop better skills. What a journey this continues to be!
I just came across this interesting post that outlines 7 Ways Authors Can Avoid Being Scammed by Online Book Promotion. It is a response to an author’s article about problems she encountered trying to promote her book online. These are the seven lessons the blogger highlights in the post:
Lesson #1: Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Lesson #2: Don’t wait until the book is out to build community.
Lesson #3: Need to manage expectations and time.
Lesson #4: Clarify your goals.
Lesson #5: Community leads to sales, not necessarily vice versa.
Lesson #6: All traffic is not the same.
Lesson #7: Social networking sites don’t sell books. You sell books.
Read the full post for the full explanation of each lesson.
There are some helpful additional remarks in the comments section of the post. In particular, I appreciated this thought, “You need to develop a clear message that is compelling and memorable and one that will spark interest in your book. You can spend an enormous amount of time marketing your book, but if you don’t spend the time preparing a great message, your efforts will fall flat.”
I’m lined up to do a radio interview next week – my first ever, which is both thrilling and scary! So, this is what I really need to spend some time thinking about and preparing. What is the main message that I want to communicate? What are my “talking points”?
HT: @John Kremer