Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Budget #4 - Is it all about the money? Or not? #Promotions #Royalties #ROI

***Here's how Summer Fire made it to #13 on #NYTimes. It’s complicatingly simple. We worked our fannies off!! Maybe not everyone—all of the time—but we all kicked in some of the time. And with 20 authors making the effort, it worked.

#4 The budget – whoever is in charge needs to have a realistic budget prepared in advance according to their marketing plan. Make a list of all the free and paid promos, marketing and costly ads (Facebook, Twitter, Google?) you want to put into play and then make sure the others are willing to spend their share – both as a payment into the promo pot and the individual expenses expected from them for giveaways, Facebook ads etc.

For Summer Fire, our organizer had a detailed marketing plan that she shared with us right from the start. As you can imagine, with 20 people, the costs were considerably less than I usually paid as my portion of the 10 brides collections.

I knew I’d get my money back in royalties months down the road and was glad to pay up front so whoever was looking after buying the promotions would have a healthy budget to work with. Since that was normally my job, I had no doubt that what was asked of us would all be gone by the time the book was released and I was right. At the end, we all had to ante up a few bucks more so our organizer wasn’t left holding the bill.

Truthfully, I was glad we’d overspent. The more promotions you buy for a book, the better chance one has of making enough sales to hit the list. After all, no matter what anyone else tells you, it’s all based on the numbers. Not just from Amazon, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll be successful if you have incredible sales there. They want the numbers from all the major venues. I’m not saying they have to be equal, and I’m not even sure the exact percentages they use. But I do know that if the numbers on Apple and the rest hadn’t come through for us, we never would have been #13 on the New York Times.

So therefore, how much you set up your budget for is crucial. And don’t think that the more expensive ads are the best. It happens in some cases - but not always. Do your homework and find out from others which places have been more successful in getting them sales. I have my favorites and I support them, not only because they’re doing a good job now but because they have the potential to be really good one day. So spending my money now might not produce everything I hoped it would, but the people who run these venues remember who helped them get started. Down the road, it’ll pay off. It certainly has for me. Whenever I approach these friends with a new release and request a spot on a certain day, I get it.

When you organize your budget, take into consideration not just the paid ads you need to use but also things like a Facebook event and the prizes, Facebook ads or boosts, a release day blitz, maybe a Read & Review program and the books you might have to gift, Rafflecopter prizes on the blitz, and the money for a Thunderclap campaign. Of course, if you have to pay for a cover, you’ll need to add that too. Just try and figure out every expense you can think of and add it in from the start. It’s best to be prepared at the beginning rather than scrambling later. 

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