How Much Money Have You Spent on Book Marketing?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

In today’s lead story, Dave Weich argues that book marketing needs to change with the times. It’s no longer nor has it ever really been a case of “If you publish it, they will come.”

Today, as Weich points out, the cost of producing professional level book marketing materials has fallen dramatically, placing them well within the means of most authors and publishers. Conventional thinking would suggest that, in today’s noisy marketplace, the more money you put into marketing, the better the chance you have of giving your book a chance. It’s the old saw: “You need to spend money, to make money.”

That said, the question arises, how much should you spend? Several DIY publishers offer marketing packages ranging from a few hundred dollars, which will often get you little more than an email blast press release, to tens of thousands, which should give you the “works” — galleys, a dedicated publicist, a Web site, et al.

The true value of these endeavors is difficult to calculate in terms other than outright book sales. Given that the average work of literary fiction sells less than 10,000 copies (often far less), what seems a reasonable sum? For a work of non-fiction, which likely has greater commercial potential, what then?

Tell us, and you can be anonymous if you’d like, how much you’ve spend on book marketing? What do you see as its value? Was it worth it to you?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.