Would you pay for promotion?


As self-publishing authors we have to do the hard yards ourselves to find people to buy and read our books. As I struggle through editing the last quarter of my novel I am distracted with all the little bits that go with self-publishing.

Mostly I’m thinking about covers and promotion. And the idea scares me. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not very confident in public speaking or pushing myself out there. But if I want people to read this book (and those that follow) I’m going to have to step out of my comfort zone.

Thankfully there are people and groups out there willing to help. Some for a fee of course but there are some out there for free.

Along with everything else we try to do for ourselves is paying up to $350 (or more) dollars for others to spread the word worthwhile?

The more people you reach the better right?

What if we don’t sell that many books; what if it only makes $60. And we spent $80 on promotion?

Or should we be thinking about this in the longer term?

The more readers we reach now, that enjoy our work the better. We may not make much but if they enjoy it then they buy the next book and the next book and so on.

Connecting with other artists can be a way forward as well. I had an offer to redesign one of my short story covers for free, and in return it can be used for a portfolio. Maybe a student would offer a cheap rate just to get experience.

Of course you can do it yourself (I did two of mine after all) but if you don’t have the right skills it can take a lot of time and you may not end up with something as good as it could be (my first cover is a great example of that).

In terms of paying for cover design there’s a range from reasonably cheap (like Fiverr) to premade covers around $60 to professional designers on 99 Desgins (ranging from $299 up) or various designer websites costing over $1000.

I can see why it costs, there is a lot of work that goes into a cover and if you want something that stands out it might be that you have to pay for it.

In terms of promotion I’m looking into a couple of sites that offer social media promotion. The prices vary depending on what level of coverage you would like and the size of the groups. I don’t have much of an email list yet, and my social media following is modest; so one or two of these groups could help my book reach far more readers than I could on my own. If a site has a following of 300,000 readers then surely even if only a small proportion of those readers see the email with your book and buy it, it will help.

Again there are lots out there and these are only a few:

  • Books Go Social
  • Independent Author Network
  • Indies Unlimited
  • Shout My Book

Of course amidst all of this wondering and researching, I do still need to finish the book itself. It is coming along reasonably well although I’m pushing a bit with this last part. I mostly rewrote this section after my restructure on the retreat. So quite some work. And of course there is nothing to put a cover on or promote if I don’t finish it. So my focus in edit/revise/edit for the next little bit and then out to readers. Then I might have made a decision about covers and promotion.