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The First Step in Publishing

How setting goals, expectations and budget will get you where you want to be.

I often get clients who aren’t sure where to begin with self-publishing. Their manuscripts are ready … but where should they start? This is when I ask my clients what their long-term and short-term goals are, what kind of budget is accessible to them and how can the budget realistically help them meet their goals.

The Part Where I talk About Money

The quality of your book will reflect your budget and what you put your money and time into. I don’t say that to scare you off from publishing, but to help you determine what is important to you in the publication process. Think about the tedious task of planning a wedding. Some couples put all their money into finding a great DJ for the afterparty while others put the cash into a beautiful reception. The question here is, what is important to you? What can your book live without and what NEEDS to be in it?

Whatever your budget is, there is always a happy middle. For example, I once had a client with a low budget and big goals to become a KDP bestseller. We worked together to find our happy middle. I illustrated and designed the book in a strategic way that wouldn’t require art on every page. This brought down the price exponentially. The book is beautiful, it’s high quality and it’s selling really well! That small decision made publishing a professionally illustrated book possible.

You don’t need to break the bank, to me that is a myth in self-publishing. There is a way to set realistic goals and adjust your budget in a reasonable way to reflect those goals. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and organization to find the price and quality that best suits you.

Questions to Help You Determine Your Goals

Short Term Goals

-How grand is my book release going to be?

-How important is marketing during the release of my book?

-How many people do I want to buy my book?

-Do I want to sell internationally or locally?

-What must my book have? High quality art, professional editing, copyright???

Long Term Goals

-Do I see myself continuing to publish books? Will I need a strong author platform?

-How do I want to market long-term? Or would I prefer to spend most of my marketing money at the launch.

-How long do I want to sell my book for?

-Am I planning on creating a sequel and how will that effect my budget with this first book? (Should I be putting money aside for my sequel)

The reason I like to separate short-term and long-term goals, is because it helps authors discover their purpose with publication. Establishing their purpose helps them figure out their budget and where to spend their money. For example, a client of mine wanted their first book to kick off a career in writing. If you want to have a career in writing, your author platform is very important. A large portion of the author’s budget was set aside for launching a website.

  • Our short-term goal was to create an author platform and utilize this first book as a launch into the industry.

  • The long-term goal was to continue to publish books.

  • The budget then went primarily into marketing and an author website, in order to meet our determined goals.

I hope I’ve provided you with clarity on where to begin! Sometimes that overwhelmed feeling when you get when jumping into publishing, is all coming from a lack of goal and budget setting. Take your time with some of these questions, write them down, go on a walk and do some introspection!

Check out my blog post dedicated to providing you with creative ideas to bring your publishing costs down.

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