My strongest weakness…

Advertizing ideas…

I stink… no let’s face it; I suck at selling my book.  I can talk another person’s book up to perfection and sale it.  Some books I can do that with that I have never even read.  I used to all the time, that was my job at B&N.  It’s why I was moving up so quickly.  Yes, I did read a number of them but not all of them.  I had the experience from the years in the library to look at a person, talk to them for a few minutes, and give them a book that was made just for them.  Moms that had sons that would never read would come back, thank me for giving them just the right book, and ask for more.  I can’t tell you how many unwanted hugs I was given working there, but I still can’t sell my book.  I know it better than any other, but I still can’t sale my book.  I feel like a street walker when I try.  Please, don’t take that wrong those of you who can.  I have witnessed hundreds of people sale their book with class, grace, style, and a lovely smile, but I still can’t sale my book.  I’ve thought about giveaways but it frightens me… I could do it, but I truly want everyone to win.  I want everyone to smile and be happy with the outcome.  So people of the blog reading world, how do you sale your books without feeling like you’re selling yourself?

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It was just a dime…

On my birthday this year my father called. We talked for awhile and he told me he had a gift for me. It wasn’t something he had recently bought. Later, when I saw what it was my heart jumped. It was my piggy bank from when I was a baby, it was the one I had in Germany. He had been saving coins in it from the year I was born. He had coins from so many places too, not just the US. But then he told me not to put any dimes in it because one of the coins that was from here and wasn’t my year was an important dime. I was confused but agreed. I was so happy with my gift. I could tell the smile was overwhelming my face. He said, “Now honey, I don’t want to make you sad, but that dime was grandma’s.” I looked at him with bewilderment and then back at my gift. “It was the only dime she had in her purse when she died and it was the last money she ever handled.” I couldn’t help it… there went the waterworks, I was crying. My grandma wasn’t the softest lady in the world. She was stern, slightly masculine, and no one would ever want to cross her, but I still loved her very much. I thought it was one of the nicest, most caring birthday gifts I had gotten in a very long time and I just wanted to share it with everyone. Sometimes a dime can still make a good gift. (Note ~ this is my other side of grandparents, not the ones that just celebrated 70 years of happiness together.)

Authors do not get to pick the prices…

I was told the prices for The Strongest Fire. I still do not know how much it will be on the Kindle and Sony reader. I will be buying that package next month! I did ask about the Nook and it is not determined yet whether or not the Nook will carry iUniverse books. My assumption is they will over time and that they just need to hammer out all the details. But that is just an assumption and I know nothing of the inside deals this company is going to make.
*looks around nervously*
So, without further ado…
*drum roll*
The prices are…
*opens cyber envelope*
E-Book $6.00
Perfect Bound Softcover (aka trade paperback) $18.95
Casebound Hardcover (sleek, no dust jacket) $28.95
I wish the prices were just a few dollars lower. And if there is anyway for me to take a cut in percentage to make these books a little more inexpensive, I will. I want my books read, easily available, and affordable for everyone. Unfortunately authors do not get to set the prices.
If anyone would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I still do not have an exact date, but I was told that it will be out before Christmas.

But is it worth it…

The PSA thing could have gone a little better, but everything got worked out in the end.  I guess my PSA is on maternity leave and another lady is taking her workload and well… it just got a little confusing.  It seems to all be fine now and everything is ok.  At least I expected a few bumps in the road.

Now on to the next part, this is where I’m going “Oh crap, what do I do?”  Marketing!  There is a ton of different options in the marketing area.  You could spend $100,000 here easy and still want to get a few more things.  This is a hard area.  I was thinking of spending another $600 to $1,000, which I could make in 1 large payment or over 4 monthly smaller payments.  I could do that, but then there is this package that I was told about by my Senior Market Consultant.  It’s lovely and it cost $3,000 which is more than we planned on.  But it is perfect.  But ouch! I don’t know if we can take another hit of that much cash, and the truth is, I don’t know if I’m worth it.  If so, my book would come to near $10,000, maybe over.  I would have to look over everything again to see exactly how much.  I felt the edit was worth it, I felt the proofread was a must, and I know this book won’t sale itself, but is this worth it?

Here is the link so you can view and judge…

http://www.iuniverse.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=BS-5001

Yes, I do want it.  I’m not saying that.  It would be sweet if I could have it.  But can we do it?  This one I just don’t know.  I know if we did, I would have to wait until after Christmas to do it.  That’s a fact.  I know I should sleep on the idea first anyway.  But can I ask my family to be broke for another 4 months because of me and my book?  Because that is what it would come down to.  We would be very broke, nothing in the house could break, but we could do it.  It would just be very very very very very very tight.  And the payments would be $749 a month for 4 months… ouch and *deep breath*

My wonderful husband is leaving this up to me, but I don’t know if I want that kind of weight that comes with that kind of “do what you want” gift…

How much is this going to cost…

As most of you know I have been sharing my experience with iUniverse on here, well today kids lets talk about money.  It’s paper yet it doesn’t grow on trees… (deep sigh)

Here is the list of exactly what I spent, what it was spent on, what I saved, and when ~
Aug. 29th 2009 paid for Bookstore Premier Pro Express package spent $1,579.00 ~ saved $920
Sept 6th 2009 paid for US Copyright spent $100 ~ saved $70
Sept 28th 2009 paid for Content Edit spent $3,475.82 ~ saved $0
Oct 1st 2009 will pay for Proofreading spending $1,162.43 ~ saving $0
Total spent/spending = $6,317.25 Total saved = $990 Total would’ve spent = $7,307.25

For the Content Edit it cast $0.035 a word, for the proofread $0.011 a word.  I will also be purchasing the Kindle/Sony Reader option ($99) for the people how enjoy reading that way.  (Like I have said before I think the book and the Kindle can live in harmony, but the Kindle is not a replacement for the book.)

If you chose iUniverse they will not wait for you to save the money for your first edit.  Once you get your manuscript back from the Editorial Evaluator you have 2 weeks to decide and pay.  I understand why, if not they would be sitting on hundreds of ‘maybe laters’ and ‘please wait, I’ll have the cash in X days/weeks/months/years/centuries/eons’.  They will give you a little time for the proofread; they are a little more lenient there.  Best thing to do is have the money saved.  If your book is near 100,000 words (and want about the same as what I have done) save about $7,000 to $10,000 before you go down this road.  Look at what is important to you.  You might wish to save more if you want to buy more books to give to libraries or friends and family.  You might want to buy a book signing kit or a marketing packet too.  They won’t help to make your book better, but they will help with sales.  Those are also things you can purchase down the road.  So if money is tight (I would not recommend skipping the edit) you might want to cut other things you find unnecessary.  The right type of edit, front cover, and the back of the book are all very important things.  People will still read it if it is paperback or if they can only get it online.  But if it looks like an amateur artist scribbled the front cover of the book, people will think an amateur author scribbled on the inside of the book.  If the edit job is poor and the story is great, most people still put it down because it’s too hard to understand.  If the back grabs them and pulls them in, the cover looks good, there are little to no editing flaws, and your story is interesting, then people will enjoy it and speak well of it.  You’ll still have to advertize, but it wouldn’t be as hard as it would be if one of those three things were lacking.  These are just recommendations and by all means this is your story, your decisions, and you are the one that has to walk in your shoes.

Although stores will not be modeled for my book when it first comes out, I saw the importance of my book being returnable from bookstores.  I want people to be able to order them from a store if need be.  I also want stores to feel comfortable with my book so they want to be modeled with my book.  That is why I went with the package I went with.

Note ~ Some of the covers I have seen artist do are lovely!  Some look very professional.  I do not want anyone to think I am saying that all are bad.  Truly though look through some of the places like iUniverse, AuthorHouse, Lulu, and any other self publisher’s site.  You will find a number of good choices as well as some of the worst covers you have ever seen in your life.  Pick carefully.