The last part of Step #7 in the Author Training Process involves evaluating if you have the financial ability to move forward with writing and publishing your book and if you have the funds to create the products and services and branding discussed earlier. (To read about the other steps, start here.) It includes a section in your business plan that has fallen out of use in most book proposals called “Resources Needed to Complete the Book.” This includes information about costs associated with finishing a proposed book project, such as permissions. However, this section remains important to your business plan, so be sure to include it.
Have You Added Up Your Expenses?
To complete this section, consider what expenses you might incur when producing your book—and if they will stop you from moving forward. For instance, you might have the expense of:
- permissions from publishers for quotes or photos
- travel to do research
- proposal consultants or editors
- ebook conversion
- A website or blog (or website)
- Business cards
- A publicist or PR agent
- A professional head shot
- Help with social networking
- Assistance with a virtual book tour
If you have not determined the costs for these things, you need to do so. Also determine what you still need to get done, and how much money you need to do it.
Your Next Steps
Based on your costs and your financial situation, you need to determine if you are ready and able to pursue an agent or publisher or if you are ready and able to self-publish your book. If you are planning the indie publishing route and are low on funds, you might need to produce an ebook first and earn the money for a print book. (Although you still need the funds for cover design and editing with an ebook.) Or you might need to save the money for a proposal consultant to be sure your query and proposal are top notch before you can seek an agent. Maybe you are ready to do what is necessary right now to publish your book or approach an agent or publisher.
If you plan to offer products and services, a few costs to consider include:
- set up of an online store
- logo design
- branding help
- any type of product-creation assistance, such as transcription, video editing or audio editing
Determine which products you want or need to pursue first and then find out what it will cost to produce them—and if you will need help doing so. You may be able to do all of it yourself if you are willing to take on the work and learn the skills; just apply your Author Attitude to these tasks.
Creative Financing Options
If you feel stumped after this exercise because you don’t have the resources to complete your book and/or produce your products and services, consider the following crowd-funding options:
- A kickstarter.com campaign to raise funds
- An indiegogo.com campaign to raise funds
- Raising money on your blog or website with a PayPal button
- Using a company like Pubslush.com, where if you get 1,000 investors they publish your book.
Jim Kukral wrote a book about crowd-funding the financial resources for your book: Book Marketing For Kindle Authors: How I Raised Over $30k in 30-Days To Write My New Kindle Book (Crowdfunding Tips & Tricks for Authors). Read it if you want to take this path.
Financial Elements Belong in Your Book’s Business Plan
Any of the elements from the list above, should you choose to use them, go into your business plan once you finish your evaluation.
Keep in mind that all three evaluations discussed in this chapter and Step #7—multiple spin-off and branding books, products and services that financially support and brand your book, and resources required to move your project forward—provide essential information for your business plan. Your ability to become a multiple-book author and to brand yourself with those books will increase your potential to sell more books and succeed as an author, so look at this element carefully. Your ability to produce products and services that help you further that author brand and create additional income streams around your books gives you the ability to earn a living as an author. Few if any authors earn a living from one book. By examining the financial component of what it takes to produce your book, you will move forward with your project as a savvy business person ready and able to bring your book into the world.
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