Editing total for two books = $3140
For Eyes Ever to the Sky, my young adult paranormal romance, I used one editor. I used two different editors for The Believers and it wasn't cheap. But, I say that is an area where you don't want to skimp if you want your book to sell enough to recoup this kind of cash. Could you do this for cheaper? Yes. Should you? Not unless your grandma works as an editor for Harper Collins.
Blog tours and NetGalley = $750
I used a few different blog tours, one for $329, one for $40 and I am including the infamous NetGalley here (read my rant about them by following the link). Looking back I could have cut all three of these out. I don't think they made me back what I spent on them, even the $40 dollar tour. Lesson learned.
Ads = $260
This includes Facebook ads and ads I dabbled with on Google AdWords (see my post about my experience here). I think that Facebook ads are worth it to reach all your fans. I used five dollar ads whenever I feel that all my fans need to hear something, probably a couple times a month. Too bad you can't do that for free, Mr. Zuckerberg.
Cover art = $200
My photographer and graphic artist friend does my covers for me (Hi Andy!!!) and he does an excellent job. This is dirt cheap for two covers (both ebook and paperback). You won't get a deal like this anywhere. Most covers cost $300-$500 or more. I am lucky. And covers, again, are the one area you don't want to skimp. But you know this already, right?
Promotional materials and giveaways = $300
This includes books I gave away for free, Amazon gift card giveaways and review copies. It actually probably is a lot more than this, but I didn't count the ebooks I gave away for free. Only paper copies. And don't forget shipping on those lovely books. My post office loves me.
Writing materials (ie glasses, Microsoft word software, etc) = $220
I had to get blue-blocker eye glasses because my computer was giving me a nasty eye twitch. (Imagine how attractive that is!). And I had to buy Microsoft Word this year even though I've been using the free LibreOffice. I just could not format into Kindle without it going all wonky on me in Libre.
Miscellaneous items = $725
This includes things like books on writing (I buy a lot of those), travel expenses (to my agency conference, yeah!), ISBNs from Bowker (I said it was glamorous), and formatting services. All of these things are important and vital to my business. Still, though, expensive.
Total = $5595!!!!
Holy frijoles, Batman, that is a lot of dough. Now mind you, I have another job besides writing and so does my husband. We can afford to spend a little more to get my business off and running. And my books are selling and making me back this money and then some. I do think that you have to invest in your books or no one will want to read them. Covers, editing, and formatting are all things that you SHOULD NOT skimp on. Blog tours, NetGalley and ads did not seem to pan out to me and I don't think I would recommend them. The best thing to do financially is produce a book that can stand beside any traditionally published book. Once you do that, you'll be making back what you spent and then some.
What about you? What have you spent on writing this year? Was it worth it? Sound off below.
Katie French is the author of The Breeders Series, a young adult dystopian adventure and other stories. Sign up for notifications, follow her @KatielFrench or like her on Facebook. This post originally appeared on www.KatieFrenchBooks.com.