aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Calling all authors: when has it been worth spending your own money?

If you’re an author, there are a lot of things you can spend your advance on besides food, clothing and shelter. You could also spend it on a book trailer, postcards, brochures, a tour, a publicist, etc.

If you’ve spent your own money promoting your books, what do you think has been worth it? And if the publisher spent money on you, which part did you think was well spent? (Anonymous comments from authors about your own experiences are just fine.)

What follows are my own experiences:
- Publicist. $1,500 (?? Don’t remember amount) for for Learning to Fly. That book went into four printings, got great reviews (even in Canada), got named to Booksense, got optioned for film, was in Costco, etc. All those things could have happened without the publicist. I will never know. The one thing I know for sure is that one newspaper reviewer told me when we happened to meet face to face that my publicist’s persistent but not annoying pitch got her attention – and she gave it a rave review.

- Postcards. For my last book, Shock Point, I got 2,000 oversize postcards from Gotprint.net for about $200 plus postage to send to my own personal mailing list (publisher eventually reimbursed me). For me to send these to my fan base seems worth it. I’ve done this with every book, even though the first one I just sent to people who had been to my high school reunion plus maybe some labels my local bookstore gave me. Oh, and I sent one to every other person named April Henry that I could find an address for.

- Brochures. I recently got 1,000 brochures from Gotprint.net to send to Texas schools promoting my school visits. Cost: $159 plus envelopes and postage (which adds up fast). Jury is still out on this one.

What have you or your publisher done? Was it worth it?

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