Author Essentials Part 4: The Budget

Good morning and Merry Christmas, Story Empire readers! PH here again today with another author essentials post. Previous topics covered domain name creation, email address usage and establishing your website. Click on any of the links to catch up in the series and find out more about those author essentials. Today I wanted to cover an important topic that many new authors and even some established authors may struggle with, the budget.

When you are a beginning author, you have no income from writing and you do not even know it your writing will go very far in terms of book sales. It is my opinion that you want to be very careful with your budget from the beginning. It’s almost universally agreed that everyone should put much of their budget into content development, meaning that you want to spend money effectively in the right places producing your book. So the best places to budget and come up with money to pay for services is with the production of your content. This means you want to understand the cost of hiring a professional editor. A professional editor is very important to developing your content because this person will be able to help you effectively organize your content with proper editing and then hopefully help you with copy editing when the time comes. A good editor is golden, because the quality of your written work is extremely important when considering your self-publishing needs. Additionally, many genres lend themselves to more specific cover art development. My own chosen genre, fantasy, is one such genre that requires unique artwork. Readers in my genre look for these types of things so I invest in original artwork.

When considering the use of a budget as a writer, I preferred not to spend in other areas when I started my side career. These areas especially covered website and hosting. Now the per month cost of hosting and website development may be small for you, but most hosting sites charge by the year sometimes they even give you a discount on multiple years so that you end up spending hundreds of dollars just to get a good price per month. Since my preference is to put my budget into production of the book, I choose to go with a free website and the hosting associated with it. I only pay five dollars a month for Google hosting my email address using my custom domain name. I also only pay for my yearly registration of my domain so I only have spent $70 per year over the lifetime of my website which is now over 4 1/2 years old. So that’s a lot of savings over that time. Where you might consider using that money for other purposes with your writing.

One of the other problems that many people fall into is that they pay for actual development from a web developer regarding their site. This can come out with a very good looking website, but you don’t want to probably invest in that unless you’re an established writer with a good following because this type of development can be very costly. I’ve seen other beginning authors spend lots of money on their website and then not sell books and become very frustrated at how much money they have spent on the front rather than budgeting themselves and spending that money on their production and building their audience over time. That frustration of spending lots of money on your author branding without an audience can be very discouraging and I have seen people quit writing because they did not understand that building an audience takes time and it takes marketing an actual book that you have.

So those are my main ideas with budgeting. I hope that you get something out of this and can better understand that you want to be careful about how you spend, especially when you’re beginning, rather than creating a source of frustration for yourself. You don’t want to look back and see that you could have saved a lot of money otherwise.

What types of issues and decisions have you made regarding your budget? When you began writing as an author what decisions did you make about your author branding? Thanks for reading today. Please leave your comments and questions in the comments section and I will reply as soon as I can.

P. H. Solomon

16 thoughts on “Author Essentials Part 4: The Budget

  1. Pingback: Author Essentials Part 5: The Newsletter | Story Empire

  2. I purchased my first cover for my latest book. Also, started a publishing company this year so I could upload new book to IngramSpark, hoping to attract bookstores, retailers and libraries. Will have to see how that goes… I pay for a .com for my website/blog each year. Trying to figure out how to best invest the minimal advertising dollars I have available. Never a dull moment! Thanks for the post, P.H.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Free email, free WordPress site, to this day. I spent on artwork, both covers and promotional stuff for ads and blog. These are Lisa Burton posters, but they’ve worked well for me so far. Some of them are reusable, and that’s a bonus.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. When I started out, I had a free blog on WordPress and paid for a website on GoDaddy. I only lasted two years with GoDaddy because the interface was clunky. After that I moved everything to my blog–until a few months ago when I started with paid hosting for a website. I prefer to have the higher bill up front (I paid for 5 five years) rather than the smaller monthly bill. I still have the free WordPress blog and have it connected to my website.

    Having a professional editor is a must. I was fortunate to have those services provided through my publisher, but when I go indie, I will seek out an editor.

    And I think the free WordPress sites are fine, especially when first starting out. I do, however, think it’s advisable to pay for the ad removal, especially now when they are becoming more and more intrusive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the ads have become an issue which will likely change my model but I’m holding out as long as I can.

      Going the way you did this year is timely for your needs as an established author. You know what to expect. Same here for me so I’m more inclined to upgrade my site to meet growing needs.

      Liked by 1 person

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