What is Your Investment?

Which book would you be more invested in—one that you downloaded for free onto your tablet or e-reader, or an antique book that you paid a fair sum for to add to your collection?


Most people would agree that they would be more invested in the antique book. Interestingly, I have noted a similar theory of investment for independently published authors in terms of marketing a book.

With the rise of zero-dollar entry into publishing a book via POD or ebook, the amount of investment author has in marketing appears diminished when compared with those authors who paid thousands of dollars into an offset print run.

It is only human nature. The more we invest in something (in time and money), the more precious and important that thing is to us. The same is true for an author of a book. The more time and money is spent in producing the book, the more important selling the book is to the author.

Sadly, for many authors, simply producing the book (since it costs them next to nothing) is good enough. These authors don’t see the value in investing time and money in marketing the book.

The old adage “It takes money to make money” is still viable, even with the advent of social media. You have to either invest time (which equates to money) or actual money in marketing a book to sell the book.

I am amazed at the number of authors I talk to who want me to provide them with free advice, or even market their books for them for free. These same people expect others to pay to purchase the books they have written, but do not seem willing to pay to purchase the information they need to market their book effectively to get people to buy it.

Other than the information provided free to readers on this blog, I have two main avenues in which to share marketing information with authors and publishers:

  1. Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Membership in CSPA is open to any small publisher or independently published author producing books for the Christian market. One of the benefits of membership in CSPA is the monthly e-newsletter packed with information, resources, and tips on marketing books. A recent survey of the CSPA members showed that 70% of respondents felt that the monthly e-newsletter was the most helpful benefit of membership. Membership in CSPA is just $85 for the calendar year.
  2. Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. The third edition of this book, featuring updated and expanded information, is releasing next month (Feb. 2014). You can pre-order the book now for a bargain price of $19.99 including shipping. Once the book is released, the price will be $25.99.

This old adage is still true: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Invest some time and money into your marketing efforts and you will reap sales.

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