Raise Money to Get Your Book Printed as a Broke Self-Publisher

Looking for a way to help pay for your first run of book? Sell advertising at the back of your book.

If you’re a new and fairly broke self-publisher who’s trying to raise some money to get your book printed, you may have to get a little creative. If the bank isn’t biting, low on cash, and your cards are maxed out, why not try to sell some advertising space at the back of your pre-published books as a way to get your book printed?

Think about it—you’re going to be printing multiple hundreds of books and pushing them to a highly targeted group of consumers. For instance, if you have a book printed about starting your own small business, you know that there are a whole crop of advertisers out there hoping to reach new small business owners.

How this Idea to Get your Book Printed Can Work

This idea for getting your book printed will work best for a non-fiction or self-help book that provides valuable information. For instance, if your book is about relationships, tap local matchmakers and the countless dating services (both off and online) that are trying to get off the ground. A real estate agent might also pay to advertise in the back of your printed book offering advice on buying a new house.

As you can imagine, this plan to raise funds to get your book printed will work best if the advertiser has a website and ships products or provides a service to people all over the country. But if you plan to push your book heavily in your own town or city, a local brick and mortar business can benefit from this type of advertising.

Ask Your Buddies

What about other authors? Many self-published and even traditionally published authors have an advertising budget (don’t you?). Ask your author buddies if they’d like to advertise their books in the back of your printed book.

And what about your other buddies? Surely you have a friend or family member who is trying to get a new business idea off the ground or works for a company that places local advertisements. Instead of asking him for a cash investment to help get your book printed, sell him ad space in your printed book instead.
Be reasonable with your advertising rates, especially if this is the first time you’re trying this method of gathering funds to get your book printed. About $100 per half page ad sounds reasonable. Once you start to see a positive result from these book ads, then you can raise your rates and make it a more exclusive situation for possible advertisers.

Additionally, offer to include the ads on your book website as well. Even if your printed book doesn’t sell well off the bat, this will at least assure that the advertiser gets some online exposure from your book project.

Cross Promotion Opportunities After You Get Your Book Printed

Now before you say, “I don’t know if that will work,” think about the cross-promotion opportunity as well. If an advertiser knows you’re pushing his company name and maybe even his picture in the back of a published book, he’s going to be even more fired up about getting his own friends, family, and contacts to buy it—maybe even in bulk. Always off two free copies of the book for the advertiser to keep.

One last thing before you get the book printed—make plans with the advertiser to offer a discount to the customer if he mentions that he saw your ad in the back of your book. If the advertiser’s product or service is on a website, arrange to have the advertiser set up a special landing page or discount code so that he can tell where the traffic came from. This way the advertiser will see the value of promoting in your book, and possibly pay for more ads in future book printings or releases. Always think ahead.

Can’t Hurt to Give This a Shot!

So if you’re struggling with how to get the cash you need to get your book printed, consider taking a galley of your pre-published book and the cover around to your local businesses to try to sell ad space. If you’ve got positive reviews in already, bring that along with you as well.

Good luck to you on your self-published book. When you finally do get your book printed, then comes the really hard part — selling them!

Book Marketing Plan Tip: Changing Your Perspective

Have you really taken a look at your book marketing plan? Not just how you plan to promote and sell your books, but how you package and organize your self-published titles?

Maybe you’re not taking advantage of the full potential behind your written words, or you’re not opening yourself to the realities of how small publishers survive.

Once you get a better grasp on what it really means to self-publish and sell books for money, you are more likely to take advantage of its benefits by thinking with your business mind instead of your fantasy world mind.

A Quick Example of Refocusing Your Book Marketing Plan

For example, instead of focusing on promoting one long 400 page novel for an entire year that sells 2,500 copies at $16 retail and $7 wholesale no matter what you do and gives you $17,500 in revenue (common for a standard paperback book being sold wholesale), maybe you should instead work your buns off writing at least three titles a year that are about half that size (maybe 150 to 200 pages) for $12 retail and $5.40 wholesale that sell a combined 7,500 copies (or more since you can just keep marketing them to the same people). This way you can bring in a decent yearly revenue of about $40,000.

All you will have done here to double your income is write an additional 150 pages.

Not to mention, ten years from now, you will have a catalog of 30 books that will make money for you in trickles forever. You sell your books for money for eternity and make residual income: isn’t that what all the gurus say we should be shooting for? Just something to think about.

Self-Publishing Word to the Wise

Most self-publishers can make a decent living selling their books for money if they have a proven process that they duplicate with each title.

Word to the Wise: Once you get a good process and a solid book marketing plan or strategy, stick with it!

If you are about to self-publish a book, take a long, luxurious deep breath before jumping in the water. How you manage your new career will determine whether you’ll sink or swim in the self-publishing world.


Stay tuned for more REAL tips for self-published authors including marketing and promotions (what works and what doesn’t), short runs versus large printing runs, and handling your finances as a self-published author.


Are 99 Cent eBooks Worthwhile for Publishers? What About Readers?

I spent an evening browsing the Internet for articles on the subject of selling eBooks for 99 cents. This seems to be a popular and standard practice now in the self-publishing world, and since I write suggestions for self-publishers it’s definitely worth exploring.

One article stuck out of the pile. It is entitled Why Selling E-books at 99 Cents Destroys Minds by Chad Post. http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/06/selling-ebooks-99-cents-destroys-minds/

This particular article caught my attention for a couple of reasons.

For one, Chad discusses how eBooks sometimes make the reader weary due to looking at a bright screen for a very long time. It’s not the same as cozying up with a book printed on lovely neutral-colored pages.

He then makes the point that when consumers have access to mounds of cheap 99 cent eBooks they become a commodity. Eventually the quality of literature that publishers put out suffers because they have to sell more to make a living. Thus the minds of those who read them also suffer due to the lower quality of reading. (Correct me if I’m wrong here Chad).

Chad refers to these 99 cent eBooks as “disposable entertainment,” similar to buying a game app on your cellphone. It is not something you cherish or ever look at again when you’re done reading. It’s partially due to it’s low price (you order a bunch but never get around to reading them all) and sometimes due to the lower quality.

I read another article on the subject that made a point that the type of people who are buying 99 cent eBooks are “disposable” for lack of a better word. They aren’t committed, loyal readers who will come back time and again.

This also brings up another point along the same lines. When someone buys a 99 cent eBook but just looks at it as a disposable piece of entertainment, this lowers the chance that he’ll refer the book to others.

Recently I downloaded a short, cheaply priced eBook on the subject of sales and marketing on my cellphone.

When you write and edit 10 to 12 hours a day it is difficult to find the time and concentration to read other works period, but I committed to reading this one.

About halfway through it my brain shut off. At that halfway mark I hadn’t really learned anything. Most of it was fluff, promotion.

I tried to come back to it the next day and just couldn’t focus.

For over two weeks after that I just could not finish the book. Finally, one night I forced myself to finish the book off. It turned out that in the end I got a few golden nuggets from it, but why did it take me so long to get through this very short eBook?

Could this be due, as I mentioned early, to my low attention being a writer myself? Maybe.

But could it also be due to the fact that I’m reading it on a small electronic device (in this case my smartphone screen)?

Or is that I purchased it so cheaply that I don’t really value its content as much?

Do people buy cheap 99 cent eBooks just for the sake of buying them and feeling as if they got a deal? They should be buying them because they like the author, they’re interested in the subject matter or because it’s well-written.

After all, this particular eBook was far from encyclopaedic. It was written in simple quick prose. If it were a printed book I would have probably finished it in a few hours.

Anyone who has read my own eBook, which I initially priced at $9.95 (and still happy with that decision) knows that the original goal was to help traditional self-publishers who were trying to sell print books. However, the latest update I put up last month includes a bit more on promoting both printed and electronic books. The next automatic update will likely have even more on eBooks now that I’m getting a more complete view on what works and what doesn’t.

So I’m curious… what has been your personal experience with 99 cent eBooks via Kindle, Mobi Readers and such? Add your opinion to the Survey Monkey poll below and a comment below if you have time.

Looking forward to hearing your opinion.


please enable browser’s Javascript to use the Webpolls tool.
Powered by