Just over a year ago one of my partners and I set up a company to develop and sell a new product in the oil services industry. So far we've spent just under £400K without a penny in return. We expect to spend another £400K before the business moves into profit. Half of that investment is mine. Out of my pocket.
The total development and marketing budget for A Half Life of One so far has amounted to just under two hundred pounds. And yet success with my novel is infinitely more important to me than anything I am ever likely to achieve in business. So, something is seriously out of kilter here.
Let's assume I undertake all the corrective actions with A Half Life and set up a POD deal as I've outlined in some of my previous posts. What sort of promotional budget should I then allocate to the book and how should I spend it to ensure I get most bangs per buck?
I should say at this point that as my thinking on self-publishing evolves I realise that my primary objective is to get as many people as possible to read my book. By whatever means. Any financial sales I make (as distinct from free downloads) will therefore be ploughed back into promoting the product.
I haven't a clue what size of budget the average small independent publisher in the UK would allocate to a first novel. Let's take a stab. How about five thousand pounds? That's a lot less than the amount I've spent on that downhole tool I'm developing.
How to spend the budget? For a start I think I could run quite a few small adverts in literary magazines, newspapers etc for the money. I'm even more sure I could run a considerable number of online ads via Google, Amazon etc. In addition, lots of literary-type websites and blogs might take advertising for the book. Not just literary blogs either. Those with big readerships might be worth looking at too. For five thousand I should be able to transform the amount of attention the book is getting. Maybe I'll even be able to monetarise all that attention later if I wish, although at this stage I prefer to think about it as an investment in Bill Liversidge, the brand.
I think you can see how I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the viability of the business model I'm developing. Maybe, dare I say it, the book does have a future after all.
Still, it's early days yet and I haven't given the promotional side of the business too much thought at this stage so any ideas and all suggestions you may have will be more than welcome.