Author Media presents Novel Marketing, the longest-running book marketing podcast in the world. This is the show for writers who want to build their platform, sell more books, and change the world with writing worth talking about. 

I’m your host, Thomas Umstattd Jr., and today we are going to talk about money, and specifically where to spend your marketing dollars and where NOT to spend your marketing dollars.

Show Notes

Money Mindset

Spending money on marketing is not like spending money on food. When done well, it is more like investing where the money you put in returns more money later on. 

Think of it like readers at the reader store. The goal is to buy readers for less than than you make from that reader. 

  • Q: How much would you be willing to buy a $1 bill from me for? 
    • A: up to $0.99. 
  • Q: How many $1 would you buy from me for $0.99? 
    • A: As many as you could. 
  • If you make $5 on each reader, how much would you be willing to spend to acquire that reader? 
  • So it is not about how much you spend overall. It is getting the cost of reader acquisition lower than the revenue you get from the book. 

It might make sense to overspend on readers during a launch when you are trying to get the momentum and buzz going for your book. If you can get enough people talking about your book then your readers will find more readers and so on. This is risky though. Many of the authors who use this strategy lose money. 

Author Success Matrix

Take an honest assessment of your assets.

Time Rich & Cash Rich
Most likely to succeed. Invest in training so that you can hire and work with experts.
Time Poor & Cash Rich
Hire experts to do most of the work for you. Try to find time to learn which experts to hire and how to talk with them.
Time Rich & Cash Poor
Invest in training so that you can skillfully do things yourself. Get a job as a Virtual Assistant for a successful author so you can make money while learning the business. 
Time Poor & Cash Poor
You will fail unless something changes. You need to either make some time or make some money or both.

Avoid Debt

In my opinion, it is never a good idea to go into debt to market a book. It is too risky. And if you are still in debt after launching book one it makes it nearly impossible to launch book #2.

Track ROI

Another important point is to track the return on investment for you marketing efforts. 

If you aren’t tracking, you can make major mistakes when it comes to money. 

  • Cutting back on things that are working 
  • Continuing things that are not working

Listen to Episode 191 How to Track Your Marketing Efforts

Create a Budget

Authors who approach thier book marketing with a plan to only spend $2000 (or whatever) get better results than authors with vague goals to spend as little as possible. Where is best to spend your money depends a bit on how much you have to spend. 

We can break expenses into four categories:

  1. Author Assets
  2. Book infrastructure 
  3. Book Launch
  4. Ongoing Marketing
  5. Things to avoid

Author Assets:

Listen to Episode 142 – How to Develop Book Marketing Assets

Book Infrastructure 

  • Book Cover ($300-$1500)
  • Copywriting ($250-$500) 
  • Editing ($500-$5000)
  • Audiobook ($1000-$5000) or free through

Book Launch

  • Review Copies $7/copy
  • Giveaway Copies $7/copy
  • PR Campaign $3000
  • We have a course on book launches that we do once a year. Coming early 2020.

Ongoing Marketing

  • BookBub $200-$2500
  • Amazon Ads $25/mo
  • Facebooks Ads $50/mo
  • Podcast Guesting ($100 for a good microphone)

Things NOT to Spend Money On

  • Book Trailer
  • “Marketing Packages” from the company that printed your book.
  • Blog Tours (For Fiction)
  • Trade Show Anything
  • Book Signing Tour
  • TV Ads
  • Radio Ads 


The Tax and Business Guide for Authors

In this course you will learn how to qualify for tax deductions for your writing-related expenses (not all writers qualify) and about 19 tax deductions authors can take advantage of. You will also learn how to start making a writing income even before your first book comes out. You will also learn business fundamentals like when and how to form an LLC, how to create a business plan and how to reduce your chances of being audited by the IRS. The course is taught by Tom Umstattd a CPA with over 35 years of experience working with authors. 

Learn more at

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The award winning Cheryl Elton author of Pathway of Peace: Living in a Growing Relationship with Christ. Will help you calm the noises in your mind and experience more of God’s peace.  

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Do you have a question you would like us to answer on the show? Call our listener help line! 512-827-8377‬. You can also send us a high quality recording on

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