Today we are answering a listener question from

Name Erica Borgerson


Book Title The Lazy Girl Guide to Healthy Eating & The Lazy Girl Guide to Fitness


So, since you don’t really recommend spending money doing a book trailer to promote our books, what would you mention us spending money on? You mention Goodreads ads (a place I never knew used ads) but is this one of the best places to pay for advertising? Any other low-ish cost places to be sure we place an ad to reach readers if you had to pick one or just a few? I write several separate series of non-fiction books, but am also working on a coming of age novel, so I’m interested if the answers are different for fiction vs. non-fiction. Thanks so much for the podcast!  

Talking Points:

  • Spending money on marketing is like buying money at the store. The goal is to buy money for less than it costs.
    • 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.
    • So it is not about how much you spend overall. It is getting the cost of reader aquisition lower than the revenue you get from the book.
  • There is a time to spend more on a reader than you make from him and that is during the 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.
  • We can break expenses into three categories infrastructure and book launch.
  • Author Infrastructure:
    • Author Portrait $50-$500
    • Training (Media Training, Marketing Training)
    • Website / Blog $2000 (build one yourself from a $250 template)
    • Email List (Free up to 2000 subscribers then $30+ a month after that)
  • Book Infrastructure
    • Book Cover ($300-$1500)
    • Copywriting ($250-$500)
    • Audiobook Free through ACX or $1000-$5000
  • Book Launch
    • Review Copies $7/copy
    • Giveaway Copies $7/copy
    • GoodReads Ads $50-$500
    • Facebook Ads $50-$500
    • BookBub $200-$2500
    • PR Campaign
  • Things Not to Spend Money On
    • Book Trailer
    • a “Marketing Package” from the company that printed your book.
    • Blog Tours (For Fiction)
    • Trade Show Anything
    • Book Signing Tour
    • TV Ads
    • Radio Ads



One great thing to spend money on is MyBookTable. This plugin is one of the cheapest ways to upgrade your website and boost your book sales. It also helps you make more money per book by integrating with Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you use coupon code “novelmarketing” on checkout you can get 10% off.

Learn more at

Liked it? Take a second to support Thomas Umstattd Jr. on Patreon!

Want more?

Get a weekly email with tips on building a platform, selling more books, and changing the world with writing worth talking about. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!