Getting Your Feet Wet

This past month, my family and I spent a week camping in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. We enjoyed the cool temperatures and the awesome beauty there and spent several days hiking the many trails that stretched just yonder before us. One such day led me to unknown waters–or rather, an unknown way to cross a certain mountain stream, without getting my feet wet. [BTW, I failed miserably. If interested, you can read about the disaster here.]

Sometimes, we just have to get our feet wet–if not our legs, arms, and ears. When it came to marketing and promoting my first book with Zondervan in 2009, I knew I needed to jump in with both feet.

Having read various marketing blogs and having studied the ideas of many ACFW authors, I had a good idea of what I wanted. I planned to schedule book signings, visit bookstores, create bookmarks, etc. But having this knowledge and knowing what to do with it (when you have a marketing budget) are two different things.

Once I received my advance, I had actual money to work with. Yay! So, I began with a budget. Oh, but wait! After reading through all my notes and research, there seemed to be a LOT of controversy on how much to allot toward marketing. Some authors put all of their advances toward marketing, while others spent hardly any, depending solely on their publishers. If my husband had his say in the matter, a very low percentage of mine would be given to marketing. LOL. After all, if God wanted my book to sell, He’d provide a way. Right?

After much deliberation, calculation, and prayer, my husband and I came up with a percentage of the advance we thought would work, budgeting out certain amounts for things I deemed necessary and leaving room for items that were a bit more extravagant. For learning purposes, my budget had the following items:

  • High Speed Internet and Updated Computer
  • Author Website
  • Publicity Photo
  • Book Trailer
  • Book Launch
  • Promotional Items (bookmarks, pens, etc.)
  • Book Signings (travel, meals, etc.)
  • Conferences/ICRS

Did I stay within my budget? I’m happy to report that I did. Next month, I’ll share my plans for creating an author website–what I wanted in the beginning, what I settled for, and how it all turned out. Until then, enjoy the moments AND don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.