Wondering how much you should budget for publishing a book on your own? The total spend to publish a book varies depending on how much you can DIY vs outsource.

Learn more today from Indie Author Stephanie Queen on her overall Book Launch Strategy, how to market your book and more.

TO WIN today’s book giveaway:

1) Subscribe to this channel
2) Comment below with your preference for discovering new books: Amazon or Bookbub

  • 0:16 1 | Tell use more about you & what you write
  • 0:44 2 | How many books are in the series
  • 1:16 3 | What parts of the self-publishing process do you DIY vs outsource
  • 2:25 4 | Book Cover Design: Are you a graphic designer or are you using a tool
  • 3:30 5 | How has your budget changed from before & after
  • 4:00 6 | What does your book launch strategy look like
  • 5:15 7 | What was the most effective out of all of those
  • 5:33 8 | What is your market spend for ads
  • 6:41 9 | Does it make a difference for ebook vs paperback
  • 7:15 10 | What would you do differently if you could go back
  • 8:13 Book Giveaway: To Win – Comment below with how you discover books Amazon Ads or Bookbub Ads
  • 9:55 Speed Round


Lisa London:                          Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining today. We have Stephanie Queen and she’s going to share some great tips with us on book marketing and she has a great giveaway for you, so stay tuned until the end.

Thanks so much, Stephanie, for joining.

Stephanie Q.:                        My pleasure.

Lisa London:                          Tell us a little bit more about you and what you write.

Stephanie Q.:                        I’m a romance writer. I write mostly romance suspense. I have a series called Beachcomber Investigations, which I love. I’m in love with the main characters. It follows these two characters, Dane and Shana, who are in love, but trying not to be through a series, and they run into all kinds of mischief on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Lisa London:                          Awesome. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more. How many books are in the series?

Stephanie Q.:                        Well, so far I have eight novels.

Lisa London:                          Wow.

Stephanie Q.:                        … [inaudible 00:01:01] in the series. I will be giving away a prequel, where Dana [inaudible 00:01:08]. It’s a spin-off series from the book, previous series, and I first introduce a novel called the Beachcombers.

Lisa London:                          Great. Yeah, that’s perfect because I know a lot of people are hesitant to buy a book, or even start reading, unless they know for sure there’s more books in the series.

Awesome. So, why don’t you tell us … So, which parts of the publishing process, because I know you self-publish, do you do yourself versus outsource?

Stephanie Q.:                        This has been a learning process and so I have started out outsourcing almost everything. And now, when I outsource, always and always will would be copy editing and proofreading because [inaudible 00:01:49] different set of eyes, always. [inaudible 00:01:53] before it’s finish.

What I used to outsource was formatting to get into shape for the actual ebook. Now, I do that myself using Bellum, which is software program [inaudible 00:02:07] format [inaudible 00:02:08] all different uses for different [inaudible 00:02:12] or PDFs. I use also outsource on my book covers. Now, when I’m writing a novella, I will sometimes design book covers and otherwise, I do send them out to professional designers.

Lisa London:                          Okay. When you do your own book covers, are you a graphic designer or are you using a tool?

Stephanie Q.:                        Well, I have an artistic streak, so I really enjoy, but I use Camba and I also do have other designing software, [inaudible 00:02:49] software. It’s a challenge and so I do like to use professionals when I have a concept that I know I can’t pull off myself, especially for a full length book.

Lisa London:                          Okay. That’s great. That definitely helps, I’m sure, with your budget.

Stephanie Q.:                        Sure. Yeah, some of those other books, I put in an anthology, so like a Christmas anthology. So, the cover is not as prominent a feature because it’s one of many and you only see it inside the book, inside the anthology. So, those I tend to design myself.

Lisa London:                          Great. So, what does that look like, because you’ve changed from a before and after picture. What was your budget before per book when you had to outsource everything versus today?

Stephanie Q.:                        Well, it’s always been probably a 600 to 1000 dollars per book, but it’s getting higher if you count in the marketing budget. I almost count it separately because it’s grown tremendously, and out of necessity because of the way the market is right now.

Lisa London:                          So, let’s talk more about your book launch strategy. What does that look like today?

Stephanie Q.:                        That has grown with the market changing and I fell like that’s one of the big messages that I think is you need adapt to market. Book launch strategy perviously was do some blog tours, do E-Reader News Today and you’re all set now. Now, you have to make a concerted effort to get as many reviews as possible. You have to make a concerted effort to have robust newsletter and I also do newsletter swaps.

You need to do a promotion, book club obviously being the best, but then E-Reader News Today, Kindle Books and Tips, different outlets like that where they newsletters to their fans. And yes, you do need to still blog, you do still need to do other types of ads. I’ve done book club ads, Amazon ads, Facebook ads, all of the above. And as well as Twitter, I have a presence on Twitter, but that’s more for fun for me. So, I don’t know how effective it is, but it’s fun for me.

Lisa London:                          Great. So, out of all of those, what was the most effective?

Stephanie Q.:                        At different times different things have been effective. I think currently trending is between [inaudible 00:05:31] ads and book club ads, [inaudible 00:05:34].

Lisa London:                          Okay. Alright. What does that look like? What’s the market spend for that budget?

Stephanie Q.:                        A lot. You have to spend a lot of money. Amazon ads you don’t spend as much money, and it’s kind of funny. For Amazon ads, you’re better off promoting full-priced books. The way the pricing structure is, the cost for [inaudible 00:06:01], et cetera, you wouldn’t make as much unless you either had your book enrolled in the subscription or …

Lisa London:                          PDP?

Stephanie Q.:                        Yeah, unless you had that or, if you had 4.99 or 5.99 books, you could [inaudible 00:06:20], like a box set of … I have a box set of the first four books in my series and so, I will probably do ads for that.

For Book Bub, it’s more effective for lower cost bargain books because people are looking for bargains when they work on their book pub.

Lisa London:                          That makes sense.

Does it make a difference, I should have asked this in the beginning, e-book versus a paperback?

Stephanie Q.:                        I hardly pay attention to paperback books except in person.

Lisa London:                          Okay.

Stephanie Q.:                        In person, in a signing, or a book fair, or a conference, that’s the only time I pay attention to selling print books.

Lisa London:                          Okay.

Stephanie Q.:                        I’m more e-book based author and I think in [inaudible 00:07:15] genre, that’s a big, big audience.

Lisa London:                          Perfect. What would you do differently if you could go back?

Stephanie Q.:                        If I could go back? I would try and get a PhD in book marketing. [inaudible 00:07:29] more excited. I’ve been learning everything by, “Oh, I made that mistake. I better do it this way.” It’s been extremely [inaudible 00:07:36], extremely productive and [inaudible 00:07:42] so much now with joy. Luckily, I enjoy learning new things. I’m not afraid of trying or [inaudible 00:07:50], at least, but it didn’t realize starting out that it would be this big and it really is. But I am committed and you really need to be committed as proof for your career because there’s no longer the option really for having [inaudible 00:08:10] career in someone else’s hands, [inaudible 00:08:14].

Lisa London:                          Right. Good, good points. Thanks so much for that. So, you are doing a book giveaway today, right?

Stephanie Q.:                        Yes.

Lisa London:                          Do you want to share more about that?

Stephanie Q.:                        Well, the Beachcombers is the first, it’s like a prequel, or the first book in my Beachcomber Investigations series. It’s where the two main characters Dane and [inaudible 00:08:38] and Shana George meet, assigned together by other people. [inaudible 00:08:50] they are a lot of like [inaudible 00:08:53] or in competition almost to try and solve the mission and they’re trying to save a kidnapped heiress. And so, it’s fun and the relationship [inaudible 00:09:09]. Not resolved, but it is ongoing.

At the end of this book, they decide to partner Beachcomber Investigations and go on to have many cases together and also to try not to drive each other crazy or fall apart. They have an up and down love relationship, which I’ve enjoyed immensely writing, and my readers enjoyed as well.

Lisa London:                          Awesome. Alright, so if you guys want to win today’s book giveaway, make sure to subscribe to this channel and then comment below with how you discover books. Is it Book Bub ads or is it Facebook ads, because I think Stephanie and I would love to know, right?

Stephanie Q.:                        Yes, we would. We definitely would.

Lisa London:                          Alright, so now we’re reading for the speed round. Are you ready?

Stephanie Q.:                        Yes, all set.

Lisa London:                          Okay. Number one, ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Stephanie Q.:                        Ice cream [inaudible 00:10:04].

Lisa London:                          Chocolate or vanilla?

Stephanie Q.:                        I had to think about [inaudible 00:10:08].

Lisa London:                          Android or iPhone?

Stephanie Q.:                        Android, I’m a convert.

Lisa London:                          And Mac or PC?

Stephanie Q.:                        Mac. I know that’s very inconsistent, but I’m a Mac person.

Lisa London:                          Yeah, I love Macs. Alright. Well, thank you so much for being on today.

Stephanie Q.:                        Thank you, Lisa London.

Lisa London:                          And we’ll see you in the giveaway results. Bye everyone.

Stephanie Q.:                        Thanks.


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