The other reality is all about one thing: money. Your friends may think you're swimming in it now that you've landed a publisher, but unless you're John Grisham and got a big advance, you're probably not going to see any for a long time to come. Again, not a complaint. This is just how it is when you opt to go the e-book route and get royalties based on a percentage of the net. You have to sell a lot of $2.99 e-books before you start seeing any serious cash. In the meantime, your expenses start to pile up. Here are mine:
$168.00 for web service for one year to host my web site
$ 55.60 to purchase my domain name with privacy protection for three years
$ 55.79 a month for ink for my printer because I insist on printing out every draft of my book and all related correspondence, plus
$ 7.49 a month for paper for the same reason
$ 10.99 for file folders because suddenly I have a lot more to organize
$ 36.53 for business cards because I got tired of writing down the urls for my website and social media pages for everyone who asked
$ 40.00 to boost my first blog on Facebook for two weeks, which paid off with nearly 2,000 hits
$200.00 for the 4 hours my social media consultant spent getting me up to speed, cheap at twice the price
$ 14.64 for 6 images for my web page @ $2.99
$ 18.48 for a coffee mug with my publisher's logo on it because I just had to have it,
$268.51 for theme-related accessories and decorations for my launch party because you can't have a launch party and not showcase your brand
$ 30.72 for a coffee mug with my cover art on it, left, right and center -- just the prototype, I'm sure there will be more of these to come
$ 84.14 for custom note cards and address labels featuring my brand and 3 new coffee mugs featuring the cover art for DEAR HEART, which I need because what if one or two of them break or chip? God forbid that I'd have to wait a week for a new order to arrive, and
$ 27.94 for double heart patches that can be steam ironed onto Tee shirts because why not showcase your brand wherever you can?
And those are just the hard costs I've incurred to date. There are more on the horizon.
Several more hours with my social media consultant at 50 bucks an hour if I can't figure out how to fix my mobile page; anywhere from $70 to $270 for a navy blue blazer with suede arm patches so I can look like a published author if I ever need to; an easy $200 for food for my launch party because I can't just serve a crock pot full of chili and a salad. No. I have to serve the exact food that I showcased in a key section of my book, and none of it's cheap.
But, don't freak out, my Friends. It doesn't have to be this bad. You don't have to invest in brand items or go overboard for your launch party, or even have a launch party for that matter. Obviously, I ascribe to the philosophy that more-is-more, and the go-big-or-go-home school of thought. And in this case I say, hey, if you're living the dream, you might as well go for the gusto!
NEXT: THE EDITS