Thursday, 11 April 2013


As I prepare to launch all four Ondine books out into the USA and somewhere called The Rest of The World, starting in June, I need to keep an eye on where the money is going.

Two of the books were released in paperback (and later ebook) into the UK and Commonwealth by Egmont UK. These are the ones I'm releasing into the USA as ebooks. They are 'done' so to speak, so I spent hours and hours and HOURS reformatting them from the proofreading files back to word. But at no 'extra' cost, aside from months of my life.

Money, money, money, money .... money!
Months where I could be working at ALDI instead.

Back to the books. The next two novels are more expensive. These are new novels, not contracted to a publisher, so I can release them worldwide. I want them to be even better than the first two. That means I've put heaps of pressure on myself to write something AMAZING, and then I've hired REALLY SMART EDITORS to do a structural edit and then a line edit/proofread.

I've paid them for their high skills and knowledge. Because if you want good people, you need to pay them good money. This translates into about $1,000 per book.

Each of the four books will cost me around $200 for formatting and cover creation #. So that's $800 for formatting and $2,000 for editing. Whoa, that's $2,800 for the set of four before I even begin promotions.

I'm looking at an advertising budget of around $750. So .... wow, $3,500 out of pocket before I start selling.

I better hope these books sell!

Being $3,500 in the red means I need to sell about 2,000 copies at somewhere around the $3 mark to break even. (or 500 of each title). Obviously, I want to do better than this. Much, MUCH better than this. But in a basic look at the numbers, this is what I need.

It's why I need to budget. I simply can't sell the titles at 99c each or give them away indefinitely, if I want any chance of paying off those debts.

Some might say an outlay of $3,500 is exorbitant, and that I should be doing this on the cheap.

But if I 'go cheap' the results would be less than stellar.

These titles will be competing for people's attention - people who don't have a lot of time and will despise me if I waste theirs. People who read 'properly' published novels and want the same quality and attention to detail in an indie published novel. I want my Ondine novels to be up there competing with fans who love The Princess Bride (The 'good parts' version abridged by William Goldman) and Maureen Johnson's legion of fans and readers who love Paranormalcy.

I can't ask them to lower their expectations and give me extra consideration. I want them to be so caught up in the story they don't care where it came from, only that they want the next one.

My novels are about entertaining the reader, respecting the reader and delivering a high quality product.
If I skimp, or do it 'on the cheap', the results will be reflected in the end product.

I don't want that, and I'm darn sure readers don't want that.

So now I have a budget and a rough idea of how many books I need to sell. I'm mildly terrified.
I've already spent the money, too. So there's no backing out now.

#. I am getting the covers for hella-cheap prices because I'm fortunate to have an awesome relative who is the shizzle with graphic design. No, it won't be my 9-y-o son, he's busy doing the covers for my Skylanders fan fiction.


YelenaC said...

Great news about the releases and the cover prices!

I wanted to let you know that I tagged you for the Liebster Award here: Hope you join the fun! :)

Ebony McKenna. said...

thank you very much for the honour :-D

As a side note, there was a Duchess Yelena of Brugel (which is very close to Ukraine) who is mentioned in my second book.

She was incredibly clever and kept Brugel out of World War I, but was unable to stop the march of the Soviet Union. Sigh. You win some, you lose some.