Building the Buzz: Day 7 Marketing Budgets

Now that your website is looking good, you're ready to start driving the readers there in droves. But first, we have one more foundation item to consider. It's time to show me the money.

The reality is that while most of the marketing ideas you can use to find readers are free, not everything is. Setting a budget ahead of time keeps you from coming to the end of your launch efforts and realizing you spent your entire advance on marketing.

When creating your budget, start with everything you think you might want to include from a launch day cake to promo bookmarks.  Once you have a huge list of items and their anticipated costs, you can zero in on only the things you really want to do (and can afford).

Don't forget a few items that tend to be overlooked in marketing budgets.
  • Travel: This can be for gas and oil changes for short road trips, food expenses, airfare, and hotel costs.
  • Conferences: This is more than just the fees. Don't forget to factor in spending money, bar tabs, and a new "professional author" outfit.
  • Shipping: Book giveaways aren't free. You need to include packaging supplies and postage.
  • Thank you gifts: No marketer works on an island. It will take the help of several others to get the word out about your book. Don't forget to factor in a little thank you, even note cards, to show appreciation for all those who help along the way.
  • Post Launch: Don't forget to add a little extra into your budget for marketing efforts past the initial launch efforts.
  • Surprises: You never know when a golden opportunity is going to come along that's too good to pass up. Add some room in your budget for items that aren't a part of the original plan.
Two final thoughts. Be honest with yourself. Don't create a budget you can't afford. You'll only set yourself up for disappointment when it comes to execution. And make sure you consider ROI (return on investment). An idea can sound super cool, but if evidence from others suggests it doesn't help with sales, make the hard decision to leave it out.

For today's task, make an honest budget. It doesn't need to be itemized, but you do need to know what your total expenditures can be. Be sure to keep a good log of what you spend. Not only to keep yourself from going over budget, but also for tax purposes.