THE COST OF GIVING AWAY BOOKS FOR FREE
“If only publishers were as keen as friends were to own a copy of your book”
Undoubtedly one of the biggest expenses for self-published authors is the amount of copies expected to be given away for free. This will always add to the overall cost of getting a book into print and yet this is very rarely taken into account.
As already spoken about previously, legitimate costs associated with self-publishing include printing, binding, stationery and postage. Obviously while taking into account the need to market a book to the media – it goes with the self-promotion territory – there is always pressure from family and friends to be given free copies.
While no doubt this kind of attention gives an author a tremendous high, generally speaking, as is usual in these circumstances, either few people actually pay for them or it’s the author himself who feels too embarrassed to charge. Either way it only adds to a growing expense and reduces the value of a future royalty cheque.
Remember the cost of a self-published book comes directly out of your pocket. Or to put it more succinctly, if you have a friend running their own business selling anything from cosmetics to jewellery or cars, would you expect them to give you any of their stock for nothing?
It doesn’t work that way. So while it’s perfectly acceptable to give your parents a copy to be proud of, a line must be drawn or you never will be in a position able to recoup any of the costs?
Next time I’ll be looking at media preparation.
* Got a comment on free books? We’d love to hear your comments below.