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Self-Publishing News: Authors Bear Publicity Costs And IBPA Launches Innovative Voices Program

Self-Publishing News: Authors Bear Publicity Costs and IBPA Launches Innovative Voices Program

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

First up today comes one of those pieces that inevitably does the rounds on author websites and forums everywhere. In one of those “yes, we’ve been saying that for years” moments, it seems publicists have finally lifted the lid to the wider world on the fact that even authors whose contracts are with big publishing houses have to pay their own publicity costs.

The fact that everyone has to do a lot of their own publicity anyway is, of course, a considerable factor in many indies’ decision to take a step on that path. But of real interest are the figures about the cost of such independent marketing efforts. By which I mean not spending on advertising but spending on “marketing events” and people who call themselves marketers, who, of course, earn considerably more than most of the authors they serve, rather following the principle of selling shovels in a gold rush.

Book tours and marketing campaigns are cited as costing up to $15,000 and $16,000, respectively. But it’s the hourly rates that are really eye-watering. A marketing consultant in 2023 cost $100 an hour, pretty much doubling since 2019 in the face of general wage pressure. What is most interesting of all is that even the author given the main feature in the article, Katherine Reay, who is clearly very successful and thinks the investment in marketing is worthwhile, is unable to say whether she has actually made a net profit on that investment.

From a story about publishers leaving authors to fend for themselves to one about support for small independent publishers (including publishing companies set up by indie authors). The Independent Book Publishers’ Association (IBPA) has launched its second Innovative Voices Program to support publishers from marginalized communities. The call closes on June 16. Five US-based publishers from marginalized communities will win a package that includes $750 cash (which apparently would get you a day of a marketing consultant’s time!) and the print costs for 250 titles as well as many other benefits. Do take a look through the eligibility criteria and give it a go if you are eligible.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40

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