What can we tell you?
At the BookWhisperer we value absolute transparency, democracy, honesty and collaboration. We take immense joy in our job, and we work hard to keep it that way. We only work on projects we believe in, and our relationships with our authors are sacrosanct. We often have a long waiting list, so do please keep this in mind! And now, without further ado….
Pricing and Costs
We are not inexpensive, but we do price fairly – and we ARE very good at our jobs. We will be honest with you if we do not think we can at least help you break even, or if you are playing with a genre that is hard to sell or hard to compete in.
Some clients come to us with one single passion project; others have us managing their entire catalogs and acting as defacto publishers on their behalf for a monthly fee. Some clients have very well developed platforms, others need help setting up their entire platforms including websites.
We meet you where you are at, and we price accordingly.
One-to-one coaching is €125 / hr.
Advertising and promotional expenditures are relatively elastic, and we can work within most budgets.
For a debut or new series, we would recommend that you have $1,000 – $5,000 in reserve. It is unlikely that your spend this much, but should you book start taking off it would be terrible to not have the cash to cover your advertising. It takes three months before your first royalty check, so until this time you will be needing to cover costs. We usually set budgets on Facebook at $5 – $10 dollars per day, and then we scale back or spend more depending on results.
AmazonADS are a whole different animal, as it can be difficult for a new author to get Amazon to spend their money. Amazon tends to be very good at only spending your ad budget if your book is selling, and it is very easy to scale. An average well done ad spend on Amazon is some $200-$300 / month for a new release.
BookBub advertising – if you are in a popular genre – can be a wonderful investment, even if your book is at full price. We will often do a new release budget there of $100 – 200.
If any of these ads starts taking off and results in sales, it’s a good idea for you to have some reserve to increase your budgets and expenditures.
Promotional costs on advertising your count-down deals or price promotions are likewise variable. It doesn’t do an author any good to do a price promotion without advertising, and there are scores of sites willing to take your money (though only a handful really work.)
Other expenditures that are not necessary but can be useful include paid editorial reviews (we recommend Publisher’s Weekly Booklife and Kirkus), and perhaps newsletter swaps with sites like BookSweeps, Prolific Works, of BookFunnel. We tend to be very cautious with ad expenditures, as they often don’t really pay off until you have written book two or book three.
These are not fees we charge, nor do we take any referral fees to any services we recommend.
Covers: Depending on your genre, a good custom book cover will cost between $250-$550 (and up should you need custom photos or illustrations.)
Editing: Though we provide a final proofing, it is a good idea to have your book professionally edited. Usual costs are between 0.02 cents per word – 0.060 cents per word. For current competitive rates, go here: https://www.the-efa.org/rates/
ISBNs: Though you can get “free” ISBNs through Amazon and Ingram, we recommend that you own your ISBNs. At Bowker.com, ISBNs cost $125 for one, $259 for 10 and $575 for 100. We may be able to provide authors with ISBNs if they fit within our own imprint of Literary Historical titles.
Copyright Registration: When you create a work, you already ‘own’ your copyright. However, without registering your copyright it is nearly impossible to protect your rights. You can (and should) register your copyright with the US copyright office. Digital registration of your copyright (for a single work) costs around $70 USD.
Amazon KDP’s royalty structure is relatively transparent. Amazon pay 70% of your ebook royalties minus a small carriage fee. If you are enrolled in Amazon Select (KU) and are exclusive to Amazon for your ebook, you will earn an addition @0.045 per page read. For paperbacks, Amazon takes 40% of your retail price and you receive 60% out of which you pay printing charges.
This is similar to all other online retailers.
Should you elect to work through an online aggregator such as Draft2Digital, you will received @60%, with your aggregator taking 10% in exchange for using their platform.
Printing and Royalties at Ingram Spark depend on many factors, including your retail discount rates.
What we can do is minimize your risks and listen to your goals. We make sure that you are not wasting money on promotions that do not work. We will make sure that your cover is competitive, that your book is published properly, that your advertising is tracked and not spending more than you are earning. We will advise you, to the best of our ability, of the risks and benefits of all your marketing and publishing options (backed up by data and experience), and work hard to give your book the best possible chance at success.