“As a creative I can speak for most of us and say that often our motive is not money, it is to make a difference in the world.” Natasha Steer
This statement, from Natasha’s post on Networking Vs Making Friends, really struck a chord with me about why creatives create.
When I hear about best-selling authors making a fortune I envy the fact they can then give lots of money to charity. Writing can be a powerful force for change. But could it also offer a pathway to giving? I thought about how I could contribute more. I could publish my work and donate any royalties to a charity I cared about. And, rashly, because of my motives, I disregarded a lot of practical advice, believing it didn’t apply. Of course, whatever your reasons for publishing, if you want to raise money from it, then it is always a business decision, as I have since learned.
Having been traditionally published for over 30 years, and with 20 years plus experience in marketing, you would think I would have an awareness of what is involved. That’s what I thought. Funny how you can become blinkered…
I had decided to publish three of my backlist titles for the kindle to raise funds for Redwings Horse Sanctuary, who rescue and care for neglected, abandoned and abused horses and ponies.
I commissioned a professional Medway-based designer, Klaus Hartleben, to create my cover designs as this is the first thing that potential buyers will see. For a digital book, Amazon is your shop window. Because I was donating all profits from my books to charity, I decided that using the Amazon “free” days to promote the books would defeat the object of the fundraising. ButI have been advised by several professionals that if Book 1 is free for a while (and readers enjoy it) they are more likely to buy the next two books in the series. So later this month, I will be offering Book 1, Matty and the Moonlight Horse, free for 5 days.
Similarly, I ignored all the advice I read on pricing strategy as part of the marketing plan because the money was going to charity and I wanted to raise the maximum amount from each sale. But comparing the prices I am charging to other similar titles, my books cost a lot more. So now I am tweaking the prices and testing the market to see what works best.
No sales = no funds for the horse sanctuary. So whether your motives are to do something good or to make money to live, I now understand the rules are the same. Be businesslike.
By Jane Ayres
To find out more about Jane’s publishing experiences, go to her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk
Her trilogy of Matty Horse and Pony Adventures books for pre-teens and teens (and nostalgic older readers!) are available for Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. All profits from these stories are going to Redwings Horse Sanctuary.