Being someone who doesn't have a whole lot of money, I can tell you that it takes money to make money esp when it comes to being an author. When a writer becomes published, the work does not stop there--it only gets more difficult even though it is very rewarding at the same time. Every author, doesn't matter how he/she is published, must market the books he/she wrote and had published.
Marketing can be easy for some or seem impossible for others. I'm somewhere in the middle. I've gotten the hang of it some what but without enough funds, we might as well not market at all. For free, we can surf the web and just tell people about our books but without money we can't make a website to send those people to. Free webs work but they are not professional and may scare people away from purchasing that book, not always but sometimes.
I love to write and can't think of anything better to do with my life so its something I will keep doing no matter what. If I keep getting published, great. If more and more people see my books, great! I just can't sit there and wait for someone to just happen to find my book though and neither can any other author out there. We must get out there and tell people. Show them our books, show them how proud we are to have written them. We must be enthusiastic about our work or it will be for nothing.
If you are writing a book now and do plan on getting it published someday, start saving your money now. Set up an account and only use it when that book gets published. Use that money for marketing only. This will help you in so many ways. Keep adding to it too because it will go fast.
After you get your website, there's other expenses to think about. How will you tell others about your book and site? Business cards? Buy about 200-300 at a time. Pass them out to everyone you have a chance to. Baseball cap with your website on it works great too. You can get one for under 30 bucks, its worth the money! You choose the color and everything! T-shirts work too. Those can be made yourself with an iron and an iron-on transfer or you can have one ordered for a more tailored look. Check on the price though cause I've never done that. Bags work too as well as....pens, pencils, matchbooks, tablets, mugs, underwear (yes those work too lol--use them as gifts), and the sky is the limit. Some things you can make yourself to save some money while others need to be ordered but when you make sales its worth it so just save your money now so you can have those things later!
If you are blessed enough to have your own computer with a color printer, great! Use it for your advantage. Ink can be bought using that savings too. Just keep a reciept for everything for taxes at the end of the year. Make flyers, bookmarks, postcards, etc. You can get the items at most business stores or even Wallmart. They come in pre-shaped sizes and all you have to do is fill it in using the code for the printer so it matches up when you print it out.
When you book is designed, save it so you can use the cover of your book to help market it. Once that cover is done, start the marketing process (before that is even better!)
Remember, poor writers can't do as much as people who are well planned ahead and save their money. The more you market that book, the more sales you will see. Never stop marketing or promoting that book. Never stop saving your money to go towards that and you should be all right. Now get out there and start making those sales!
Amber Rigby Grosjean