Monday, April 13, 2009

Cost of Doing Business

Many writers do not consider all of the options available to authors and are often not prepared for the expense and effort required to go after this business. But one cannot start a fire without first investing in some wood!

One such possibility is public speaking outside of just book promotion. This requires research, planning, and the building of one's platform. Rather than discuss the intangibles, let me give everyone a rundown on some of the physical expenses and investment.

A professional website that focuses on speaking

Business cards

Professional letterhead

A brochure that covers all speaking topics

Office supplies - paper, envelopes, postage, etc.

Investment in training and joining professional organizations

Travel expenses, such as gas and hotels

Willingness to make a lot of free appearances to build up the resume!

These items all cost money. Notice I did not even mention those things that will also cost time, such as researching and preparing subjects to discuss. But if you are not prepared, such expenses might sneak up and bite you in the butt! (Or worse, cause one to skip vital investments just to save money.)

When considering professional speaking, remember - it's an investment in YOU! It's also an investment into those who attend your events, depending on your subject matter. Be prepared for the cost of doing business.

And don't forget to enjoy the ride!


  1. Good points, Diane. For those new to this, they sometimes forget the old saying, Time is Money. Time to prepare; time to travel to and from; time to do; time to follow-up; time to reach out. And keep receipts. The IRS doesn't sign off on memory or guesses.

  2. True words! I used to think all I had to do was write! What a learning experience becoming a published author has been and still is.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  3. I hope your reader will consider that the wood can be gathered frugally! Frugally doesn't necessarily mean at no cost. Everything cost at least some time and elbow grease. I hope your readers will consider reading The Frugal Book Promoter. I know it will inspire them to get started and give them the information to know where to spend a little and where not to!
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers

  4. And you can deduct it at tax time!
    Another great plus.

    Morgan Mandel

  5. It is a business when you make it a business. Otherwise it's just a hobby...something you do for fun.

    I still seem to be going back and forth between business and hobby...ha! I say that because I've reached a point where I am wanting to make more money at my business. :)

    Good advice, Diane.


  6. Good advice, spoken from someone who KNOWS!

  7. Amen to tax deductions, Morgan!

    And Marvin, from someone who spent over four hours on Monday stuffing fifty envelopes with letters, business cards and brochures!