#IWSG August 2015: Promotion without a budget.


Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.


I know I’m not the only one who takes on too much and expects too much of the world around me, but I can only feel my pain and frustration. I feel so silly sometimes thinking about all these grand ideas that will never come to pass. I mean some of them might or at least something close to them might, but for the most part, I’m sure I dream way bigger than I can actually climb; plus I’m out of shape.

So here I am struggling to publish one story, struggling to complete another, struggling to write one, and dreading the promotion of another. And none of this begins to scratch the surface of other responsibilities I’ve taken on and I’m afraid to back down. I keep taking on more with the intentions to better or alter my life in a manner that would be more beneficial to my health and happiness, but perhaps I should just suck it up and be miserable, save for the times I’m writing and hanging out with my family.

I have an amazing idea for a blowout promo, but I don’t have the following or influence to pull it off. In cases like this people simply make an investment and hire someone to do it. I’ve looked at all the possibilities and to do what I want will cost more that I’ll probably make in my first three months of sales. To be honest, after paying for an editor, I really won’t have any budget left to do anything. Oh well, I can’t give up. I’ll figure something out, even if I can’t get what I want. I guess something is better than nothing…

I’m currently conducting a survey on Facebook Groups, PLEASE check it out.

Click here to visit a Facebook poll.

I hope I haven’t bummed you out too much. I’ll keep dreaming and hopefully you will too.


Any words of encouragement to offer or perhaps a funny joke?
I could totally use it.


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Nancy Gideon,
Bob R. Milne,
Doreen McGettigan,
Chrys Fey,
Bish Denham, and
Pat Garcia!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #102).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Published by

Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

32 thoughts on “#IWSG August 2015: Promotion without a budget.”

  1. Promotion is tough – and, you’re right, can be expensive. Whatever you can do for free (or cheap) is fantastic, but don’t be afraid to look at the long term. Maybe put aside half of your sales for the first few months and make that a budget for promotion.

    1. Thanks. I’ll definitely have to plan and plan and plan some more to get this just right.

  2. The operative word here is “struggle.” I do this a lot, as someone who also tends to try to do too much. When this happens to me, I do these things: 1) look and see if there’s something I can take off my list; 2) go play, or 3) figure out how to bring play to the work so it doesn’t feel so much like a struggle.

    There’s a book call The Frugal Book Promoter that might be helpful. http://www.amazon.com/The-Frugal-Book-Promoter-Howtodoitfrugally/dp/1463743297

    1. Thanks for the advice. I do feel like a juggler sometimes….
      Yeah, I’m trying to figure out a way to round them all up and make it easy to help so they won’t have too many excuses to say no.

  3. Love the idea of your survey. I’ve wondered about that question for some time. I’ve been to several FB books promotions and see more writers than readers, but have also seen readers buying the books, at least when they ask for a copy of the receipt to prove it for the giveaway, I’ve seen a few. But at this point I think it’s mostly writers checking out the possibilities. Although, all that may change if FB decides to claim a portion of the market?

    Always dream big, every little step in the direction of your dream is a positive one, no matter how small. Keep at you’ll get there, I did – and no one was more shocked!

    Oh, and signing up for the WEP is a huge step – welcome! You’re going to love it!

    1. Thanks for that. I’m excited about the settings challenge. I hope I get some good feedback on my survey. I have another in the works, but I’m waiting to see how this one goes.

  4. I think we all tend to dream big. And why not? We can! The important thing is to know that it may not happen. But it’s still nice to hope and dream, isn’t it? So go ahead and dream big! If you strive toward those big dreams, you may experience a lot more than you thought even if you don’t reach the biggest dream of them all.

  5. I struggle with paying for promotion on a tight budget too. There’s a lot of free advertising out there, and free ways to get in front of people, but I’m not sure how effective they are…

    1. Yeah, that’s part of the problem, know where to invest my budget. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. There is a lot of promotion you can do yourself without cost. Hit up your friends to be a guest on their blog, for instance. The idea is to get your name out.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #95

    1. Thanks, and yes, I will be reaching out to my friends. I’m just concerned about how get my name out there to new audiences beyond my circle of friends.

  7. Selling books requires marketing, advertising and promotions. Before you can do any of those you need to have a really good sense of who your market audience is and a plan. There is a lot you can do for free but you will need a budget for advertising. I would definitely suggest putting most of what you make back into marketing until sales are steady. If you start a business (incorporate) you can write-off almost all of the money you spend on publishing advertising home office web site etc…for a few years. I do a writing Wednesday on my blog if you go back some Wednesdays you will find several on marketing plans etc… if you are interested.

  8. You certainly have a lot going on, Toi. Most of us do. And it’s so easy to think oh wow when can I get all this done? It can be mind boggling juggling projects and prioritising. I’m sure many authors would love to hear about your blowout promo idea. Promo is in need of something new and new ideas would be most welcome. It sucks when it’s too expensive though.

    Thanks for signing up and supporting the new WEP challenge. You will get a lot of support there. I’m so excited to see what everyone comes up with for the Spectacular Settings challenge.

    Oh, and I’ll look into that facebook survey too.

    Denise 🙂

    1. Thanks for the encouragement and the support of my survey. Since I think I’ve decided to pull off, at least part of my idea myself, you’ll be hearing about it. I’ll be asking everyone I can for support.

  9. Hi Toi,
    Have you considered asking other authors to do a book review and placing it on Amazon and on their blogs also? Also Askdavid.com seems to be very good also according to the reviews I have done for a couple of authors.
    I have just met you through the IWSG and your upbeat outlook delights me. I will do whatever I can to get your name out there.
    All the best. I know you’re going to hang in there because you have gone to far to turn around, and you are not one that gives up.
    Take care.
    Pat Garcia

    1. Thank you so much Pat. That means a lot. Yes, I have been asking other authors and many have been so willing to help. I will definitely look into Askdavid.com; I will put something great together and then reach out to IWSG for support and or encourgement.

  10. You are definitely feeling overwhelmed and when that happens someone else has to say-“Step back, breathe and let it go for it to come back to you”. I know that may not make sense but by taking a few days or hours, it will help you deal with all the stuff surrounding you and you will find the answers and get through everything including the promotions which is out of your comfort zone

  11. I have the same feelings regarding my art and my blog. I just had to come to terms with the fact I do not have the connections, money, or following to start off big and make an immediate impact, but what I do have is faith, perseverance, and a strong will. A lot of people get to where they want to be with limited resources. I hope to be one of them.

    1. I like that, “what I do have is faith, perseverance, and a strong will.” Thanks for those words. I needed them.

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