76 – Costs of Marketing and Promoting Your Book, with Amy Connell

Posted December 13, 2021 | Laura Christianson
The Professional Writer
The Professional Writer
76 – Costs of Marketing and Promoting Your Book, with Amy Connell


“You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t take the time to market it and to sell it, people are not going to be aware of it.” 

Amy Connell, my guest on episode 76, says that marketing can feel like self-promotion. But it’s actually not. It’s letting people know, “Hey, I have this, and I feel like the message of the book will add value to your life.”

A certified personal trainer and podcaster, Amy is the newly minted author of Your Worthy Body: Find Freedom in Health by Breaking All the Rules. (affiliate link)

Costs of Marketing Your Book, with Amy Connell

During the first half of episode 76, we drill down on Amy’s expenditures for marketing and promoting her book. You’ll learn:

  • Exactly how much she spends to send her book to influencers, endorsers, and people she wants to connect with (she quotes $$ for everything from labels to shipping costs).
  • The branded promotional products Amy created, which she sends as thank-you gifts and sells at speaking engagements (the show notes include info and links for creating your own).

During the second half of the episode, we discuss the subject matter experts and sensitivity readers Amy worked with to ensure that her book is high-quality, valuable, technically correct, and honoring to readers of different races and ethnicities.

We also talk about the “niche” consultants Amy hired to fine-tune her book’s title, sub-title, and back cover copy.

Amy is committed to empowering her readers to take control of their health. During the final part of the episode, Amy explains how she created a free, interactive online resource library (in Thinkific) and how she embedded a QR code inside her book that directs readers to videos, printables, and journal prompts to help them apply what they’re learning.

Amy’s Book Marketing Expenses

Your Worthy Body by Amy ConnellAmy sent a paperback copy of her book to at least 50 people. These copies served as…

…A thank-you to:

  • People who helped with the book (consultants, friends)
  • People who endorsed the book
  • Book launch team

…An introduction to:

  • Potential influencers (podcasters, bloggers)
  • Event planners who may invite her to speak
  • People whose communities she would like to serve

The “introduction” copies help potential influencers and event planners understand Amy’s unique voice and message, and how her book stands out in a crowded marketplace.

Per unit costs: $10

This includes:

Intentionally Staying On-Brand

When Amy sends out a copy of her book, she includes a bookmark and a handwritten note on one of her custom-designed notecards. As pictured below, the notecard and bookmark display the background image and colors from the book’s cover.





The text on the back of the bookmark reminds readers to review it on Amazon, and explains why a review is so helpful to the author.

Amy also created branded business cards, with the book cover image on the back of the card.

Canva: (aff link)

  • Notecard design and printing (100 notecards for $64)
  • Business cards (100 business cards for $17)

Essential Information to Include on Your Business Card (Laura’s blog tutorial)


  • Bookmarks (1,000 bookmarks for $85, including tax and shipping)

Branded Merchandise

Amy created mugs with the slogan, “Full of Grace and Coffee,” and a visor that says, “Full of Grace.” She packaged those with a copy of her book and gifted them to people who were intimately involved in the development process and book launch.

Neither the mug nor the visor includes Amy’s logo or business name. “I was intentional about the message I put on these items. I wanted it [mug or visor] to bring the recipient joy, but not for the recipient to feel as if they were being used to promote my book.”

Amy also sells these items at speaking events and bundles them as gift sets for anyone interested in purchasing them.

Amy says:

“I wanted to remind my community to give themselves grace – to themselves, to others, to their health. The mug and visor are good reminders about the book, but are also congruent with my message.”


Imprint.com – $6.86 per mug. She ordered this two-tone 15-oz mug. She purchased 72 mugs for $494.

She adds, “I chose the ‘buy American’ option of using American-made parts and labor, which cost an additional $0.94 per unit. I also intentionally chose a local company. Imprint has a national scope but I wanted to support local as much as possible.”


Headsweats – $13.82 per visor. Amy purchased 35 units for $484 (including shipping and tax). Yes, you can get visors for a better price. But Amy says, “For my active community, I wanted a quality product they would be proud to wear and enjoy doing so.”

Subject Matter Experts and Sensitivity Readers

Listen to episode 73 to learn what sensitivity readers and subject matter experts are, and why they’re essential for authors.

Amy consulted with several experts (she goes into detail about each in episode 76).

 Subject matter experts reviewed:

  • The fitness-related chapters
  • The faith elements
  • The content that dealt with mental health and self-care

Sensitivity readers reviewed:

  • Black body image vs. white body image

Amy also hired consultants who helped with:

  • Manuscript critique ($1000)
  • Line editing
  • Copy editing
  • Proofreading
  • Interior book design
  • Book title and sub-title
  • Back cover copy

Book Budgeting Tip

When budgeting for publishing and marketing your book, build in a 10 percent cushion to allow for unexpected expenses.

Book budgeting tip

Amy’s Free Resource Library

Amy wants people to feel empowered to take control of their health and to apply what they’re learning. As she was writing her book, she structured the chapters to include fitness and nutrition-related resources.

She pulled together all the resources mentioned in the book and created a free, interactive online resource library that includes videos, recipes, printables, journal prompts, and more.

Amy houses her resource library inside Thinkific, online course creation software that allows users to publish one free course with unlimited students.

A QR code inside her book allows readers to gain access her resource library. She then converts people who access her Resource Library into email subscribers (we give tips for the legal, ethical way to do that in the episode).

Self-Publishing and Book Marketing Podcasts

In addition to listening to The Professional Writer podcast, Amy says that these podcasts helped her through her publishing journey:

About Amy Connell

Amy ConnellAmy is a certified personal trainer who wants you to take a rest day and nutrition coach who wants you to enjoy dessert.

She founded Graced Health in 2016 to equip women with simple and grace-filled ways to take care of and appreciate their God-created body … and enjoy a little chocolate in the process.

Amy is the host of the Graced Health podcast and author of Your Worthy Body: Find Freedom in Health by Breaking All the Rules.

She lives in the Houston, Texas area with her husband, their two always-hungry teen boys, and her stray-turned princess pit bull named Grace.

Amy was also a guest on The Professional Writer for episode 43: Simple Stretches for Desk Jockeys, With Amy Connell

Connect with Amy:

Instagram: @GracedHealth
Facebook: @Graced Health

Episode 72: Costs of Self-Publishing a Book, with Lisa Baldwin

Episode 73: Sensitivity Readers and Subject Matter Experts: Why Authors Need Them

Episode 71: Things I Spend Money on to Run My Writing Business

Episode 70: 5 Quick, Easy, and Free Ways to Gain Visibility as a Writer

Episode 15: Expert Tips for Your Book Launch, with Kathi Lipp

Episode 18: Swag Ideas for Your Book Launch, with Lindsay A. Franklin

Episode 51: Preparing for an eBook Launch, with Dianne Marie Andre

Episode 5: Is a B- Launch Good Enough?

How to Keep Up With the Show

Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business from Laura Christianson of BloggingBistro.com

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