What it costs to be a writer

Hannah Rowen Fry is our Women on Writing book tour guest today. Her book is The Way of Gratitude with reflections on the Scriptures.


Hannah has also written a guest post for us – something I’m sure we’ll all benefit from – How to publish on a budget. Here’s Hannah.


Publishing on a Budget

by Hannah Rowen Fry


As a new writer I underestimated how much I would spend to be a writer. After all, writing is free,

right? Well…

There’s the cost of the writing itself – equipment like a laptop, journal and pen, note-keeping

software, and the endless cups of coffee that fuel you. This doesn’t include the time it takes to

write, edit, rewrite, and submit works for publication, most of which is unpaid labor until well after

the fact.

Beyond the writing process, once you’ve gotten a book written and ready to be published,

marketing is an entirely additional cost! Email services, Amazon ads, website costs… These

expenses and more threaten to hold you back.

When it comes to publishing on a budget, here are five things I’ve found helpful:

1. Clarify Your Goal

What is your intended outcome with publishing your book? Do you want to focus on platform

growth to gain more readers? Would you prefer to be on a bestseller list? Once you have this

decided, you can better understand where to invest. Spend the money that helps you get closer

to the goal. Each book you write may have a different goal, and therefore different expenses.

2. Know Your Ideal Reader

It’s important to know who your audience is so you know how to market your writing to them.

The way marketing works is different for each demographic: age, interest, location, etc. When

you have clarity on who your reader is, you can target them more accurately with your marketing

and therefore, spend less money (or no money). For example, most of my writing is in the

faith-based space. It would be a waste to share my work outside of religious platforms, and

even in some very specific religious platforms.

3. Set Realistic Expectations

I don’t mean this as a threat but as an invitation to understand what you can do with the

resources you have! What an opportunity! If you are a new writer looking to self-publish a book

with a small following, be realistic about what that means for your book and income. Don’t

spend more than what you would expect to make. Use a royalties estimator calculator before

you invest to know what you can and can’t spend. Each book you publish can be a learning

opportunity to discover something new about yourself or the industry. Keep your expectations

realistic so you aren’t disappointed or distracted from these discoveries.

4. Be Creative

Get creative about using what’s in your budget! There are always new marketing trends, writing

trends, and publishing trends that can easily distract you from focusing on just writing your book.

Maybe you can sell books at your local coffee shop? Chances are you wrote most of the book

there, so why not launch it there, too! What a fun story for them to share with their customers!

5. Take Care of Yourself

I don’t mean this in a self-care way, but in a way that honors your desires. Choose what’s most

important to you and invest there. Is it important to you to have a website? If so, then spending

more money on your SEO might be better spending on Facebook ads. Is a healthy writing

community more important? If so, then invest in a writer’s retreat or conference or join a writing

group. Make a list of the top 4-6 things that are most important to you as a writer, reader, and

human being, and focus your budget toward those things.

Overall, remember there are many paths to publishing. Try not to get discouraged or

overwhelmed by all the options. Use the five tips above to help guide your decision making and

enjoy being a published author.



Book Summary

“May we rest in goodness, gratitude, and wonder all the days of our lives.” Hannah Rowen Fry writes thoughtful reflections on Scripture, inviting you to marvel at God’s character in The Way of Gratitude.

The Way of Gratitude features:

  • 21 original devotionals based on Scripture
  • Space to be curious and to be in awe of the Word of God
  • Prompts to reflect, pray, and journal
  • Beautiful, minimal design
  • 21-day tracking sheet
  • Additional resources including more devotionals and accompanying music playlist are available on www.hannahrowenfry.com.

Experience greater joy in the present moment as you learn about gratitude as a lifestyle. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform your life through reading Scripture and responding to the Word of God without legalism, judgment, or guilt. Slow down and choose simplicity; rest in God’s goodness.

  • ISBN-10: 8988895411
  • ISBN-13: 979-8988895411
  • ASIN: B0CFD748BP
  • Print Length: 84 pages

You can purchase a copy on Amazon, Bookshop.org, or Barnes and Noble. You will also want to add it to your reading list on GoodReads.

About the Author

Hannah Rowen Fry is a writer, speaker, and encourager. Her writing consists of observations of daily life, and uses daily reflections to guide others to live out their God-given purpose. Hannah’s passion is to help others experience greater joy in the present moment. She shares practical tips, helpful resources, and clear purposeful steps to abide in Jesus daily without legalism, judgment, or guilt. Her thoughtful reflections on Scripture invite those who have felt overwhelmed with their lifestyle, thoughts, or schedule to slow down and choose simplicity. Guided by encouragement, generosity, gratitude, and a healthy dose of responsibility, readers are invited to experience freedom as they find spiritual rhythms that cultivate faith and help them step into their God-purpose. Hannah lives in Jacksonville Beach, Florida with her husband Matt, and spends most of her free time walking on the beach, frolicking around Disney World, and listening to Taylor Swift. Read more about her and her work at www.hannahrowenfry.com.

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