This post is a continuation from part 1. Here is my suggestion if you are trying to sell your book to cover most of your costs.
I suggest that you include the family in several communications as you work on your book which will help a lot when it comes to collecting the money for the books. You don’t want to surprise them with a phone call saying that you have written a book and are going to print it next week and need $125.00 tomorrow for the five copies of the book for their family. Most families won’t be in a financial situation to react that fast and will decline the books even though they really would like to have them. But if you communicate with them several times along the way, everyone will be much happier and better prepared. Contact them in the information gathering stage and let them know what you are doing and the scope of the book (who and what will be included in the history). Ask them if they have any information or pictures that could be included in the book and let them know that they will be given the opportunity to buy some copies for their family when it is done. Then contact them again when you are writing and nearing the completion stage. Tell them that you anticipate printing the books in a few months and that the cost of the book will be about X dollars (you can get a ball park estimate from most printers that will help with this part). The next contact can be when you have finished the book and have the bid in your hand. You now know how much it will cost to publish and can estimate the shipping costs. Contact all of the family letting them know what is included in the book, the number of pictures and number of pages of the book. Let them know some of the key stories and important information that is included; this way the can see the value of the book. Then tell them the price of the book and the shipping costs. Let them know what date you need the money to be included in the advance orders. Then, here is a tip that I learned a long time ago, tell them that there will be a few extra copies of the book that will be available to purchase after they are printed and the cost is $5.00 or $10.00 more per book. People love to save money and they will be more willing to meet your deadline so they can save. You will still need to follow-up after the deadline with those that don’t order to see if they just forgot to order the books or if they really don’t want some, but you will have a much better response with this tip. (Be sure to read my post about printing a few extra copies.)
I hope you find this helpful as some of my other clients found in overcoming the financial hurdle that may be keeping you from moving forward.