How to finance self-published books with a credit card

Your Business Credit with Elaine Pofeldt

Elaine Pofeldt is a journalist whose articles on entrepreneurship and careers have appeared in Fortune, Working Mother, Money and many other publications. She is a former senior editor at Fortune Small Business magazine and an entrepreneur herself, as co-founder of 200kfreelancer.com. Her book, “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business,” was released in 2018. She writes "Your Business Credit," a weekly column about small business and credit, for CreditCards.com.

Ask Elaine a question, or see if your question has already been answered in the Your Business Credit answer archive.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch tool to find cards matched to your needs.

I need to print copies of my book to sell at a conference. What's a good credit card to use? 

A credit card with an introductory 0 percent interest rate will give you time to print and sell your books without having to pay the balance in full at the end of the month. 
Expert Q&A

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Dear Your Business Credit, 
I am self-publishing a book for my business and need to bring several copies to a seminar. I was thinking of putting the cost on my credit card and recouping it when I sell the books. What are some good cards to use for this? I have excellent credit. – Christy

Dear Christy, 
Congratulations on self-publishing your book! I just wrote a book myself and know much hard work goes into it.

Speaking engagements can be a great opportunity to sell your books, but it’s wise to think about which credit card you will use to purchase them. If you choose a card where you are paying a high interest rate, what you’re paying in interest can eat into your profits.

Fortunately, there are many small business and personal credit card deals offering an introductory period with 0 percent interest to customers who have excellent credit. Assuming you purchase an amount of inventory you can sell at this seminar or future events in the next few months, you should be able to purchase the books without paying interest. Taking a close look at the other benefits of each card to make sure they will be useful to you can help you decide among them.

Choose a sign-up bonus you can easily earn

Depending on when you think you’ll be able to pay the card off, there are different factors you can consider. If you think you can pay it off within a year, go for a card that has 0 percent APR for 12 months, no annual fee and a great sign-up bonus. For instance, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card is currently offering $500 in cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. You also earn 1.5 percent back on all business purchases, so if you plan on printing a lot of books in the coming months, this benefit could be valuable.

See Related: How should I fund my side business?

If you don’t think you can meet a $3,000 minimum spend, but still want rewards, the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard is offering $200 cash back after spending $500 in net purchases within the first 60 days of account opening. If you plan on selling all of your books at the conference, then the more limited nine months of 0 percent interest shouldn’t be a problem.

Tip

Tip: Consider what you'll be using the card for and choose one with category bonuses you can earn most often

The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business card also offers 0 percent interest on purchases for nine months, with no annual fee. With this card you can earn 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase, plus a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend 3,000 on purchases within three months of your account opening. This could be a nice benefit if you will be traveling a lot to promote your book and would like to use points to pay for some of your travel.

See Related: Best travel cards of 2018

Many cards offer an introductory period of time with no interest, so make sure you look for the sign-up rewards offer that best fits your needs. And, consider whether you’ll primarily use the card for business purchases or if it will be your all-around personal card; you’ll want to get a card that offers category bonus points for what you’ll be purchasing the most.

Know when introductory offer ends 

Once the zero percent interest rate expires, consider shopping around again for a similar deal. The APR will jump from 0 to 14 percent or more, and if you plan on carrying a balance, that will quickly eat into whatever profits you may make. While profit margins are higher on self-published books, the cost of printing and shipping can quickly add up. If you don’t sell as fast as you hope, you can be stuck with some big bills you won’t want to pay interest on. Picking the right card ahead of time can save you stress and money down the road. Good luck in spreading the word about your book!

See related: Best business credit cards 


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Updated: 10-20-2018