I have a way of picking notoriously difficult career fields. I started with acting and landed in writing. For many, that means making pennies and periods of no income at all. Romantic, right? But thespians and writers agree- they don’t do it for the money. If they did, they’d quit long before they reached an inkling of success!
I’ve shared before about the business of self-publishing and am thrilled to be developing a series to help guide writers through self-publishing [and making a profit]. Next week, we have an interview with Joanna May Chee, a debut author whose self-published book hit number one in her first week! She’s going to share some tips and advice about hosting a successful book launch.
This week, we’re going to look at the costs of self-publishing and examine where to spend money and where to save! Many people have the notion that authors make a ton of money on books, but that’s rarely the case. Traditionally published authors may make a dollar or two per book sold (with the addition to any upfront money they received). On the other hand, self-published authors have much higher profit margins but the average book only sells around 200 copies in its lifetime.
In order to maximize profits, authors need to invest in the right areas. Here’s my breakdown of where to spend and where to save:
There are grammar Nazis everywhere. And they leave reviews on Amazon. Enough said.
But, really, find an editor who suites your style and budget. Start with software like Grammarly to keep you on task as you write and pick up those typos and then let an editor professionally polish your book!
But don’t skimp. Having custom covers, rather than templates, can really set your book apart. Adobe Illustrator is a great way to make unique covers, but subscriptions can be pricey. I personally LOVE Canva (I use it for everything)! With a little practice, you can make professional, custom graphics for your book/brand for free. You can also set custom dimensions for a cover size that you need and get to work!
Interior Files: SAVE
This can be a headache, I know. But I’ve seen interior formatting services charging upwards of $450 for their services. Use a template, customize your fonts, and follow the IBPA Guidelines and you’ll do wonderfully!
This is normally the trickiest part for authors. We do the writing part well, but selling, not so much. Know your audience, have a plan to reach them and set realistic goals along the way. Having a book it a lot like having a child. You can’t give it birth and then leave it in infancy for the next project, [which is advice coming from someone who has just adjusted their 2018 release schedule]. If your budget allows for it, hire a professional that can assist with media exposure. As “authentic” and “newsworthy” as that interview you watched on television was, know that someone shelled out some serious money for it.
Thanks for stopping in, have a great week!
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is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.