Let’s Talk Money – Is It Still Possible to Get Rich from Self-Publishing a Book

Article written by: A Humble Writer from India (His words, not mine)

Okay, let’s keep it real – self-publishing is NOT a get rich quick scheme. You’re not going to become a millionaire overnight from self-publishing your books.

Indeed, the term starving artist describes a writer very well. Yes, there have been famous writers throughout history. Some, like J.K. Rowling, have even gone on to be billionaires.

But for every rich and famous writer, there are thousands of not so successful ones, who struggle to pay the rent and cannot afford to leave their day jobs to take up writing full-time.

Self-publishing was supposed to be manna from heaven for such struggling or part-time writers. But the field has become so crowded these days that it is very, very difficult to make a good living as a self-published author, especially if you’re new to the game.

So does that mean you can’t make money from self-publishing?

Of course not – there is good money to be made as a self-published writer, provided you write a great book that sells.

Remember, sales don’t happen just like that. You have to write a great book first and market it relentlessly in all the right channels.

You have to earn each and every sale. It’s about convincing people that your book is worth their money. Trust me, it’s not easy!

How much money do self-published writers really make?

Let’s take the example of Amazon’s KDP, as 80 percent of eBook sales are on that platform. The average income for self-published authors on KDP is estimated to be around $5,000/year.

That’s not much is it? But it is something. I personally think it’s lower than that. In fact, I think most self-published authors on KDP make less than $100/month.

Did that just put you off?

Well, just because most writers don’t make much money from self-publishing doesn’t mean you’re going to suck at it as well. See – writing is just one part of self-publishing. The other part is marketing.

How to make money from eBooks?

You can make good money from your eBooks provided you promote the heck out of it on blogs, YouTube, podcasts and various online forums and social media sites where you’re likely to find your target audience.

It is also important to develop a dedicated fan-base who will support you through times thick and thin. Email marketing – still the most cost-effective online marketing strategy – can help you with that.

Also, you have to put yourself out there, speak at events, talk to influential people on YouTube, arrange events at the local bookstore, write guests blogs for authority sites within your niche and so on.

And yes, you have to write well, churn out great books one after another, as if from an assembly line. The more books you have out there, the more money you’re going to make.

Let’s say you have 8 books on Amazon’s KDP, each priced at $2.99. Even if you’re able to get a total of 500 sales at an average per month, you will make a cool passive income of $1,047/month or $12,564/year.

That’s not bad, considering it takes about 2 weeks at the most to write and self-publish an eBook on Amazon.

Write. Publish. Promote. Make Money. As simple as that!

Something that must be good about books on Amazon is that once you launch them, it is passive income. :thinking:

Smashwords is better than Amazon for me. Possibly that’s because Smashwords isn’s as saturated as Amazon. However, my sales plummeted on Amazon after one of their updates and some abuse they never dealt with by another author. On Smashwords, on the other hand, my sales are pretty consistent at $6 per month. It’s not much, but at least I can say I am an in print author with a Wikipedia mention!

That said, I have learned to stop boasting in public, as when I do, some people buy my books and actually read them… Stick with the synopsis, I say. Don’t actually buy them. Just trust they’re awesome. :slight_smile:

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