1. Ursa

    Ursa New Member

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    How much can you realistically make e-publishing?

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by Ursa, Jun 15, 2015.

    Personally I don't dream of becoming a rich, famous author. I just want a small side income of a few hundred per month as a self published author.

    So for those who have experience with self publishing, how much would I expect to earn through publishing e-books? Assuming that I get it professionally revised and a professional book cover, minimal marketing etc.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    A few hundred a month sounds quite ambitious to me, especially if you're expecting to do "minimal marketing".
     
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  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Just to be clear, traditional publishers also publish eBooks. And some self-publishers include print on demand options with their eBooks.

    So what you meant, I assume, was self-published.
     
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  4. Ursa

    Ursa New Member

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    Yes, I mean self publishing.
     
  5. Ursa

    Ursa New Member

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    So how much is realistic? And have you self published?
     
  6. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There are some answers here in this thread.

    It really depends on the quality of your writing.
     
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  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't.

    Googling gives me unsatisfactory information. For example, there's a Guardian-reported survey that says that some large percentage of self-published authors who answered a survey earn less than five thousand dollars a year. The problem with that is that I would guess that many of those authors earn much less than five thousand dollars a year, so I would have liked some finer sorting there. An author who earned twelve dollars would still be in that "less than five thousand" category.

    Another survey of about a thousand self published authors said that the average earnings were ten thousand a year, but that the average was wildly skewed by a few authors at the top, and that the median was instead five hundred.

    I'd be surprised to see a first-time author who isn't famous in some other way, who pays for a cover and editor, etc, make a profit at all. I'd expect those expenses to be higher than their earnings. But I have no grounds for that; it's just my gut feeling.
     
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  8. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think self-pubbing is usually a quick way to make money. The most effective marketing tool seems to be writing lots of books, especially books in series.

    There are quite a few writers making reasonable money from self-publishing, but they're doing it as an ongoing thing, and putting a lot of time into it. And their writing is good, or at least their storytelling is.

    So there are really too many variables to say what's 'realistic'. It's totally possible to make a lot of money, it's much more likely to make hardly any.
     
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  9. rincewind31

    rincewind31 Active Member

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    Self publishing is just like every other business out there. It's perfectly possible to make a profit, a loss, or possibly just break even. It really all depends on your product and how you market it.
     
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  10. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is no way to predict with any consistent accuracy.

    Those that do have success self-publishing put a lot of time into it--not only writing, but marketing. Also, that applies to self-published authors that don't see much success.

    It's more than just putting a few novels and short stories out there and waiting/watching the royalties stream in. If you're looking for a side income, you're also looking at least at working a part-time job.

    From what I've read on the subject, and those self-published authors I know, the vast majority don't earn a few hundred dollars a month. I do, however, know a couple that do far better than your (Ursa) goal.

    Of course, you might prove to be an outlier, and your works will take off with little to no effort.
     
  11. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributing Member Contributor

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    As an author, do you earn the same $$ from a trad publisher for an e-book sale vs paper book sale?
     
  12. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    That depends on the publisher and how good your agent was at negotiating the contract.
     
  13. Rhys

    Rhys Member

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    Assuming you have a half-decent story and you market well enough, you will make some sales. But you could (as I have) go months without a single sale, and then get the most you've ever had in one week. The internet is like that. A lot of it is down to luck. Just advertise your book in as many of your social media accounts as possible and hope for the best. You may be lucky and your book may go viral overnight or something.
     
  14. United

    United Member

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    Think of how many (hundred) millionaires----excluding billionaires----there are out there in the world; that's how many authors (percentage-wise) there are who make 5 figures from e-publishing.

    Think of how many billionaires there are out there in the world; that's how many authors (percentage-wise) there are who make 6 figures from e-publishing.

    Now, I know that this is not at all accurate, but this is just to give you an idea of how many people there are who actually make "a living" with self-publishing through the e-book platform (exclusively).

    The question is: can YOU be one of those people? It all depends on you, your writing, your marketing, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  15. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again, are you talking about e-publishing (done by both trade publishers and self-publishers) or only those self-publishing ebooks? I would also note that if "this is not at all accurate", it doesn't really say anything about either. :confused:
     
  16. United

    United Member

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    The non-mainstream authors. Exclude Rowling, Meyer, Collins, etc. from the list because they are already "successful".
     
  17. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    But are you including authors from traditional publishers, or just self-published authors?
     
  18. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    That doesn't clarify anything. Self or trade, please?
     
  19. United

    United Member

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    Well, based on the TS' post, I assume it's only for purely self-published authors.
     
  20. ToeKneeBlack

    ToeKneeBlack Banned

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    My first book has been out via self publishing on Kindle for about 3 months, and so far I've been paid 84p (about $1.30).

    This seems low, but it's still early days.
     
  21. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow Toe, I feel bad for you. Most people, with friends, family and word of mouth would sell at least 500 copies of their story. Are you a recluse? Read up on self-promoting and you will see a great increases to that number. Readers are always out there, you have to aggressively go get them. Good luck, I am going to check you out and buy one my friend. I will stay in touch.
     
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  22. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Toe, I checked out your website. I liked it, I am in work now, but later I will check out your book.
     
  23. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are you basing this on?
     
  24. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The figure I've heard is...ten. Ten copies, that is.
     
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  25. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I base it on family buying at least 30-50 copies, the bigger the family, the more they will buy. Co- workers. Where I work I can at least sell 50-75 copies. Friends and who they know should get you at least 100 copies. Any kind of marketing you do should net you at least 200 copies in three months.
    The more effort you make, the more you can sell.
    Sorry Toe, last night my wife wanted a movie night, I will purchase one today.
     

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