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Author Topic: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?  (Read 2175 times)

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Offline hellonamesdana

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Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« on: April 19, 2015, 12:55:17 AM »
So I'm writing a book and I'm kind of excited about it. Since I'm broke and chronically ill and constantly looking for ways to make more money, I'd love to actually make a decent amount of money through this book.
Basically I wanna know if it's actually realistic for me to be hoping to make any amount of money with this book? I'm not saying that I'm going to become rich over it or anything like that. I would be fine if I even made a few dollars. But is the making money thing actually legit?

Offline Jinny

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 06:46:13 AM »
Yes, you can make money self-publishing.  Quite a few authors started out Indy and when their work was successful got traditional publishing contracts.  Other authors, like Holly Lisle, started out traditionally published and then moved on to sell Indy work.  I think there are two main things to remember: 
  • You probably won't earn money fast at first.  From what I have seen from friends who self-published on KDP, the money pretty much just trickles in slowly.  There's nothing for a while, then a few sales.  Then nothing for a bit more.  I wouldn't count on it for any specific amount of income. 
  • You should plan to do a lot of promotion like a blog and twitter and a facebook page to generate interest for the book.  Write it first and then start to generate interest while you edit, format, and create the cover.  The promoting will let people learn about your writing style ahead of time, making them more likely to buy the book.  It can also give them teasers so they're eager for it to come out. 
There are a lot of books and websites on the subject of self publishing and promotion but it's clear that promotion is a really important process of the self-publishing game.  Writing the book is only half of the game.  I'm fairly confident about the writing part but the promotion seems harder.

Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 06:46:13 AM »
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Offline bosa39

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 01:52:38 PM »
Yes, it is possible to make some decent money through self-publishing.

I self-publish and everything I've read about self-publishing ebooks says that quantity,not just quality, is very important. The way I approach self-publishing ebooks is this way: I want to make self-published ebooks one of my main sources of income so I need to write for a variety of genres and have a lot of books published.

You won't make a lot of money at first. You have to build up the number of books you've written and advertise the books. Advertising your book can be hard work and time consuming depending on the book. For example, I do very little to advertise my erotica but once I publish my first novel length romance book, I plan on putting a lot of time into getting the word out and advertising that book.

Since you are self-publishing you also have to do all the advertising and promotional work for the book. I'm not trying to scare you away from it because self-publishing is very rewarding, but it does require some work.

Well, that's my take on things based on my experiences so far anyway.

Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 01:52:38 PM »

Offline hellonamesdana

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 01:07:44 PM »
Thanks for the advice!

I'm definitely not assuming that I am going to make a lot of money. I'm writing the book because I want to share my story with whoever wants to read it. I know that if I get any sales, it's going to be from family members and the few friends I have in my chronically ill online community. I'm not planning on making the book more than like $1.99, so maybe that will get people to want to read it. I'm not even anywhere close to a finished draft yet, but I'm hoping that by the end of the summer I'll be looking to publish it!


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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 11:46:11 PM »
Most self-published authors derive less than $400 per year from their works, and most people are lucky to come anywhere close to that figure. It's a tough industry to break into, whether you go the self-publishing route or not, and the odds are stacked against you every step of the way.

Offline hellonamesdana

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 10:22:43 AM »
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Most self-published authors derive less than $400 per year from their works, and most people are lucky to come anywhere close to that figure. It's a tough industry to break into, whether you go the self-publishing route or not, and the odds are stacked against you every step of the way.

Honestly, if I were to make $50 in a year I'd be shocked. I'm not necessarily looking to become rich overnight, as I've said, but I'd like to make a little bit of income doing something that I am enjoying so much, if that makes any sense.

Offline Kayla109

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2015, 10:51:10 AM »
Yes, you can absolutely make money self-publishing.  It's a great opportunity for anyone who is passionate about writing and willing to devote the necessary time and put the work in.  I have an older cousin who recently self-published a book.  Unfortunately, she is currently dealing with a chronic illness, as well.  During her down time, she wrote a book, more or less, to tell her story, but at the same time, the additional profits made would be beneficial due to her inability to work.  She sold completed and sold her book for $15, with a percentage going to a charity.  In our personal conversations, she has communicated that she had greatly surpassed her earning expectations.  She actually about to release a second book some time in the near future.

Offline MyDigitalpoint

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 10:25:30 AM »
Problem with self-publishing is lack of promotion. If you don't move on your own and promote your work insanely, chances are you make less than thousand (or hundred) dollars a year.

Self-publishing should be understand as doing yourself the ebook file, not giving Amazon, Yola or similar sites your work to get them doing all because they won't.

Once your ebook is ready, they put it up for sale, but you must not believe they will run an advertising campaign to get you making money in the fastest way.

On the other hand, whether published by such websites or published by yourself, promotion is not limited to Facebook and Twitter, but anywhere in and out the Internet.

Promote it in forums, classified adds, hand out flyers in your community, pay for ads in newspapers, get a radio personality interviewing you about it, and so on.

With an aggressive promotion plan, it is possible to sell ebooks as if you were selling hot dogs.

Offline Onionman

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2015, 11:27:51 AM »
I've learned from experience that selling an eBook isn't an easy gig. I put one on Amazon over a year ago, promoting it sporadically,  posting links to it on a variety of sites and so on. I've sold a grand total of zero!

Admittedly, I really didn't position the book well, I don't have a following, my marketing could be far better and I don't have a name. But I don't want to entirely give up on it. It's something worth looking into again in the future. I just need to be far more strategic about it next time.

Offline IcyBC

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2015, 12:06:26 PM »
I have known bloggers that did the self-publishing books but they barely made a profit out of them. I am so glad to read the comments above saying the opposite of what I know. There is hope, and one day I would love to self-publish too.

Online Alex

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 12:37:54 PM »
Self-publishing does take time and effort. Whether it can make money depends on what the book is about and how much it is.

The market is flooded with e-books, especially self-help ones and free books. It is about marketing it and making time for the promotion can take more effort and longer than writing the book.

I'm thinking about self-publishing some poetry as that is hard to sell to publishers and a second volume of my memoirs. Amazing a handful of people have bought it, but like most first e-books, it was a bit patchy. I've also learned what to do better this time around.

Offline MLNewkirk

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2015, 02:48:10 AM »
I am very happy that I stumbled upon this thread.  Thank you to those who offered advice, I will definitely take it into consideration.  However, I'd like to know if this is how I should approach self publishing my own sheet music as well.  I am also working on putting together method books.  I have taught music lessons for almost 15 years now and throughout the years I have either written or arranged music for my students.  I have either arranged popular songs for piano and voice or wrote music that complimented my teaching style primarily because I got tired of using other method books that I myself learned out of. 

Offline AlexKid

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 07:25:56 AM »
Yes, you will make money but don't expect much from your self-published book. Unless you're extremely lucky and have a hit on your hands which changes everything. You'll probably earn far less than you're expecting and the work involved may not seem like it's worth it. If you're broke and need to earn money fast, publishing an ebook is just not the way to go. You're better off doing some freelance work or getting a job, because you'll need to release several books before you're earning a decent income.

Offline deannatroupe

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2015, 06:48:44 PM »
It is possible to make money from self-publishing. However, it is not something that will happen overnight. As many of the other posters said, it will take time. You have to be consistent with your marketing. You also have to be consistent with your publishing. You can't just publish one book and think you will get sales from that one book. Most of the people that make a lot of money with self publishing have books that fit into a series.

Offline atlmom5

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Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 01:05:47 PM »
Yes, you can make money from self publishing. I know a person that is generating a little income by going this route. Now of course, this person is great at marketing too. She has traveled out of state to promote her books, she uses her blog and Facebook page to promote her book and any events that she's participating in. In fact, two months ago, she had a book signing at a local boutique--she happened to meet the owner of the boutique at the bank, she loved the jewelry the boutique owner was wearing and the struck up a conversation and next thing you know, she's having a book signing at the boutique.


Re: Can You Really Make Money Self-Publishing?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 01:05:47 PM »

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