I am a self-published, independent author. That means I do every step of the publishing process myself. And, I pay for every part of the publishing process myself. As a newer author, I'm still losing money to do something I love - to write my stories and share them with all of you. My family supports my desire to be an author, but I would love to eventually make more than I spend and contribute to my families income.
A huge part of making my dream of being a successful author come true is having readers buy my books, having readers share about my books, and having readers review my books. My small fan base is comprised of dedicated fans and I have received amazing feedback from them. These are people I did not know before publishing my first novel back in 2014. I appreciate them so much and would love to give back to them by writing more stories, by holding more giveaways, by doing more for them in general. But, to do this I need to do the three things I shared above - sales, reader sharing, and reviews.
As an indie author, I find myself spending more time than I like promoting my own work. This takes away from the time I have to write. And, quite simply drains me to the point that I don't feel like writing on many occasions. That is why it is so important to have the support of readers.
Now, I'd like to discuss a bit about price. I know for some, money is tight and finding free or $0.99 cent reads is one way they can afford to feed their reading addiction. However, did you ever stop to think about the author who wrote those books? How much do they have invested in their novel? How much do they make off of that novel? Will they be able to continue to write?
I'd like to answer those questions for you. First, how much do we authors have invested in our releases? Well, emotionally - EVERYTHING. Financially, hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars. We have the time invested to write, edit, format, and promote each book. We have the cost of paying someone to edit. Sometimes we even pay someone to format and promote our books. We also have the cost of having a cover created. A cover can cost anywhere from $25 for a pre-made cover to hundreds of dollars for a cover created just for our novel with one of a kind images. So, to make a quality release it can be very costly.
Royalties! The goal of every author is to make money on their work. So, how much do we get paid for those books you purchase? Well, obviously, if a novel is free then we don't make even a penny. However, for a $0.99 ebook published to Amazon an author makes 30% of the amount you pay - so, $0.29 cents. Now, if we list our novels at $2.99 each, then the percentage goes up to 70% per ebook. Anything under $2.99 receives only 30%. So, for a $2.99 release we can make about $2.00. Now, as a newer author I might sell anywhere from 10 to 50 copies when a book is first released. Let's go with the higher number. If I sell 50 ebooks at $2.99 each, I'd make about $100. Now, say I paid $25 for a cover, $100 for an editor, $25 for the formatting, and another $100 for promotions (blog tours, giveaways, etc.) So, without figuring in the amount of hours I, as the author, have invested, I have invested $250 in the ebook and have only made $100 back. Do you see how easy it is to lose money in this business?
I'm not writing this letter to 'whine' about my low sales numbers or lack of income. I'm writing this letter as someone concerned for the publishing industry. I've seen many authors give up on their dream of being a writer because they couldn't afford to keep going. Personally, I'm in for the long haul, but it would be nice to make it to the next level - to break even.
So, please take a moment to consider the costs that go into that next book purchase. If you enjoy that read, then please take a moment to follow the author, share about their book, participate on their pages and groups, and most importantly, leave a review.
A fellow book addict and author
Josette Reuel is an avid reader of many different genres - her passion is mostly Sci-fi and Paranormal, especially Romance, but she also read's contemporaries, historicals, and much more.
I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody. I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished.