What your book will not do for you

Apr 6, 2015 | Profit

How much money will you make from selling your book?

Dana Beth Weinberg is one of the savviest writers there is on the reality of book publishing. Recently she did a wonderful post titled, “The Trouble with Indie Math in Today’s Ebook Market.”

Dana conducted a reality test on numbers from the self-publishing firm, Lulu, about how much money you could make selling your books by publishing independently. Here’s the money quote from Dana’s article.

“Among the voluntary sample of authors in the 2015 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey who reported on the sales of their latest books, 71.8% of indie authors sold fewer than 1,000 copies, compared to 40.5% of traditionally published authors who had sales no higher than the triple digits. In fact, 59.7% of indie authors in the survey sold fewer than 500 books.”

Interesting, right? Well, if you’re a businessperson thinking about writing a book to boost their business or career, it’s entirely irrelevant.

Don’t count on individual book sales for income

As Dana points out, only a small group authors make enough to scrape by on their book earnings. Even fewer make enough on book sales to live well.

Business book authors make money from their books, but not on book sales

There are plenty of good reasons to write a business book. Most of my clients want to write a book to boost their business or career. Making income from book sales is not a good reason.

There are plenty of good reasons to publish independently. They include things like control and reduced time to market. But making income from book sales is not a good reason to publish independently, either.