According to a marketing VP at Author Solutions, authors spend between $1,000 and $2,000 to publish their books and most aren’t making their money back. I don’t know how much Author Solutions charges for their services, but I do know that to produce a professional product, you’ll likely need to hire either a typesetter, jacket designer, or editor. Based on my own informal research, $1,000 to $1,500 for a jacket designer and good editor isn’t out of line.
But the article raises an interesting point. Not everyone who writes a book publishes it to make money. In fact, a study by Digital Book World revealed that making money was only forth on the list of a writers’ priority. I think there’s some truth to this. I know plenty of writers, myself included, who’ve been writing and publishing for a couple of decades or more, but still aren’t making a living. For the first twenty years of my career, money wasn’t even on the radar. Learning to finish and edit novels was, along with the long journey to find a publisher. I kept going because transforming a single idea into to a fully formed novel was tremendously satisfying.
As Digital Book World’s study showed, I wasn’t alone. The two top reasons respondents gave for writing and publishing were to build a writing career and to fulfill a lifelong ambition. Maybe this is why so many people I know don’t put the time and energy into selling their books as they did to writing and editing them. I think most of us want something to be remembered by. Publishing a book provides immortality, at least it does in Canada, as every book ever published winds up in Canada’s National Library to be saved forever. So, I have immortality. But wouldn’t it be nice, now, to make some money?
To read the USA Today article, go to http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/11/29/the-upsurge-in-self-published-books/3191731/