Tag Archives: money

Can YOU Make Money Writing Books?

I had a couple of questions this week from Challenge members who are getting cold feet; they’re wondering if you really can make money writing books.

When I told my Dad at age eight that I was going to be a writer and write BOOKS, he laughed. Writers, he told me, starved, usually in garrets. Writing wasn’t a JOB. At eight, starving sounded romantic, and once I looked up “garret” I thought living in a garret sounded romantic too.

Bless his heart, he’s been gone for 24 years, but I did manage to get books published before he died. I wish he’d lived to see the Kindle era.

Bob Mayer’s done very well; he’s made over a million dollars in 18 months, How To Make Over A Million Dollars in 18 Months with eBooks:

“There are so many self-published books being thrown up on Kindle and PubIt and Kobo and the Berlin Wall, it’s numbing.  I was just watching some lawn guys in the convenience store buying lottery tickets and realized they had a better chance of earning a million dollars than most of the self-publishing authors.

But you can do it.  But it’s not a lottery.  It’s called work.

I have had a HUGE advantage in this game.  It’s called backlist.”

You can do it. I got publishing contracts in the days when starving in a garret was more likely than not. These days, you can make money, but you have to:

* Study

* Learn your craft

* Read

* Write, write, write, and write some more… Then…

* Publish.

Garrets are optional. 🙂

Crowd Funding to Self-Publish Your Book: Yes, or No?



I’m fond of saying that you can publish your book on Amazon’s Kindle platform for free. That’s not completely accurate.

You will have costs. You’ll need professional-quality editing, proofing, and a cover. They’re the basics. For a novelist, a book doctor would be nice too, if you’re creating a wish list for yourself.

After publishing a post about the crowd funding sites like Kickstarter which help to fund various small enterprises, ePublish a Book wrote a post on how much you’d require to self-publish, How to fund self-publishing your book? How much do you need to self-publish your book?:

“We also had a look at what amount of money is a reasonable amount to ask for and how to explain it. So, let’s have a look at what amount can reasonably be raised for funding self-publishing a book.

Other than actually writing the book, which is done at the authors’ expense, some crucial steps are needed before putting any book, whether self-published or not, on the shelves.”

They estimated that the professional services required would cost somewhere in the region of $5,000.

Is that accurate? Maybe.

However, from what I know of designers, editors et al, the fees quoted are something of a desire, rather than anywhere near a firm quote. You’d get professional results for half that, or even $1,000.

For example, while most designers would love to get $500 to $1,000 for a book cover, they’re only likely to get that amount from publishers, rather than writers.

Indeed, I know several writers who know their way around Photoshop and Illustrator and can turn out a respectable cover themselves in around 20 minutes. So, you can get a good cover for much less than $500. I’ve seen good covers for $50 and $100.

That begs the question however. Assuming that you do need someone to stake you to self-publishing your ebook or book, should you try the crowd funding sites?

Should you try to get your book funded at Kickstarter or similar sites?

That depends on your temperament. Creating a project on one of these sites takes time and energy. Firstly, to present your project well, and secondly, to manage the project to publicize it and get funded.

Let’s say that it takes you two weeks of several hours a day. Are you prepared to spend that amount of time when you go the crowd funding route?

You might be better off spending that time writing your next book. You can always barter for services. Barter with another writer for editing and proofreading services. Barter some writing services for graphic design with a designer.

I know one writer who sold off stuff on eBay; another writer got a weekend job, in order to hire an editor.

It’s up to you, but for most writers, crowd funding would be more of a distraction from writing, than anything else, especially if your project doesn’t get funded.

Write a quirky book, get a great publishing deal for two books

Got a totally mad idea? Your creativity may land you in big-bucks country.

Zombie Mash-up Lands Author Six-Figure Deal – 4/9/2009 8:24:00 AM – Publishers Weekly reports:

“Seth Grahame-Smith’s surprise hit from Quirk Books, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, may have been launched as something of a lark, but that hasn’t stopped its author from landing a major deal. Grand Central Press editor Ben Greenberg has just inked a two-book deal with Grahame-Smith for a rumored $575,000; Grahame-Smith’s first book for GCP, which currently has no pub date, will be Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. (A rep from GCP would not comment on the size of the advance.)”

Now, lemme see…

Pride and Prejudice and Guppies

Pride and Prejudice and One Million Dalmations

Pride and Prejudice Lands on the Moon

Pride and Prejudice Rules for Marriage and Life…

(Feel free to steal any of the above. :-))