There are many methods to earn seriously online, some of which are little known, and if you want to know more you can read How to make money online, published on this blog, but let us return to the topic of our article, some say that it is very easy to earn with self-publishing, but in reality all that glitters is not gold. To clarify, the word “self-publishing” is not used correctly. In fact, it “literally” means self-publishing, which in practice means the ability to publish a book without using the traditional publishing system.
Instead, this term is now used to refer to the publication by one person of books written by someone else. In reality, however, self-publishing is the ability to publish books independently. The entire publishing process takes place online, and the most well-known platform is undoubtedly Amazon’s kindle direct publishing.
Once the books are published, they can be put on sale on the Amazon marketplace, with revenues varying and can be as high as 70% of the book price. Not bad, considering that traditional publishers usually give 10%.
The book can be produced in hard copy, ebook and also as an audiobook. All you have to do is write (or hire someone to write the book for you). Amazon takes care of everything else, from publishing it in its catalog to printing and shipping it to the buyer. So this is a real and true passive income.
The success of your book depends on many factors: the subject, the more or less captivating title, the readers’ reviews, and, of course, its quality. And once it’s published, it should bring in a small monthly income, but don’t think you’ll make a lot of money if you don’t write a bestseller.
Currently, prices for books and e-books on Amazon fluctuate between $0.99 and $25 on average. Considering that e-books make up the majority of books sold by Amazon and have an average price of around $5, this means that you earn 2/3 in royalties for each book sold. So it goes without saying that you need to sell a lot of books every month to earn a living.
If you want to make an income you can live on with self-publishing, you’ll have to write dozens of books that might guarantee you an income you can live on.
It should also be said that income from book sales will not be constant. There will be times with good sales and times with low sales. The book market is extremely volatile, even if the books are well promoted and the author is well known.
Even finding the right niche is not easy, because as soon as there is a trend that attracts experts, authors immediately jump on it and leave the crumbs to others. The fact that the book is on the Amazon marketplace does not automatically mean that it will sell, it only means that it is available for purchase.
Not to mention the competition you will face, especially if it is a ‘fashionable’ or otherwise interesting topic. However, it must also be said that once a book is written, it is like a diamond: forever. So you can continue to receive royalties, even for books you wrote and published years ago.
Make money with self publishing
As mentioned earlier, self publishing is a real entrepreneurial activity. Basically, it means finding someone to write a book for you. These authors who write books for others are called gosth authors (ghostwriters). Once you get the manuscript, all you have to do is publish it under your name or a pseudonym with kindle direct publishing and hope it sells.
In practice, the activity of self-publishing consists of:
– Find a topic that is in demand by a large audience.
– Look for the specific keywords related to that topic that have the highest search volume and therefore the highest sales. You can search for the most popular words using Publisher Rocket or KDSpy
– Find the writer, (ghost writer), expert in this topic, there are specific platforms where you can find these people, like Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr, Twago, Greatcontent, Textbroker
– Create the cover (you will find the graphic on the same platforms where you found the ghostwriter).
– Put the text into different formats: digital, paper, and audiobook (again, this task will be done by people you find on the above platforms).
– Publish the book in digital format (kindle) on Amazon KDP.
– Implement an ad hoc promotional strategy (advertising, reviews, etc.).
How much does it cost to self-publish a book?
The total cost of writing and publishing a book is about 500/600 $
- Cost of writing the book (150 – 200 $, ghostwriter)
- Cost of converting the book into an audio book (150 $, narrator)
- Cost of designing the cover (10 – 30 $)
- Costs for marketing campaigns (150 – 200 $)
Make money with self-publishing, pros
- Self-publishing is extremely easy and can be done by anyone
- The book is produced only once and once created, the same product can be resold infinitely
- There are no shipping costs, storage costs, administrative costs or even warranties for the book. There are no certification issues and no right of withdrawal
- Once you’ve paid the commissions to Amazon, all that’s left is the profit, and as the books generate a steady, passive income.
- A cell phone is all you need, you don’t need an e-book reader, but the books can also be downloaded and read on smartphones and tablets
- A printed copy can also be purchased. The customer can choose to purchase the paper version. In this case, Amazon prints the book within half an hour using its “print on sale” service.
- You can also create the audio version of the books using ACX, an Amazon platform where you can find professional narrators and native speakers for publishing on Audible.
Make money with self-publishing, cons
– Marketing campaigns. If you do not run advertising and marketing campaigns with some economic input, your book will be placed below the 80,000th position on the Amazon sales ranking, and then it’s over with visibility and the dream of fame.
– English language. To achieve attractive sales, books must be written in English to appeal to readers in the United States, where there is a much larger market. Some say that even in the United States, the glory years of self-publishing are but a distant memory. I also question how it is possible for a non-native speaker to evaluate and possibly correct a book written in English with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. Or can the ghostwriter be trusted to do his job unnoticed?
– Ghostwriters. Who are these ghost writers who write a book on any topic for 150/200 $? Certainly, they are not professional authors who write original texts, which would cost much more. According to many, these ghost writers are actually masters of copy and paste who, without the authors knowing, take content from various sources and make it their own. This content comes from blogs, websites, and books. After compilation, the texts are put into the Google translator, corrected and submitted to the entrepreneur for publication. With the corresponding risk of being sued for plagiarism. Some time ago I read about a self-publisher who, without his knowledge, had published a book that had been completely copied from English and translated into French. After discovering this, he was not only sued for plagiarism, but Amazon also closed his account. Therefore, you have to be very careful when choosing an author and especially beware of prices that are too low. At this point, however, the cost of writing the book must be carefully evaluated, as there is a risk that it will be higher than the profit from the sale.
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