Ha…. that got ya didn’t it. Sex really does sell but this post isn’t about sex. I was just being sneaky hoping to catch your eye and stimulate your hormones….
If you write books, you like to see them sell. At least I do. I don’t write books because they look pretty and therefore wonderful on my shelves at home. Nope, I want people to actually read the buggers. OK, so I could give them away, and I do, quite a few anyway, but really I’d quite like to live as a writer. That means generating cash and at my age, I’m not gonna be able to do that shaking my booty (actually, at no point in my life would that have been viable). So, yep, sorry my friends… it is all about sales.
So, how many books can an author expect to sell?
You would be astounded if you knew how FEW books you have to sell to make a best sellers list in a specific genre. You’d be blown away by how many books the average author doesn’t sell. I was. It’s an industry in which .01% of the authors sell 80% of the books. selling a few hundred books in a specific genre will put you on a best sellers list. Apparently, some 300 sales a day will put you atop of the Amazon.com best sellers list…Selling a few hundred books in a specific category isn’t bad at all apparently.
So, lets say a book sells 500 and the royalty is 10% of lets say a $15 price. That is the grand total of $750 royalties. Not great is it…. Further, lets say that the author paid some set up fees and spent some money marketing, takings may be just a few hundred bucks – that for a reasonable seller. OK – its not that simple as there are print books, ebooks and all kinds of markets and genres etc. but it isn’t a luxury lifestyle unless you are JK Rowling or a stephen King.
So, as I sat looking at 6-years of royalty statements last night for Inner Journeys, I was reasonably happy. I barely made a penny but it did shift around 350 copies to date and it still sells around 20 a year. The best deal I ever did was the hedge fund book. Being a business book they paid us upfront. It was in the thousands of dollars….. nice if you can get that kind of work.
But, I am encouraged. If IJ sold 350 to date and lets say each copy gets sold on or passed on 2-3 times, well, some 1000+ people may actually of read it. That’s satisfying.
I guess then if I want to be a ‘professional’ author, meaning living off the ill gotten gains of my keyboard, then either I gotta get lucky, spend 90% of my time marketing rather than writing or write a ton and a half of books…..
Or, maybe I should write a book about sex?