By Bruce Jones
I am a huge fan of self-publishing and where it can lead you. It is so cool to be writing and producing books and to see them sell. I started out with zero books a couple of years ago and I now have released over 20 with more coming. I started out making a few dollars and have built it up so that I am now making a pretty consistent $700 a month. Well on my way to my goal of $1,000/month in book sales.
My books are on a variety of topics from music instruction, to geography/mapping, coloring books and business book. I have also started to help others complete their dreams of producing books. I have also produced several text books for grade school kids and college. See my books on Amazon at my author page https://www.amazon.com/author/jbrucejones
Cats and Kittens Coloring Book, Available at Amazon
One of the things I talk about if you are going to write and produce books is to not limit yourself. It is very hard to figure out what will work and what won’t. You spend a lot of time writing a book and it goes nowhere. You spend sometimes several hours on a book and it becomes a best seller in its category. It is a little humbling to learn that most people don’t care about the topics that you find so interesting. So my advice is spread it around, try different topics and see what happens. With self-publishing, print-on-demand or e-books it is easier to produce shorter books and much more quickly.
I thought I would share some numbers to my publishing successes and show how anyone can do this and make money from it. The numbers reported below are from my CreateSpace.com account. CreateSpace.com is the print-on-demand side of Amazon.com. Upload a pdf of your book insides, upload a cover, fill in the description areas and you are ready to sell. CreateSpace moves your book over to Amazon.com and you are a regular author. When an order comes in Amazon takes the order, prints the book, ships the book to your customer and deposits the revenue in your bank account.
I also produce a number of books and host them on the Kindle platform, the ebook side of Amazon. Most of my books are graphic in nature and aren’t idea for the Kindle but that is changing and I have finally figured out how to move my books over to that. I know that the Kindle and ebooks get all the buzz but it hasn’t really worked like that for me. Almost all my sales come from printing and selling physical paperback books. My recommendation is to do both and see what happens. I have a new video coming out all about how to get your graphic books on to the Kindle.
Ok the Numbers!!
One of the things I have learned is that almost all of my books sell during the course of a year. Some a lot and some very little but they generally all sell. Over the course of this year 20 out of the 22 titles I have, have sold.
CreateSpace/Amazon now sells print-on-demand books in the US, England and Europe which is really cool.
Book Income Breakdown for the Month of October 2013
I sold 201 books for a total of $644.00 with the break down of
USA $529, UK $111, and Europe $3.80.
My most popular title is my Blank Sheet Music Book for Guitar, selling 51 copies
the second title is World Regional Maps Coloring Book, selling 47 copies
Everything else winds down with 15 out of the 22 titles selling.
This was down from the month of September where I sold 285 books for a total of $936. But September with back to school has been a good month before. Lately I have been averaging around 200-225 books/month. I am looking forward to December.
Affiliate Links from Companies or Services I Use to Build my Books
Disclosure: many of the links below are affiliate links that I will earn a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I appreciate it and if you have any questions about any of the products or services please contact me!
HostGator.com, Web host for my book promotion sites
ShutterStock.com, Website I use for cover and inside stock images
CreateSpace.com, Amazon’s print-on-demand site for publishing physical books
Amazon/Kindle Direct Publishing, Access for publishing on Kindle
What I have learned is that my books tend to find a level and then pretty much stick to it fo quite a while. There are top books, middle level books and then some at the bottom. But they basically stay in their ranges.
For me the Kindle platform has been a bust. My books just seem to sit there. I don’t write fiction or story types of books. Which from what I have seen can do very well. I also produce picture books, which I think are now coming into their own with the Kindle Fire and their color readers. I have finally succeeded in getting most of my books converted and uploaded to Kindle. We will see what happens once increase the promotion.
A major goal for this year has been to get my map and music books up on the Kindle side of Amazon. I struggled for months trying to figure out the graphics, what sizes, building clickable table of contents and converting the books, what a pain. Then I found out about the Kindle Comic Creator and bingo making a Kindle book from a pdf file took like 10 minutes to do. It doesn’t solve every problem but it has moved me so far down the line that I now have all of the books I can up on Kindle. It is amazing.
Ok there we have it, my first Book Income Report. I will be putting up the November report shortly. Black Friday and Thanksgiving proved to be pretty amazing, with about 47 books selling on the day before the holiday.