Making money from home can be achieved through self-publishing a book. If you have your own website, you have the advantage of selling the book there and maintaining control over its pricing. Additionally, you can utilize your social media platforms to promote and sell your book. Another option is to sell your book through well-established online book platforms such as Amazon.
Personally, as someone who has self-published a book on severance negotiations, I am considering expanding my self-publishing endeavors to create a series of books. With the prospect of being homebound for an extended period, it makes sense to create more products for online consumption.
My book was initially published in 2012 and is exclusively available on the Financial Samurai platform. Over the years, it has undergone five updates and has generated profits exceeding $500,000. Comparatively, this self-published book has performed exceptionally well, especially when compared to the average advance of $20,000 for traditionally published books.
Had I been more diligent, I could have self-published a book annually since 2012. If each book sold as well as my severance negotiation book, I would have earned over $1,000,000 by now. Unfortunately, making money in today’s world requires considerable effort.
In this post, I aim to discuss the advantages of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, as well as delve deeper into the potential earnings from writing a book. Given the current climate, I assume many of us are seeking additional ways to make money from home.
Advantages of Self-Publishing
This article will explore why self-publishing could be the optimal method for publishing your book, while also providing steps to help you generate income throughout the process.
If, like me, you were always told that traditional publishing was the only viable option, you might question why self-publishing is worth considering.
Enhanced Royalties for Greater Income
Let’s begin with perhaps the most significant incentive: royalties. When you opt for traditional publishing, you first need to recoup your advance before you start earning royalties. An advance is the upfront payment made by a publishing house to the author. In some cases, this amount can reach up to $10,000. Only after earning back this advance through sales can authors begin receiving royalties.
Creative Control over Your Work
Self-publishing empowers you with complete creative control over your project. You get to decide the content of your book, how you address the presented issues, the cover design, formatting, and even the blurb. While self-publishing requires you to hire your own editor, cover artist, and formatter, it also grants you the freedom to select professionals who align with your vision. This control extends to essential marketing tools and, of course, the work itself. You can also set up your self publishing company or imprint name to publish your own book. You will have to purchase ISBNs under your imprint name to do that.
Managing Your Business on Your Terms
Similarly, self-publishing allows you to maintain control over your own business. If you want to publish another book, you can proceed without waiting for a second book deal or relying on the publisher’s decision to continue working with you. You have the authority to determine the sales channels, content, and volume of your books.
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Money through Self-Publishing
Now that we have covered the viability and advantages of self-publishing, let’s explore how you can actually generate income from this endeavor.
Step 1: Craft an Exceptional Book
Amidst discussions of marketing, sales, readership, and platforms, it is crucial not to overlook the writing itself. Your primary objective as a business is to sell books, and it will be extremely challenging to achieve that goal if your book is of poor quality. Prioritize writing the best book you can, including creating an outline, multiple drafts, revisions, and seeking feedback from beta readers. Hiring an editor and potentially a proofreader can further improve the quality and marketability of your book.
Step 2: Form a Launch Team
A launch team, also known as a street team, comprises individuals who help promote and launch your book. These people are typically recruited through social media, and while they may not necessarily be writers, they should have read and enjoyed your book, displaying genuine enthusiasm for its success.
Your launch team assists you in various pre-release activities, such as scheduling events and social media campaigns to generate excitement. They can also help you reach out to content creators for reviews, boost engagement on social media, and leave reviews on platforms like Amazon to enhance your book’s visibility. Whether your launch team consists of a few individuals or a larger group, maintaining regular communication and expressing gratitude for their support is vital.
Step 3: Develop a Marketing and Publication Plan
Just as an outline keeps you focused during the writing process, having a plan is crucial for successful marketing. Research successful social media campaigns conducted by other self-published authors. Explore strategies like giveaways, challenges, and cover reveals. Establish a publishing schedule and plan at least three months of pre-sale activities leading up to your book’s release.
When it comes to publication, allocate a budget for production costs and consider how you will handle cover art, formatting, and editing. Identify the professionals you wish to collaborate with and create a timeline, accounting for approximately three months of production time following the completion of your manuscript. Factor in some flexibility to accommodate any delays or emergencies that may arise.
Step 4: Self-Publish with an Audience in Mind
Although the prospect of self-publishing may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that many people lack the knowledge and strategies required for success. One key element of achieving profitability through self-publishing is building a dedicated readership. Here are a few approaches to audience building that you can start implementing even before your book is complete:
- Establish a social media presence: Begin by creating accounts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or platforms popular within your target demographic. Regularly engage with your audience, experiment with different types of posts, and connect with fellow writers.
- Utilize email newsletters: Contrary to common belief, email newsletters can be highly effective in reaching your readers. Promote your newsletter on visible platforms, offer incentives for signing up (such as free short stories or writing prompts), and include incentives within the newsletters themselves to attract new subscribers with each publication. Treat your newsletter as a direct line of communication with your readers and ensure it remains engaging and concise.
- Build an author website: If you don’t have a website yet, platforms like Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace offer user-friendly options. Even if you don’t plan to publish immediately or lack the funds for a domain, having a website ready for future use can prove immensely beneficial. Your website serves as a central hub for readers to sign up for newsletters, purchase your books, learn about you, and discover any other services you may offer.
Step 5: Continuously Publish New Work
To maximize your earnings through self-publishing, it’s essential to publish more than one book. Each new release contributes to the growth of your readership. Writing just one book and then ceasing your output will likely lead to a decline in your reader base over time. Regularly publishing new work provides fresh content for your audience to engage with.
While some self-published authors, particularly in genres like romance, release multiple books annually, this pace may not be suitable or necessary for everyone. Even if you can only publish a book every few years, building an audience is still achievable, especially if you supplement it with more frequent content, such as YouTube videos or podcasts.
If you have any tips for making money through self-publishing or questions regarding building an author platform, feel free to share them in the comments below!
Self-publishing offers a world of opportunities for aspiring authors seeking financial independence and creative freedom. By choosing this path, you can maximize your earnings through higher royalties, retain full control over your work, and dictate the trajectory of your writing career. Remember to prioritize the quality of your books, build a loyal audience through effective marketing strategies, and continue to publish new content to engage readers and expand your reach.
Whether you’re an established author or just starting your journey, self-publishing empowers you to make money from home while pursuing your passion for writing. Embrace the possibilities, seize control of your destiny, and embark on a fulfilling self-publishing adventure.