December 6, 2013

how to waste a lot of money self-publishing a book

PAID FOR, biatch.
Last night I updated my spreadsheet totting up sales and downloads of Semper and Forsada. It never takes me too long; these are not big numbers. But each book earns enough profit to pay my whiskey and Starbucks bills while I write the next book. And that makes me happy enough, for now.

Between the two titles, my name adorns over 16,000 books out in the wild. I'll gladly admit that more than 15,000 of those were free downloads. Which proves that you don't need to sell a lot of books to make a profit when you self-publish. (My publishing goals are modest; I'm sure I could sell far more if I invested in promotion, but my life is focused elsewhere right now.)

Not a wheelbarrow
My point is that you don't need a wheelbarrow full of cash to self publish a book, and I get really frustrated when I hear people spending thousands of dollars to do something I did for a couple hundred.

A writers group I know of, for example, expects to spend $10,000 to publish an anthology. They're not paying the authors; just the opposite: they're asking friends and family to chip in. It appears, from what I can discern, that the majority of this huge wheelbarrow of cash is going to the consultants who are helping the group self-publish their anthology.

Granted, they definitely need an editor. And they certainly need a cover designed. And they probably need a layout tech. I'm just having trouble adding that up to get to $10,000. Maybe they're planning one hell of a launch party.

Anyway, if you want to waste a ton of money self-publishing, just hire a consultant without understanding what, exactly, they're producing. Anyone who tells you that self-publishing is hard is probably trying to overcharge you, and anyone that tells you they can make your book successful for some fee is probably lying. There is no need to spend a bunch of money on consultants.

Meanwhile, I'm raking in the profits like the guy who cleans coins out of the fountain at the Motel 6 in Soledad. Admit it. You wish you were me.

Not sold out. Copies still available.
The third book will be out in the first half of 2014.
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