How to Make Money As a Self-Published Author

In 2008, for the first time in history, more
books were self-published than those published traditionally. But, what exactly does it mean
to be a self-published author? The invention of printing was the catalyst
that allowed anyone to consume information. And it all started in China during the 6th
century in the form of block printing. But it wasn’t until the invention of the
printing press that we were able to share large amounts of information quickly and in
big numbers. This also gave rise to many self-published authors like Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. So what exactly is self-publishing?
Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an
established publisher. Whether it’s a drama or a love story,
with millions of readers at your disposal, how can you get your book in front of their
eyes and make a profit? Over the years there has been a massive shift
in self-publishing due to a swift increase in technology and the invention
of the Internet. This created a swing from analog to digital tech with e-books and audiobooks
coming to fruition. With e-books, you don’t have to write full-length
novels. People generally write 20,000 to 50,000 word books and then sell them for whatever
they think is fair. Their dream is to sell sell a million copies and collect the cash. Audiobooks are another way for self-published
authors to generate income. Many read their own works, but if you’re one of those that
cringes when they hear their own voice recorded, you can hire professional narrators for that
sweet sound. Still, there are those that prefer the bliss of holding a physical book. So,
what if a paperback or hardcover novel is what you’re trying to produce? Get familiar
with Print-On-Demand technology, where you upload a manuscript and print as needed. This
reduces the risk of being stuck with unsold inventory. Now, let’s look at the differences between
publishing houses and self-publishing. A multinational-owned publishing house purchases
the book’s rights from the author and covers all the publishing-related expenses. The author
will then receive royalties and usually an advance. These larger companies have the upper
hand of getting into regular bookstores, but usually only sign authors with mainstream
appeal. Then there are independent houses. They are
not part of a large conglomerate and have more freedom. Since they are smaller, they
can cater to a niche market. “It’s just kind of like a more intimate
relationship that we’re able to give our authors than larger publishing houses do.
This is not just like a financial interaction for us. We know this book could really make a
difference in someone’s life.” In self-publishing, you’re pretty much putting
up all the funds – but you get to keep all the profits. The fees to publish your book
can range anywhere from $1,000 to $18,000. This usually includes cover design, editing,
formatting, promotion and tools such as building a website. An audiobook can run you anywhere
from $300 to $3,000 depending if you have multiple characters and need different voices. In 2017, the median pay for authors worked
out to be around $20,000. And when you break it down further for self-published authors,
they make an average of $3,000 for every book they release. But those who ranked in the
top 10 made an annual salary of $154,000. Let’s be real, not every book you write
is going to be a bestseller, but all you need is one big hit. The self-publishing industry is definitely
reaching new heights with the amount of books being produced. In 2017, over one million
titles were self-published in the U.S., compared to 300,000 traditional titles. “If you have a story, if you have a vision,
if you have something you’re passionate about you can get it out there in such a short amount
of time that really the barriers to entry is just how much drive and determination you
have and obviously a good internet access. It’s wonderful because it gives everyone
a voice now.” And with all the different ways to publish
your works, you’re in control of cashing in on your own happily ever after.

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