Do you write for the money?

Do you only write for the money?

If you’ve joined the self-publishing Kindle, Amazon, Smashwords author frenzy and you think the road ahead is paved with gold, money and unending wealth, do not pass go and head directly back to your day job. There are just so many writers, almost writers and

There are just so many writers, almost writers and hardly writers at all now all clamouring for every reader’s $0.99. Unless you have written something exceptionally brilliant or tapped into a very hot niche, you’re just one in a million trying to be noticed. So time to get real.

Writing a book is about passion and wanting desperately to tell your story, not about money.  However, don’t stop writing, just forget about the fame and fortune bit; for now. If your story is well written, well edited, has a great cover, is brilliantly promoted and marketed and is exactly what readers are looking for, it will stand half a chance, otherwise just be thrilled with your achievement.

The book market is subjective and fickle. From my own experience, my favourite couple of books that I have written have been average sellers, while others I am not so in love with have sold very well. It’s a lottery when you place your books into the market. At the end of the day though, you’re a writer because you want to be read. So how do you get read?

In my mind, there are three factors. Price, price and great marketing.

A free book is a great way to introduce readers to your work. When I published Vandalism of Words, which is quite simply a compendium of about 140 of my (better) blog posts, I expected to sell (read give away) a few hundred copies. Well, after selling and giving away  1,000’s upon 1,000’s of copies it has become the absolute best way to introduce readers to my writing. Yes, often for free.

Then for the rest of my books, I have experimented with pricing. For paperbacks, it is relatively easy. Stay below $16.00 and you have a good chance of selling some books. Ebooks though are more complicated. From the standard $0.99 Amazon model, then over the Amazon enforced price void to $2.99 and above. After a lot of trial, error and experimenting my advice is – it really doesn’t matter. Oddly enough it manages to even out. I sell more books at $0.99 obviously, and less at a higher price. In the

Ebooks though are more complicated. From the standard $0.99 Amazon model, then over the Amazon enforced price void to $2.99 and above. After a lot of trial, error and experimenting my advice is – it really doesn’t matter. Oddly enough it manages to even out. I sell more books at $0.99 obviously, and less at a higher price. In the

After a lot of trial, error and experimenting my advice is – it really doesn’t matter. Oddly enough it manages to even out. I sell more books at $0.99 obviously, and less at a higher price. In the end, my monthly royalties remain about the same. So clearly the $0.99 pricing strategy will bring you more readers.

But even at $0.99 you still have to promote, promote, promote to keep your head above the pack. There are so many free options available but for a few dollars, you can get more focused marketing on sites such as Whizbuzz Books.

So good luck with making your book a bestseller. But in the meantime keep writing for the love of it.

Do You Write For The Money?

18 thoughts on “Do You Write For The Money?

  • 21/09/2011 at 10:13 am
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    ha. hahaha. hahahahahahahah.

    Writing for the money…

    hahaha.

    I’m writing because I finally found how enjoyable it is. At 50.

    I would like to think that after I’ve got a back catalogue of 10 or so books (4 down, 6 to go) I will be miraculously discovered and I will be able to spend the rest of my life writing as a primary career, but I’m realistic enough to know the odds are very slim.

    It’s just bloody fun.

  • 21/09/2011 at 11:06 am
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    To find a suitable environment conducive to apply oneself diligently to the art of writing is near impossible in the city.(sighs) Suppose it will make the end result that more meaningful.(shakes head doubtfully)*sings* If I was a rich man Ya ha deedle deedle bubba bubba deedle deedle dum(bows and leaves)

  • 19/09/2017 at 10:24 am
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    Great blog Derek. I think most authors do not expect to make much money – but like any sensible person, they also don’t like to lose much money……and that’s the grist in the mill for many newbie authors. Yes, its a wonderful achievement to get a first book written, edited (& illustrated in my case) and getting it out there – but like many, I learned then that was just 10% of the effort!

    Marketing and Promo seems a bigger effort (dare I say distraction) and is a considerable expense to new authors. After the initial costs of getting the book out there, its a constant dilemma to decide how much to invest in promo, and if indeed the promo offers any ROI or is just dead money. Whilst my writing was motivated by pure passion to share some real life massages, it takes thick skin and courage to invest heavily in marketing and promo. Plenty of blind faith required in this game!

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