For many people, becoming a published author is a lifelong dream. But while being an author might seem glamorous to many, it can be pretty challenging to get a book published. Furthermore, making significant money on that book can be even more difficult. This article will discuss the publishing process, how you can get your own book published, and how you can make money on the book you publish. So, if you have ever wanted to make money writing, keep reading to find out ways that it can actually be profitable.
Why Is It So Difficult to Write A Book?
It’s hard to predict what will sell well and what people will want to read. The public is fickle. Like a movie, people can either love a book or absolutely hate it. That might have nothing to do with the quality of your writing, either. Sometimes, it’s all about other people’s tastes. Also, publishing a book requires a lot of words, usually written over a long time. At the absolute minimum, a book might be 50,000 words. Fifty thousand words is a daunting project, regardless of the genre or subject matter.
How Much Do Authors Make On Books?
Historically, authors haven’t made much money on their books unless they become wildly successful. Typically published authors make between five to 20 percent in royalties on printed books (depending on their deal). For ebooks, it’s around 25 percent. And it can be anywhere between 10 and 20 percent on audiobooks.
However, as a newer author, you may not make anywhere close to the higher end of the scale for publishing royalties. Depending on your deal, you may get a cash advance for selling your book. Then, every time your book is purchased, you will receive a portion of the sale. But if your book doesn’t sell well, you simply won’t make much money.
Why Are Royalties So Low?
Royalties are so low for published authors because of all the people a book must go through to be published and sold. For starters, your publisher needs to cover the financial risks they incur if your book doesn’t sell. When they print your books, they need to be able to make enough money back to make a profit. If your books don’t sell, your publisher loses money. Additionally, after the book is printed, the publisher must offer booksellers a discount so they can make a profit too. All these costs are why authors may only make 10 percent profit on each book sold.
How to Write Books
So we’ve discussed how much money authors have traditionally made on published books. But now, we can talk about how to actually write and publish a book that makes money. While there’s no perfect method to writing a book that will become a bestseller, there are many things you can do to tip the scales in your favor. From brainstorming your plot to finding a publisher, the following tips may help you become a more financially successful author.
Write Books People Want to Read
This tip might seem obvious, but there is something to be said about writing the kinds of books that people want to read. What are the current genres and themes that are becoming bestsellers? Are readers currently into crime thrillers or dramatic romances? Rather than just opting for the genre or subject matter you want to write the most, research what people are currently reading. Then, see if you can tailor your story to fit the topic. You may be shooting yourself in the foot by trying to write a bestseller in a genre that no one is interested in right now.
Similar to the last tip, it’s essential to think “evergreen” when it comes to your book. While you can’t always know whether the subject matter you’re writing about will be popular or not, try to write about subjects, characters, and plot lines that can age gracefully or be “evergreen.” This means people can read them for many years to come, and they will still be applicable. For example, don’t write about current trends, apps, or things that will likely phase out in the next few years. Instead, try to keep your story applicable to those living 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future. After all, we still read many great books that were written hundreds of years ago today.
Write Within Multiple Genres
While knowing which genres are trending for readers is essential, it’s also important to recognize that your book can cross multiple genres without making the story too complicated. For example, if the most popular genres on the bestseller list are horror and romance, there’s no reason you can’t marry the two to create your own amazing story. In addition, writing within multiple genres opens up your plot to more audiences who would usually not be open to reading your book. Writing within multiple genres also helps make your story more dynamic and less expected from readers.
Grow Your Contacts/Mailing List
When you have to market yourself and your book (sometimes without the aid of a publisher), building your own contact list as much as possible is essential. As you get closer to the publishing date of your book (and even after your book is published), market yourself on social media, create a mailing list, and build your contacts as much as possible to get people excited about your book release. If people already know you (whether through social media or real life), they will be more likely to purchase your book and want to read it.
Self-Publish on Amazon
Self-publishing on Amazon is one way writers make money these days, as self-publishing allows you to keep much more of the royalties as an author. Amazon self-publishing has leveled the playing field for many authors, allowing them to earn 60 percent of their listing price as royalties, exponentially more than the 10 to 20 percent offered by traditional publishers like Random House.
Amazon self-publishing also makes it easier to spot the “gaps” in the market by looking at trending topics and subjects and seeing what is currently not being covered by the Amazon Books market. Also, Amazon self-publishing allows you to write much shorter books and charge less for them, meaning you don’t need to meet that intimidating 50,000-word count. Instead, you might write a book that’s only 20,000 words and charge $2.99.
Ask For Help
If you really want to publish your own book, there’s no shame in asking for advice. Whether it’s from an individual author, a publisher, or a representative you know working in publishing, people inside the industry can have some great insight about how to make your book shine. Reach out to local authors and figure out how they got started. Ask your friends to hold you accountable or have work sessions with you. Whatever you need to do to get your book finished, make it happen!
Other Ways To Make Extra Money
If you don’t feel like you have a book in you, that’s okay. There are still plenty of profitable side hustles out there! Some of these include:
- Online Surveys for Money
- Food Delivery
- Selling Digital Products
- Pet Sitting/Dog Walking
- Creating Online Courses
- Renting Out Your Car