Tuesday, October 18, 2011

....E-Book Economics

        “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” 

A fair number of e-book authors are opening up about sales figures and income generation.  A once taboo subject in the writing world...
I have blogged about the many advantages of never seeking to be published in paper, so I won't belabor that point. I did think I mentioned at one time or other that to earn the same living as a senior teacher in Ontario, a writer would have to write a Canadian bestseller every month of the year (for the first year--there are residual and foreign sales that come later).

So, I will outline my sales results for my three books so far published and my expenses in producing them (excluding my labor).  I have about $2000 invested in each book for editing, cover design, translation into e-languages and distribution. They have been on sale for various lengths of time, and the production money has been invested for various lengths of time too, so time is a wash.

I have a modest amount of other money invested, thank heavens, no longer in the stock market, and it is earning 1.23% interest. The money I have invested in e-books is, so far, earning me four times that percentage.  I am, in fact, earning more than four times as much, since the only sales figures I have on hand are for Amazon/Kindle and for my private sales site, MyBookOrders.  All the rest of the sales figures from Sony, Apple, Kobo and the many other sites on which I sell books, only come out quarterly. I have not been selling books for three months yet, only two, so I have no info.

Now for those of you who are math wizards, at a 6% return on capital, I would have to invest $300,000 in e-books to crack the Canadian poverty level of $18,000 yearly for a single person.  That means having 150 books up at the current rate of sale. Only 146 left to go to achieve a poverty level income from writing...  

I had better get busy writing and YOU had better get busy buying my books! Thank you.

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