Many people are curious to hear how this venture has worked out so far.
First, let me say that I am very pleased to have total control over the marketing and production of my book. Most publishers do nothing to market your book. Their technical facilities are less advanced than the Print-on-Demand service I use (version 1.1 took 10 minutes/one day/one week for PDF/Kindle/paperback versions).
Second, the book would not have been possible without the massive support of you readers and the very special people who helped with editing and detailed feedback. FYI, this (slightly dated) book helped me with the publishing process; this blog post offers useful tips on Kindle publishing.
Third, the financial model also appears to be much better for me.
Let's get into those details (everyone wants NUMBERS!)
- Since June, I have printed 650 copies and distributed 620 copies. Of these 620 copies, 470 (75%) were paid for; the rest I gave away (mostly to thank contributors).
- I make $7-9 on paperbacks that sell for $20 on Amazon or $15 direct.
- I make about $7 on Kindle copies that sell for $9.99 on Amazon.
- I make about $9 on PDF copies that I sell for $10 via e-junkie.
- These numbers and the distribution of copies (sold and free) across channels (below) mean that I have just about broken even on the CASH cost of producing the book. Further sales reward me and fuel my ambitions (hint!)
- MOST books were direct distributed (book signings, teaching, etc.), which is great for meeting readers but tough in terms of moving volumes. I need to increase indirect (online) distribution.
- My cash costs were low since friends helped with the production; I did my own typesetting and index. (We weren't perfect -- there were some typos.)
- There were also non-cash costs (my time! my blood pressure!) but also non-sales benefits (speaking fees, invitations to talk about water, happiness). These "indirect" benefits are a huge bonus on a book that's not even a loss leader :)
Bottom Line: I am very happy I put this book together; it's working out really well. If you liked it, please leave a review to encourage others to read it. If you haven't read it, then order up!
Next week, the macroeconomics of publishing