I took a snapshot of this graphic by Alan Grundy while perusing Delta’s inflight magazine over the weekend. You know, during that time where they make you turn off all your electronic devices for take off and landing.
iPad off. Delta magazine open. Ironic that I was reading an ebook.
Let’s address a few of it’s points today.
Aside from the personal investment of time, MS Word, and Adobe InDesign, my hard costs have been paying for a good editor ($400 per title, á la Sue Kenney), and CreateSpace’s Premium service (as opposed to their regular free service, which nets better royalties) at around $39 per title. Granted, this is for physical copies (CreateSpace), not ebooks. Spearhead absorbed my cover design costs by my team, but that would have been another $400 roughly (had I not done it myself) and hired it out. But again, that’s for a full print cover, not the smaller single page needed for ebooks; average cost for a good design is now under $150. And finally a conversion service (unless you want to deal with the headaches of doing it yourself). I’m using streetlightgraphics.com (who also do covers) for under $80/title for a package of Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords formats.
So I’m well under half the cost of the statistical average.
From all my study I have to say the price points listed above are not only correct, but where a self-published author (of any breed) should list. Remember, ebooks are forever, and that’s a very long time to sell on a global market. We’re trading price point for sheer volume to a world that will soon have a billion e-readers in their hands (Amazon’s Kindle is about to hit India).
As for the number of authors hitting the NYTBS list? Let me just say, who cares! The industry model has changed. The selling power of a legacy published book is usually 6 months with its peak lasting for less than 2. Recently I spoke with a friend who had his book hit #1. It lasted for a few weeks. Then it was gone. How many royalty checks did it earn? Yes, a nice big one. And then what? Nothing. The publisher has kept the rights, and it’s overpriced as an ebook, selling only a few copies a month (of which he sees next to nothing).
Much like Dave Ramsey’s “status symbol of choice” being the paid off mortgage, authors are finding keeping their world-wide rights at 70% forever is the highest status symbol they can get. Already my CreateSpace sales of The White Lion Chronicles are earning an extra $75/week for my family; I’m expecting the ebook sales, due out next month, to exceed that.
When my most recent royalty check came in from my legacy publisher my dad happened to be with me. It was a $700 check. He was really happy for me. Then I told him what it would have been had I sold the same number of books through CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing (numbers I’ve sold on your at my own merch table).
And the crazy part is, it wasn’t name recognition that sold those numbers with my publisher. It was me and my hard work (et all, Wayne). I should know. They had no budget for 4th quarter marketing and made me submit a list of what I was going to do. (Actually they only ever had $500 for first quarter marketing).
Time to feed my family, not a pig. Of course, I’m about to eat the pig anyways. ch: