PDA

View Full Version : The economics of digital self-publishing?



filwi
01-28-2015, 01:09 AM
I'm curious about the economics of self-publishing, specifically digital self publishing. If anyone's got any numbers, or links to people who specify time spent and incomes (especially the proportion of writing to editing to business) I'd be very grateful.

Also, if you've got anything on the economics of short story self-publishing (not publishing collections but actual short stories), I'd be even more grateful.

Polenth
01-28-2015, 01:56 AM
This forum has an index of self-publishing diaries, which includes sales, money spent, etc.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=225332

girlyswot
01-28-2015, 04:24 AM
It's going to be really hard to generalise because everyone's process is so different. For example, some self-publishers will hire in cover artists, editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, formatters, virtual assistants to set up publicity and promo, accountants or book-keepers and so on, so that they more or less just spend their own time writing and revising. Most will probably hire in some of that work but do some of it themselves according to their own skills and financial abilities. A few will literally do everything.

And the thing is there's very little correlation between time/money spent producing the book and the revenue it generates. Some books do really well and some don't. Some books with very high production values tank, and some produced on a shoestring make millions. It's probably true that the higher investment increases your chances of a higher yield, but there's no guarantee.

Abderian
01-28-2015, 06:37 AM
My writers' group recently published an anthology and it cost us literally nothing. Even the cover was the result of the kind donation of time by a professional photographer and a member's daughter. Now that we have generated some revenue that will be put into print copies and an editor for our next anthology (having edited the first between us).

Old Hack
01-28-2015, 12:22 PM
It might not have cost you anything in money but you've invested time in the book, Abderian. There's a value to that.

Abderian
02-04-2015, 09:28 AM
It might not have cost you anything in money but you've invested time in the book, Abderian. There's a value to that.

Every writer invests time in a book. Those who choose to go the traditional route spend hours crafting query letters, for example.

veinglory
02-04-2015, 09:36 AM
It is not a point made for or against any particular publishing model, just to say that one's time should be considered of value. That holds true regardless

WriterBN
02-04-2015, 10:37 PM
Also, if you've got anything on the economics of short story self-publishing (not publishing collections but actual short stories), I'd be even more grateful.

It's going to depend a lot on genre/category. However, I have a permafree short story out that gets a handful of downloads a day. I wouldn't try selling a standalone short story; collections do a bit better in my experience.

veinglory
02-04-2015, 11:05 PM
My collection sell less well than my novellas or novels, but it does sell from time to time

J. Tanner
02-05-2015, 06:36 AM
My experience republishing my previously published short stories is that I made more on the original sale of one of them than on digitally self-publishing the whole lot.

And Hugh Howey made a million on one novelette (and its sequels) he threw on Amazon as a lark.

Also, I know some who've lost money, but I won't name names there.

So, as they say, your mileage may vary...

(If you're making a decision about what to write based on economics, write novels in series in a popular genre. They're a hundred times plus more popular than short stories of any ilk.)