TL:DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) – No, self-publishing did not make me rich and chances are it won’t make you rich either. But that’s not why I did it and here’s how it can change your life.
When I first set off into the Year of Purpose Podcast and the world of online businesses, I never had the intention of monetizing it and still to this day, it isn’t the reason why I’m able to put food on my table.
As most of you know, I have a video production company and it is 99.9% of my income.
But I wanted to share an open and honest look into my income from the Year of Purpose Podcast.
As of writing this, it’s February 9th, meaning I’m just one year and one month from having launched my first book, Life Re-Scripted.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the entire process of writing this book and I have learned so many things along the way that will allow me to make my next book even bigger and better.
So let’s start off with a transparent look right into how much my book paid me…
For starters, I did a book launch party when we first went live. I originally was planning to have 20 of my closest friends and relatives but it quickly grew.
It grew so much that we had 56 people buy tickets in advance of my event for a total of $1,028.79 and you can see the numbers right here:
For that event, I bought a box of 100 copies of my book from Createspace.com (Amazon’s self publishing wing that prints my books on demand) for a total of $351.46 and I bought 60 t-shirts for the event at $6 a piece for a total of $360.
When you subtract the cost of the books and the t-shirts you are left with $317.33 in profit.
I also bought a couple bottles of wine and a small cheese plate for the event AND paid a photographer to shoot photos.
I may have walked away with $200 in my pocket for the launch event when all was said and done. Let’s say $200 for the sake of numbers right now is my takeaway from the launch party.
Once the book launched on Amazon, there were three different places you could buy. Paperback via Amazon Createspace, Kindle via the Amazon KDP store and Audible Audiobook via ACX.
One year into my book being available for sales here are the totals:
Createspace Paperback: $308.35
*This does not include the 100 books I bought for the launch party
This leaves my total profit one year later (including book launch party profits) at approximately $1,001.40
To be really honest about where the profit is, it’s only fair that I include a few other things I spent money on.
Here are my expenses for getting the book made:
Book Cover Design: $316.07 (I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact I highly recommend Ida from IF Design for any book cover she is phenomenal)
Book Formatting (Print/Kindle): $150
- This was from a provider on Upwork.com that I had a hard time getting hold of 3/4 of the way through. She did a great job but communication was poor towards the end. Be sure to give yourself time and hire someone who does the formatting manually. Some people try to pass your content through an automated software which doesn’t work properly and say that they did it manually. The only way to know is if you hire someone who does the full layout in Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator.
Book Editor/Proofreader: $150
- Again, this was a provider from Upwork.com and I had a mediocre experience. I would say plan on budgeting closer to $500 to properly format and proofread your book. Still to this day some words are misspelled that she should have caught.
Self Publishing School Course: $597
- This was a fantastic investment. I have to give Chandler Bolt some serious credit here from episode 24 of the Year of Purpose Podcast (Listen Here) this course was worth every penny and more. I couldn’t have done it without his course. If you want to start with the free How To Self Publish Course you can click here.
So how much did I spend on getting the book into existence? $1,213.07 and how much did I make off of the book? $1,001.40 which leaves me at a deficit of -$211.67
Some might see that as a complete failure. I see it as a complete success and here’s why…
I couldn’t tell you how many interactions I’ve had over the last 12 months where I’ve been able to use my book as a platform and a networking conversation starter.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been invited to speak in front of a crowd whether it was 3 people or 300 people.
I couldn’t tell you how many people all over the world have written in to me telling me how they changed their life because they read my book.
And lastly, I couldn’t tell you how many people’s lives will be impacted because someone was inspired by my story made a change in their life.
But I know that it happened.
I know that there are high schoolers out there who are getting ready to go into college and might change their major because of it. I know that some of them might decide it’s ok to drop out and become an entrepreneur. I know that someone out there might become a doctor and cure a disease that has been incurable up until now. I know that there are members of my fraternity that heard me speak and have been inspired to interview hundreds of people just as I have so that they too can determine their path to success. I know that I have siblings that look up to me now more than ever.
I know that I made a difference.
So why self publish a book if you’re just going to lose money?
My question to you is why not?
If you have a message or a story and there’s an audience out there willing to learn a lesson or two then go do it.