Self-Publishing Update: Well, I’ve Finally Spent More Than I’ve Earned

Sales/Expenses Since April 22

Books sold: 5 ebooks (Amazon), 10 paperbacks

Money earned: $213.60

Money spent: $1,978.42

Total

Books sold: 382 ebooks, 157 paperbacks

Volume 2 pre-orders: 35

Money earned (book sales): $1,619.28

Money earned (Patreon): $6,909

Money spent: $9,540.32


We’re now at the point where I’ve spent more money on The Biographies of Ordinary People than I’ve earned from it — which should mean that it’s time to stop spending, but it takes a little bit of money to get a book published (I still need to order two cases of books from IngramSpark, for example, to give to bookstores that sell via consignment), plus the expenses of going on tour.

It should also be pretty obvious that the Patreon money was the big reason why I turned any profit on Volume 1; if I hadn’t had the support of a group of readers, I’d be way way way way into the red by now.

I do anticipate earning money on both Volume 2 book sales and the courses I’m teaching while I’m on book tour, but I don’t anticipate earning more than it’ll cost to go on the 10-day tour — and yes, I could have chopped those 10 days down to 7 if I’d been more willing to trust that all the planes would get me to all the places on time, but flying out of Cedar Rapids often means delays, and flying in and out of Juneau can mean additional delays, so I built in a few buffer days.

On the plus side, those buffer days will enable me to keep up my full-time freelance workload while traveling, so I won’t lose any money that way. Plus, the whole thing will be a tax deduction — and, more importantly, it’ll be an opportunity to meet readers, teach students, see friends, and build connections with bookstores and writing centers.


So where will I be, on this ten-day tour?

  • Tuesday, June 5: Teaching “The Finances of Self-Publishing” at Seattle’s Hugo House. 6-9 p.m. Sign up here.
  • Wednesday, June 6: Reading and signing at Seattle’s Phinney Books. 7-8 p.m. Facebook it here.
  • Friday, June 8: Reading and signing at Portland’s Another Read Through. 7-8 p.m. Facebook it here.
  • Sunday, June 10: Reading and signing at Juneau’s Rainy Retreat Books, with music from Marian Call and Laura Zahasky! 5-6 p.m. Facebook it here.
  • Monday, June 11: Teaching “Getting Started as a Freelancer” at Juneau’s 49 Writers. 6:30-9 p.m. Sign up here.

There’ll be a few more local events to announce this summer, starting with the Next Page Books book club in Cedar Rapids! If you’re available on Tuesday, May 15 at 7 p.m., we’ll be discussing The Biographies of Ordinary People, Volume 1.

Am I planning any readings on the East Coast? Well… the next time I’m on that side of the country, I’ll definitely look for an interested bookstore! But I’m not currently planning a multi-day tour. (See “gotta make sure I don’t go too far into the red,” above.)


I also wanted to share a couple of recent accolades:

  • The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1 was an IndieReader Best Reviewed Book of April!
  • Kirkus selected The Biographies of Ordinary People as one of the 35 indie reviews to be featured in its May 15th issue!

Plus, I got to hold, review, and sign off on the print proof, which means you will be able to start ordering paperback copies soon. ❤

Photo credit: Abby Lanes, CC BY 2.0.

 

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