13 March 2013

Making Money from Writing

If you sign up for this blog I'll be letting you in on the closest guarded secrets of the publishing industry.
How much money can I make from publishing?
How much can I earn from my novel?

Watch this space for a day by day financial update!

This is Newcastle Crown Court. It's been my home from home for the last six weeks.
The problem with being involved in a big trial like this one is that it takes over your life. It's not just the living away from home, it's the constant immersion in the process and the constant welter of information that has to be dealt with. As an expert witness, I have barristers giving me 'homework' each evening, writing notes for them on the technical aspects of the case and commenting on evidence that has arisen during the course of the proceedings.

Now, though, I'm finally released by the court and able to get back to something approaching normality.

I did promise to reveal to you the amount of money I have earned from writing. Don't worry, I keep my promises. You'll be given the exact amount any moment now.

But first, let me remind you and myself (my head's still full of evidence) of the financial situation so far.

Writing Due Diligence cost about £12,000 in time and expenses.
Then I added in overheads of £35,000 which have to be split between the three books in the series.

So, Due Diligence needs to earn £24,000 to break even. At £2.99 (ebook price) if the publisher gets £2 and gives me £1 it has to sell 24,000 copies. That sounds like quite a lot! Over two years it's an average of 40 per day. With a decent marketing campaign, and one that's sustained throughout the period, maybe it's possible, I really don't know. It's a really good book, so I have to trust that readers will appreciate it.

That's where a publisher comes in. Marketing. Being able to create some visibility for Due Diligence and keeping that going. Open Circle and I will need all the help we can get to make things work but a strategy has been developed and I'm going to keep you informed all the way through.

Writers can help each other with sales. It's not a competitive sport, readers are going to buy many more books in a year than a dozen of us can possibly write. We should band together, cooperate, put aside any pettiness or jealousy and sing each other's praises at every opportunity.

Writing, self-publishing and hoping for the best isn't going to get the kind of sales figures we need.

Next time I'll be telling you about the marketing strategy and the other writers that are putting in their time and effort on my behalf.

As for earnings:
The total amount I have earned so far is £50 from a runner-up prize in a national short story competition. I'll not be getting rich from short stories either.