A book will cost you money
Self-publishing a quality book is not free.
I said ‘quality’, because I think it’s only worth creating something of quality.
You don’t need to write a Pulitzer Prize winner, but it needs to be worthy.
And that costs money.
You may not engage a coach to help you write it, but you will need a professional book cover design (please don’t DIY that), and multiple professional edits. If you are handy with tech, then you can probably format and upload it yourself, but if not, you’ll need to pay for this too.
I would budget close to AU$10,000 (approx. US$6,500) for the editing and publishing phase of your book. If you want to work with a book coach like me, then you need to double that investment, because you will get so much more, including private, weekly guidance and writing feedback, an editing/publishing project manager, ISBNs/barcode, formatting, uploading and more. You will always know exactly what to do
This might sound like a lot, and that brings us back to aligning the book with a business. If you’re a high ticket coach or consultant, you can easily earn this money from one or two clients. If you are a professional speaker, you can earn this from one 40-minute speaking gig. I have clients who charge up to US$25,000 for a 40-minute keynote. It’s definitely possible, and I have a business partner who helps people find paid and unpaid speaking gigs (to large audiences, full of your ideal client).
If you don’t have a business, and you’re relying on book sales, getting a return on this investment will take a long time. In fact, you will, in all likelihood, never achieve it.
For example, if you are getting an average of approximately $3-5 profit on each book (assuming you are selling for $4-5 for the ebook and $15 for the paperback) – you will need to sell between 2,000 and 3,500 books just to break even.
Most self-published authors sell less than 100 books.
If you have 1000 Facebook friends, it’s safe to say that less than 50 of them will buy your book, and even then, you’ll need to give them a compelling reason if it’s just your opinion, your life story, or something you whipped up about a very specific topic.
I have had some clients write a book as a ‘bucket list item’, and they are willing to invest in achieving their dream – but for most people, it does need to tie into a business goal in order to justify the investment.