I was touring Twitter the other day and read several tweets about authors who have kindled their books on Amazon. I tweeted one author and asked her how she expected to make any money with her book selling for only .99 cents. She graciously replied, “By selling lots and lots of books. LOL”
OK, let me do the math. Out of .99 cents, the author may make .30 cents. Our author would have to sell 3000 books to make $900.00 and probably 33% of that would go to taxes. That leaves her approximately $550.00 not counting the time, effort, publishing costs and other costs to numerous to mention.
I don’t think anyone but an author would have any idea how hard it is to sell 3000 books. It is a monumental task accomplished by a very small number of newbie authors. Obviously our author would have to sell tens of thousands of books to become financially successful writing for a living using Kindle. Selling 3000 books for retail at Barnes & Noble or Amazon would be even more of a challenge because of the higher cost of the book and shipping charges.
Therein begs the question: why would anyone in their right mind try to write a novel, let alone self-publish it in the first place? I have asked myself the same question many times in the last three years; why indeed? I believe at last I have some answers that may or may not have any validity depending on your point of view.
I would have never believed that I was a self-centered, egotistical type of person until my first novel was published 5 years ago. After receiving my author’s copies and seeing my book on Amazon, it became evident that I was indeed both and not ashamed of these facts. How could this be? I was just an unemployed construction worker trying to figure out a way to make some kind of living other than unemployment.
After my second book was published, I could hardly contain myself. I don’t think I acted conceited, but if pride were money, I could have retired that very moment. All this ego was tempered by the fact that selling the books was going to rival anything I ever accomplished while in construction. How prophetic that outlook turned out to be!
About the time I needed to sell a ton of books, the economy hit rock bottom. It was like trying to sell gold to a beggar on the streets, which was and still is how it feels sometimes. At least I wasn’t alone in my anguish. I had Facebook and Twitter friends trying to do anything and everything to sell their worthy books, but with little results.
It appeared that the key to success was to already have a fortune to spend on promotions that cost an arm and a leg. Even with big bucks invested, there is no guarantee of success unless you could score a high-powered agent from New York or Hollywood, which is what they promise if you dish out the cash. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.
So why am I still putting out a blog every day on Facebook and Twitter along with promoting my books like a wild banshee while finishing my third novel? It is because I am hooked on being an author that’s why! The whole concept is like legal opiates. I am hooked and I can’t quit, even if I wanted to, which I don’t. I am an author junky, shunned by society and overlooked by traditional publishers.
When the whole vicious cycle gets to me, I go online and see my books on Amazon. It rejuvenates me and I immediately dig into the box in my office that holds copies of my books. I read the author’s profile for the umpteenth time while scanning five-star reviews on Amazon. See what I mean? It’s all ego; I know it and I like it so much – give me more!
I’m just saying,