When it comes to self-publishing, many people wonder if there is any real money in it. Can you make a living self-publishing your books is a common question asked by those new to self-publishing. The truth is, there is actually a great deal of money to be made with self-publishing, and some people have ended up selling enough books to make seven figures. Even for those authors who do not strike it rich and earn millions, there is a decent chance of making a good living from writing and self-publishing your books. But to understand these self-publishing success stories, you have to understand a few things about traditional publishing.
First of all, to dispel a popular myth, you should be aware that most traditionally published authors are just scraping by. The James Pattersons, JK Rowlings and Stephen Kings of the world are only a tiny percentage of the number of books published. The average traditionally published author may be able to earn enough from book sales and advances to support their family, but the truth is that most of them have second jobs.
Many traditionally published authors are teachers, teaching writing, English or some other subject entirely, while others have jobs completely unrelated to writing or reading. There are lots of people that work in the book publishing industry is editors, agents and graphic designers that are not making enough from their traditionally published books to earn a living; so the take away here is that whether you publish traditionally or you self-publish, you are still going to have to work hard and you may have to supplement your income and other ways until you become successful.
You definitely want to pursue self-publishing though. Self-publishing pays more royalties than traditional publishing does, and with today’s platforms and promotional opportunities, you can get just as much exposure for a self-published book as you can for one that is traditionally published. Even if you traditionally published, bookstores have to order your book from the Ingram catalog before it is on the shelf. If your publisher has done a great job with your listing, this is definitely a possibility, but it is not guaranteed.
On the other hand, when you self-publish, you have all of the control when it comes to promotion. It is much more difficult to get a self-published book into the Ingram catalog, as well as the other industry listings, but it is not impossible and the benefit is that you design your own listing and you are in charge of other things as well that can make or break your book. For example, you will be in control of cover design, the blurb that appears on Amazon and other retailers and you will decide when, where and how to promote your book.
There is just as much money in self-publishing as there is in traditional publishing. When you get published traditionally, you do have a slightly easier time getting the word out there, but there are benefits to going the self-published route as well.