Is writing a book profitable? It certainly can be, especially for an established author. For those who get published with a traditional publishing house, there can be advance payments that reach into the thousands, and royalties for years to come.
For the self-published author, life can be a little different. There is still money to be made, but there is no up-front payment. You may even need to make an investment if you want to sell physical copies of your books and will need somewhere to store them.
If you choose to use e-books or a print-on-demand service (such as those offered by Amazon) you don’t have to worry about any of this. Digital copies are always readily available and require no physical inventory, and print-on-demand allows copies to be sent worldwide, again without a physical inventory.
The difference is simply the cost. If you order 1000 copies of a book to be printed from a traditional printer company, it will cost you – as the author – far less than buying 1000 copies from a print on demand service.
This is because the cost of set-up and printing is built into the print-on-demand price. Your customers who buy one or two books will not be affected, but you’ll see a lower profit per book with print-on-demand.
The upside is there is no investment needed, no storage required for physical books, and no stock let over if you don’t sell as many copies as anticipated.
Can writing a book make you money?
There are two reasons to write a book. The first is simply because you want to – perhaps you have a story you need to tell, it’s something you’ve wanted to do for years, etc. The second is because you want to make money.
Is writing a book profitable if you’re only in it for fun? It can be, and sometimes more profitable than when you write with money in mind.
Telling a story or writing a factual book about your experiences, or even a guide on how to do something can be fun. You can get lost in the writing process and spend hour after hour typing away, barely aware of time as it passes.
If you’re doing it purely to make money, you may find that time drags, and it becomes hard going. But however you cross the finish line, there’s good news up ahead.
Writing a book
Writing a book can be a very rewarding experience, both financially and emotionally. But it is important to remember that it is not always easy money. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion to succeed as an author. So if you’re looking to get rich quick, writing might not be the best option for you. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be a very rewarding career.
How to make money from writing
The important question! How DO you make money from writing? Here are a few options:
1. Traditional publishing – This is the most common way for authors to make money. You write your book and then submit it to a publisher. If they like it, they will offer you a contract and an advance. Once your book is published, you will receive royalties on each copy that is sold.
2. Self-publishing – This option has become more popular in recent years with the advent of digital publishing. With this option, you retain all the rights to your book and can publish it yourself. You will need to invest in some editing and cover design, but you will keep a much higher percentage of the profits.
3. eBook sales – If you self-publish, you can also make money by selling your book as an eBook. This is a great option if you want to reach a global audience and don’t want to deal with the hassle of printing and shipping physical copies.
4. Speaking engagements – Once you have published a book, you can also make money by speaking at events and workshops. This is a great way to promote your book and build your brand.
5. Consulting – If you have expertise in a particular area, you can also make money by consulting. This could involve writing articles, blog posts, or even teaching courses.
So, as you can see, there are a number of ways to make money from writing.
How much does an author make?
The amount of money an author makes depends on a number of factors, including the type of book, the publisher, the author’s advance, royalties, and speaking engagements.
For a traditional publishing contract, an author will usually receive an advance against royalties. This means that the author will get a certain amount of money upfront, and then will receive royalties on each book that is sold. The advance will vary depending on the publisher, the type of book, and the author’s reputation. For a first-time author, the advance is usually around $5,000-$10,000. For a more established author, it can be much higher.
After the advance is paid, the author will then start to receive royalties on each book that is sold. The royalty rate will vary depending on the publisher, but is typically around 10-15%. This means that for every $10 book that is sold, the author will make $1-$1.50.
Is writing a book profitable if it takes a long time to write?
If you have never written a book before, it’s likely to be a side project and not your main source of income. Leaving your job to become a full-time author can be a mistake unless you have the finance available to fund your life for several months or longer.
The problem is, even if a book only takes a few weeks to write, if you sell it via an on-demand service you won’t get paid straight away. Plus, you need to sell enough copies to make it worthwhile.
Can writing a book be profitable? Of course – but making a single cent or penny is considered profit, so profitable isn’t necessarily the right way to look at it.
Writing a book can replace your income if you sell thousands of copies. When I wrote my first book, The Ghost Under The Stairs, it was moderately successful. It didn’t sell millions of copies to begin with, but it did help me to pay the mortgage.
The great thing about writing a book is that once it is written, it’s written. If you spent 100 hours to get it finished, and then sell a single copy that makes you $1, you’ve effectively been working for a cent an hour.
But here’s the important part.
You can sell another copy with no extra writing work. And then another. And another.
When you’ve sold 100 copies, you’ve made $100, and have worked for $1 an hour. The more you sell, the higher this figure goes.
You’ll need to take care of social media, advertising, running your website, and that kind of thing, but eventually, the book sales will put you on an hourly rate that can be quite extraordinary. These kinds of results cannot be guaranteed, but whatever happens, every copy you sell will add to the profit you can make from your book.
And if you write a second book, and a third, the potential income increases with every publication.
Writing for a living
Making a living as a writer is possible, but it’s not always easy. There are a number of factors that will affect how much money you can make, including the type of writing you do, the market for your work, and your experience level.
As a general rule, the more specialized your writing is, the less money you will make. For example, a novelist will make less money than a copywriter. And a copywriter will make less money than a technical writer. This is because there are fewer markets for novels, and more demand for copywriters and technical writers.
Experience level is also a factor. A beginner writer will make less money than an experienced writer. This is because experienced writers have a better understanding of the market and know how to sell their work.
So, if you’re looking to make a living as a writer, it’s important to be realistic. It is possible to make a good living as a writer, but it will take time, effort, and perseverance.
And writing novels isn’t the be-all and end-all!
Will you write a book for fun…or for profit?
Make money writing short stories
One way to make money as a writer is to write short stories and sell them to magazines. This can be a great way to get your work out there and earn some extra cash.
There are a number of different markets for short stories, so it’s important to do your research and find the right one for your work. You can also approach magazines directly and pitch them your story.
Another option is to enter short story competitions. These usually have cash prizes, and can be a great way to get your work noticed.
Make money writing articles
If you’re not interested in writing novels or short stories, another option is to write articles for magazines and websites. This is a great way to earn some extra money, and you can usually write about whatever you want.
Make money writing blog posts
Another option for making money as a writer is to write blog posts for businesses and individuals. This is a great way to get your work out there and earn some extra cash.
There are a number of different markets for blog posts, so it’s important to find the right one for your work. You can also approach businesses and individuals directly and pitch them your blog post.
Make money ghostwriting
Ghostwriting is another option for making money as a writer. This is where you write something for someone else, and they get all the credit. It’s a great way to earn some extra cash, and you can usually choose your own projects.
However, keep in mind that the “experts” you see on the internet may not have written anything you are reading!
Make money editing and proofreading
If you’re not interested in writing, another option is to offer your services as an editor or proofreader. You’ll need great command of the language, and be able to spot errors easily.
Make money teaching writing
If you’re looking to make a bit more money, another option is to teach writing classes. This is a great way to share your knowledge and help others, especially those who are struggling to get started.
Teaching classes can be done in person or online, and there are a number of different platforms you can use to find students.
Making a living as a writer is possible, but it’s not always easy. There are several related aspects of the industry that you might want to consider.
Writing can be rewarding in many ways, but financial rewards can be the most difficult to achieve. It’s important to be realistic about your expectations, and to be prepared to work hard to achieve them.
Whether you’re interested in writing articles, blog posts, short stories, or novels, there’s a market for your work. It’s just a matter of finding it!
One final piece of advice: don’t give up! Making a living as a writer takes time, effort, and perseverance. But if you stick with it, you can achieve your dreams.