Jenny Meyer, Negosentro | Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly popular method for budding authors to get their publications noticed, especially if their writings have been rejected by publishers in the past.
There are a number of reasons why self-publishing may suit you over traditional publishing. One of the most important is probably creative control; you can edit, re-title or re-cover your work without having to gain permission.
Royalties tend to be higher too, with self-publishers gaining around 70% of profits rather than the traditional rate of 7-25%.
If you think the sky’s the limit for your content, then self-publishing allows you to maintain the rights to your book no matter where in the world it is sold.
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? So how difficult is it to achieve the income required to sustain your lifestyle as an author? It can be a tough start to your career and can take time to perfect. For some it can take over 10 years to achieve and some may only ever achieve a modest income from their publications.
Money Pod have conducted some research to find out the differences between authors who earn a $10,000 salary per year and those who make over $100,000 annually.
It’s a well-known belief that success doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time to achieve. But does the same apply to self-published authors? The research shows that 12% of authors achieved earnings of over $10k within their first year, while nobody achieved $100k. The largest proportion of authors earning the higher amount was between three and five years since their first publication, with 48%. So those wanting to hit the big time should expect to have to keep grafting after their first publication.
What about the time spent working on different parts of the book; does this vary between the higher and lower earners? According to the research, those earning $100k annually spend nearly 34 hours per week writing, whereas the lower earners spend almost 20 hours per week on it. The higher earners also dedicate more time to the publishing side of the business – over 33 hours per week compared to just seven hours per week for the lower earners. So perhaps unsurprisingly, the more time you spend writing and publishing, the more you benefit financially.
Take a look at the infographic below to see all the differences between authors who earn $100k annually and those who earn $10k. Who knows, it may help you hone your skills and become a more financially successful self-published author.