All-Purpose Writing Thread!


Do you think?

I have always thought ebooks and self publishing was a great opportunity to find readers, even if it’s not the mega success of my dreams. I agree that it’s as hard as ever to support yourself with writing, but do you really think it’s the same as traditional publishing and its gatekeeper mentality?


I suspect he simply meant in terms of financial success it was similar. Either way you go you are not likely to make much money.

That said, if you enjoy writing why not self-pub? You may not make much but you may make something, and some writers do get lucky and make quite a bit.

I think if you had jumped on it when Amazon first opened the gates, you could have done well. Readers were hungry for new voices and cheap books, so a lot of those early writers made good money.


I have self published a few things under a fake name. The sales generally sucked, but not as bad as I thought. I did zero promotions. I also think having a larger body of work helps.

The chief problem with self publishing is to do it even sort of well requires an outlay for an editor and a cover designer. The cover design may not be bad. Some designers offer one-off designs that you can buy and plug in your info. But going through that process is a daunting and expensive task for the hobbyist writer.


I use this guy’s pre-made covers:

He is a designer and he’s pretty talented. It’s like $30 a cover, which is hard to get back in royalties alone, especially with one book, but it’s not that expensive that it’s out of reach. I usually wait for a sale, which he has a few times a year. The big downside of pre-made covers is that you can’t really illustrate the story you’ve written on the cover. You pretty much have to pick one that captures the thrust of your story, but not the particulars.

You can also do your own covers, which isn’t that hard, but it’s hard to do well.


Yes, exactly.

See the Bigfoot author cited earlier. I read reports where she was earning 5 figures in boom months. Yep, months. I’m pretty sure that’s correct, but I’m too lazy to google right now (and I’m at work).


It’s almost like playing the slots. Someone, sooner or later, is going to hit a jackpot. If you price your book at $3.99 you make $2.80 per sale. If you can manage to sell a few thousand you will make some nice money. Most writers enroll in Kindle Unlimited now and get paid by the page read, however.


Mostly this is what I meant. Yes, without a gatekeeper you get to hold a book in your hands or on a device instead of rejection letters. But for both trad and self publishing, reaching a wide audience is success that only a few find. And by success I mean, you can quit your day job. If success for you means you sell hundreds of copies and have beer money – that’s great too. But many enter self-pub hearing of the few wild success stories and thinking that it’s easier, which it isn’t.


Just like all the people who think they are going to make big money by creating a website and selling stuff.

Selling ebooks could be a good retirement job. It would give you something to putter around with. You could write pulp fiction, learn to make your own covers, run a blog, manage an email list, etc. You might not ever make much money but it could be entertaining.


This is my plan exactly. Just for fun. I already have one novel self-published, a mailing list and website. But when I retire in (hopefully) 6 or so years, I will focus on ramping it up. For beer money.


You can even have some fun with marketing, tinkering around with Facebook ads and such. It costs a bit of money but you can cap what you spend.