I found this excellent peek behind-the-scenes of self-publishing from Writer.ly’s CEO Abigail Carter.** It’s the kind of information that is just hard to come by, and I found it really useful.
She describes not just the costs she has put into the book pre-launch, but also the struggle to get recognition via reviews. It’s a good reminder that self-publishing means you have to take on a lot more than you would if you were picked up by an agent and publisher (though the difference in your royalties may be worth it to you).
Before launch, Carter spent $2,570 to get the book ready (yeah, that number rocked me back a bit, too, but it’s so great to have actual hard numbers). In a week, she made… $75.41.
She followed up recently with another post, detailing more of her expenses, in particular her hard work to get those vital Amazon reviews. She got 102 reviews and more sales, and her expenses went up to $3,183. With sales at only $441.94. Yikes, that’s a big cost. Hopefully it will pan out for her.
If you’ve self-published, have you “broken even” yet? What did it take to get those early reviews?
**Full disclosure: I work with Abby sometimes through Writer.ly, because I find it to be an excellent resource for writers, editors, and illustrators. She’s a nice person. No one paid me to write about this, however.