For the past….lifetime, writing has always been something I’ve done in secret, in the (now not as) rare moments when I was completely alone without obligations or people around me. I never
ever in a million years dreamed that I would be considering writing as a career. Now, I’m doing all the fun consultant stuff (ROI and Synergize!) for my business.
My day job as a consultant has been fantastic training for all aspects of this publishing shenanigans – from the branding, to the promotion, and, most importantly, the investment portion. One of the things that I am concerned with in my day to day job is the time-value proposition. If I spend X much time/resources doing Y, how much of a return on investment do I get? At what point is there too much investment, and not enough payout?
With the book stuff, a lot of the investments (read: cash) that I’ve made will (I hope) have long-term payout benefits. I’ve given free ebooks to a lot of folks with the hope that they’ll write a review (that’s $2.25 of lost profit for every e-book given away). More reviews = more purchases (hopefully, though only one review so far). For Book 1, my strategy is to get the book in as many readers’ hands as possible, in the hopes they’ll be back for Book 2-4.
The biggest investment so far is the actual paperbacks that I have in my living room. 10 of those are going to my GoodReads giveaway (You can still enter here!), which means I won’t get any $$ for those books, which is good because, again, I’m trying to get my book in as many hands as possible. The other 15 books I’m trying to sell like mad – two of which I gave away as “gifts” and one of which I actually sold!
On the eBook side, I *think* I’ve presold about 10 or 11 books between B&N and iTunes, but I won’t know hard numbers until June/July. Hoping I’m under calculating by a factor of about 100 :P. On a side note, the pre-order thing is killing me on two fronts:. I really wish Smashwords reported how many books were pre-ordered and I wish Amazon supported preorders. Because right now, I’m just going on what people have told me.
My ultimate goal is to self-sustain the book business without having to invest too much more of my own money. I would like to order more paperbacks with the cash inflow from the ones I have in hand, fund my website and domain from ebook sales, and so on and so forth. Once the business is self-sustaining, then I can start to think about keeping profits, which will then turn into me being able to consider a career as a writer.
Whether I become a super kewl popular author or not, writing is and will always be a beautiful expression of my deepest soul, it’s my me time, my time to jump into worlds I’ve created and have conversations with the people that live in my head. Writing will first and foremost be to amuse myself, and if others find joy in my work, then that’s just peachy too. But I’m not going to go broke doing it.