Returns on your Book Publishing Enterprise

Writing a book is no mean feat. It’s easy to get carried away with paying for this and that for its success, to help your business revenue.  Regardless, my motto is:

“Only spend (on your book) what you can feasibly get back (as a return on marketing).”

A higher cash-flow business might put all the costs of a book under marketing — which isn’t a bad idea for direct incentives or in-book bonus offers.

What are the Potential Earnings?

As a micro publisher, the incomings could include:

  • royalties — see IngramSpark compensation calculator
  • higher lead to client conversions from prospects reading the book/s
  • new leads and JV opportunities
  • greater access to media spots and blogger reviews

Since you have to keep your end goals in mind, you may decide to forgo the small royalties from traditional ebook sales to place a higher value on the print book.

Sales might be encouraged through a simple distribution. For your contacts, you’ll meed to think about the easiest purchase path for them. Bob Bly, author of 70 eBooks or books, sends 1 email a week to his huge list on an auto-cycle, selling the benefits of each eBook or giving a tip on marketing. He makes over $1 million a year from sales, and he’s operating mainly outside the Amazon system.

Don’t always assume that everyone who reads your genre will want to read your book, so of course an incentive or free program (e.g. accompanying audio advice) will help.

Cost Measures

ABS found that 28% of micro businesses neglect t0 focus on cost measures when assessing business performance. Don’t let it happen to you.

Keep a spreadsheet or tracker with costs of each book, like:

  • editing
  • interior layout
  • publicity assistance (consider using a VA)
  • book cover design and artwork
  • bookmarks, poster or roll-up banner for events
  • optional stall costs
  • title set-up fees
  • ISBN fees (incl. new publisher fee of $55)
  • optional title listing in Books & Publishing magazine (AU $300) or if in the US, Ingram Connect magazine (from $80)
  • print fees if you are printing in bulk

Remember, you will need to be planning three months ahead of launching, so find out your costs well in advance.

Costs of printing a large order (700 – 2,000 books) only need to be considered if you are using a Bookstore Distributor, e.g. James Bennett or Woodslane. Most businesses using Print on Demand order 100 anyway, because of the bulk discount and ability to send straight out, but you can also opt to let an online retailer process the sales by listing them on your book sales page.



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About the Author

Jennifer Lancaster writes money and marketing books that help educate and inform.

She is a freelance editor, copywriter, and book writing coach who believes in independence and personal growth.

After many years in the industry, Jen has created self-publishing training for authors and advice on book marketing - called Business Author Academy. She lives in sunny Redcliffe, Queensland.


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