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Selling Books is not Where the Money is

After I released my first book in 2016, I did many book signings, and a lot of work to spread the word about my book. When people learned I had written a book, I was often asked if I had made a lot of money from it, but my typical response when I’m asked that question is, “No, I’m paying the book’s bills. It’s not paying mine.”

There are many stories out there of people who wrote a book and made a lot of money from it, but I can tell you first-hand, those are the exceptions to the rule, not the normal course of events.

What I have discovered since writing my first book, and now having recently released my second one, is that selling the books is not where the money is. In fact, because I chose to self-publish, I had to put out the money to have books printed before I could ever get a copy into a reader’s hands. When I sell my books in book stores or through online retailers, they take a significant portion of the sale price from the book, but I believe it’s good to sell it through those businesses for the exposure it provides.

What I’ve learned, especially after my first book, is that it is basically my 200-page business card. It’s a way to get noticed, which can lead to invitations for paid speaking gigs and other opportunities. In fact, after releasing my memoir, I was approached about being the co-host of a new television show that was being proposed. That’s when the real payback from the book starts to happen, not the book itself.

I didn’t write my books with the intention of making lots of money from them. I wrote them because I had stories in mind that I wanted to share. My only hope was to make enough money to cover my costs, and hopefully some day I will, but that won't stop me from putting the next idea out there when I'm ready. 

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