Author Topic: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?  (Read 38573 times)  

Offline D. Zollicoffer

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2015, 07:53:02 PM »
Hmm.  No, it seems to me like you're the one trying to pick a fight, mate.
Really? All I did was clarify my point, and post a silly emoticon. This is why I try to stay out of topics like this. We need a, "I'm happy font, seriously, not trying to be snide or anything."

But it's too late, so I quit. I'll go back to lurking  :(

Offline Krista D. Ball

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6943
  • Gender: Female
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Hybrid Level 2
    • View Profile
    • Follow the adventures of a fantasy author
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2015, 07:54:33 PM »
As far as I know, there are some very successful SF/F authors. On these boards even. There is a dude called Hugh Howey, for example.

As for people who suggest that we should all sell our souls and write smut, they can go and bark up the creek with the other dogs. Many people do quite well writing what I write. I don't even need any extra income, thank you very much.

I've sold my soul to things like *gasp* corporate writing. *shiver* I wouldn't wish that on anyone ;)

Krista D. Ball

Online Patty Jansen

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 11749
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2015, 07:57:36 PM »
I've sold my soul to things like *gasp* corporate writing. *shiver* I wouldn't wish that on anyone ;)

LOL. I got out of that when I could :P

Offline Krista D. Ball

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6943
  • Gender: Female
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Hybrid Level 2
    • View Profile
    • Follow the adventures of a fantasy author
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2015, 07:58:36 PM »
LOL. I got out of that when I could :P

I still do a bit off and on, but I'm pretty much done, too. Winding it all down now, in fact.

Krista D. Ball

Offline D. Zollicoffer

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2015, 08:01:39 PM »
As far as I know, there are some very successful SF/F authors. On these boards even. There is a dude called Hugh Howey, for example.

As for people who suggest that we should all sell our souls and write smut, they can go and bark up the creek with the other dogs. Many people do quite well writing what I write. I don't even need any extra income, thank you very much.
Okay, I need to stop posting at night. I didn't even mention smut or romance. There are other markets. I wasn't talking about selling your souls to the erotica gods, just doing some research that's all. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'll be more clear in the future.

But you guys really shouldn't be so quick to jump on the defensive. My post was aimed at people like the OP. People who think this is about easy money, and then start complaining when they aren't rolling in cash.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:05:42 PM by D. Zollicoffer »

Offline anniejocoby

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2176
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2015, 08:06:29 PM »
Okay, I need to stop posting at night. I didn't even mention smut or romance. There are other markets. I wasn't talking about selling your souls to the erotica gods, just doing some research that's all. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'll be more clear in the future.

I was going to say the same thing. SF/F is a viable genre, obviously. Lots of people making bank there. Urban fantasy, same thing. Mysteries, thrillers, horror, dystopian - lots of writers on this board cleaning up. When I say cold or lukewarm I mean...well, I don't really know, but I know it when I see it.

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
Annie Jocoby | ]Badge[/url] | Annie Jocoby website

Offline D. Zollicoffer

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2015, 08:12:07 PM »
I was going to say the same thing. SF/F is a viable genre, obviously. Lots of people making bank there. Urban fantasy, same thing. Mysteries, thrillers, horror, dystopian - lots of writers on this board cleaning up. When I say cold or lukewarm I mean...well, I don't really know, but I know it when I see it.
Yeah that's all I meant. Pick a lucrative genre IF you care about cash. But write whatever IF you're just doing it for fun.

Offline Lhhansen

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2015, 08:26:32 PM »
Yeah that's all I meant. Pick a lucrative genre IF you care about cash. But write whatever IF you're just doing it for fun.

There is definitely a legitimate argument that you have to study what sells to make money. Sometimes I cannot believe what sells(!) and have adjusted accordingly. I saw a book next to "To Kill a Mockingbird" that made me laugh (it involved a leash), so yes, you must study the market. Save the grand life changing novel for when there is enough cash flow for such an adventure! If you want to make money, better learn what is selling and what the market wants-fast! I agree! And I am doing that. I moved from nonfiction to fiction mainly for that reason. I write mainly romance/supsense. I may have to smut it up, which admittingly makes me somewhat of a less fluent writer.

It seems everyone agrees you must write what sells so I am not sure what the fuss is about.

Since some have already found success, care to share what genre you are writing in, D Zollicoffer?  :P

Many of us love to write and create, and would do it with no worries BUT we also need to have some cash, especially in the backdrop of a rather brutal economy. Some feel it more than others I suppose.

All of my books are in Select because I felt I had no choice. They don't sell anywhere else, and when KU came out, my income dropped. But I was referring to KDP overall.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:34:06 PM by Lhhansen »

Offline cinisajoy

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 12792
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2015, 08:28:17 PM »
I will solve the argument,  write many readable books in the genre or genres of your choosing.   Make blurb and cover look good.   
Then maybe you will make money or maybe you won't.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

Please help our friend and fellow kboarder Craig Hansen.

Offline Stephanie Marks

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
  • Gender: Female
  • BC, Canada
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2015, 08:43:32 PM »
As far as I know, there are some very successful SF/F authors. On these boards even. There is a dude called Hugh Howey, for example.

As for people who suggest that we should all sell our souls and write smut, they can go and bark up the creek with the other dogs. Many people do quite well writing what I write. I don't even need any extra income, thank you very much.

Wow. Just freaking wow.

First of all I write BOTH urban fantasy and erotic romance so you might want to watch your tone about selling your soul and barking dogs. How unbelievably arrogant of you.

My contemporary erotic romance outsells my urban fantast no question, even though fantasy is where my ultimate passion is. That's just how it happens to be for me. That's the simply truth of MY income flow. I like to write both but the MARKET DEMAND is greater for my romance endeavors.

As to writing the wrong thing. YES, you can "write the wrong thing". Not necessarily an entire genre but even just within a genre. My first "smut" works sank to the bottom of Amazon pretty much instantly. I loved what I had written but when it came to making cold hard cash I had f**ked it up. That's just how it is. The MARKET didn't want it, and no amount of b*tching and whining was going to change that. I learned from my mistakes, scrapped the idea, looked more analytically at things and tried again with something new in the SAME genre and it worked. I wrote the WRONG thing for the goal I was trying to achieve. No point in being precious about it. I would never move ahead that way.

You guys need to get over yourselves. In your blind rampage to defend your precious work you're trampling everyone else and finding offense where NONE was meant.

I take offense and your final paragraph. It reflects poorly on you and your professionalism.


Stephanie Marks | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Offline Adam Poe

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1259
  • Gender: Male
  • Indianapolis
  • I wonder how many words you can put here before it
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2015, 08:44:29 PM »
We've never had a book above the ~5k range in the store (meaning in the top 5k). In fact, our main sellers fluctuate from 15k-40k most of the time. In 2014 we cleared more than 60k$. That's with the year starting at 200-300 a month. Also, no Bookbub ads/etc. We're on track to do even better this year. Clean urban fantasy -- not the hottest of markets.

If that's chump change then I'll take it! :P

Write (good books)
Publish (often)
Repeat (ad infinitum)

Offline anniejocoby

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2176
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2015, 08:51:29 PM »
Wow. Just freaking wow.

First of all I write BOTH urban fantasy and erotic romance so you might want to watch your tone about selling your soul and barking dogs. How unbelievably arrogant of you.

My contemporary erotic romance outsells my urban fantast no question, even though fantasy is where my ultimate passion is. That's just how it happens to be for me. That's the simply truth of MY income flow. I like to write both but the MARKET DEMAND is greater for my romance endeavors.

As to writing the wrong thing. YES, you can "write the wrong thing". Not necessarily an entire genre but even just within a genre. My first "smut" works sank to the bottom of Amazon pretty much instantly. I loved what I had written but when it came to making cold hard cash I had f**ked it up. That's just how it is. The MARKET didn't want it, and no amount of b*tching and whining was going to change that. I learned from my mistakes, scrapped the idea, looked more analytically at things and tried again with something new in the SAME genre and it worked. I wrote the WRONG thing for the goal I was trying to achieve. No point in being precious about it. I would never move ahead that way.

You guys need to get over yourselves. In your blind rampage to defend your precious work you're trampling everyone else and finding offense where NONE was meant.

I take offense and your final paragraph. It reflects poorly on you and your professionalism.



I agree with your sentiment, in that, clearly, there was no offense meant by D. Zollicofer or by me (I wasn't directly addressed, but I get the feeling I was indirectly).

And you're precisely right about having to know the market within your genre. Even if you're writing romance, if you don't write to market, you have a bigger chance of failing than if you do. That's just reality. Many do just fine not writing to market, and more power to them. But writing to market gives you better odds.

I think that's the point that D. Zollicofer was trying to get across.

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
Annie Jocoby | ]Badge[/url] | Annie Jocoby website

Offline LadyStarlight

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Gender: Female
  • Orion
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2015, 08:59:17 PM »
*throws stardust over everyone*


Everyone calm down now, everything will be okay! Peace, love and bliss!
The Goddess be with you!

Time until a new star is born!

100%. Blast off!


Offline Joe Vasicek

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2565
  • Gender: Male
  • Anywhere but Earth
  • May all your dreams come true, save one
    • View Profile
    • One Thousand and One Parsecs
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2015, 09:03:03 PM »
Okay, I need to stop posting at night. I didn't even mention smut or romance. There are other markets. I wasn't talking about selling your souls to the erotica gods, just doing some research that's all. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'll be more clear in the future.

But you guys really shouldn't be so quick to jump on the defensive. My post was aimed at people like the OP. People who think this is about easy money, and then start complaining when they aren't rolling in cash.

Yeah, you probably should step back and cool off for a bit, because right now it's you who's coming across as combative and defensive.

I agree with the basic idea that if you want to make money, you should write what sells. Where we disagree is on the meaning of "what sells." There is a market for everything under the sun, and if you can dominate a niche, you can really rock that segment of the market.

An example: for the past half-century, everyone in publishing has said that Westerns don't sell. But Louis L'Amour dominated that niche, and did quite well for himself there.

Another example: science fiction is not exactly a genre that people say you should write if you want to make money. Amish sci-fi is such an obscure sub-genre that even most hardcore sci-fi fans have never heard of it. But Michael Bunker (arguably the inventor of Amish sci-fi) is rocking that sub-genre to the USA Today bestseller list.

Sometimes, it's a better career decision to pursue a small niche that you can dominate than it is to chase the money with the rest of the herd. It all depends on your own proclivities and disposition. For some writers, chasing the money really pushes them to thrive. For others, abandoning the passion that drove them to write in the first place is the start of a creative death spiral. So really, YMMV.

Offline Joe Vasicek

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2565
  • Gender: Male
  • Anywhere but Earth
  • May all your dreams come true, save one
    • View Profile
    • One Thousand and One Parsecs
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2015, 09:09:23 PM »
If someone told you that you were guaranteed to make a comfortable living at writing, they lied.  Any business you run yourself (and you say you consider writing your business) is only as good as you make it.


Let's say instead of books, you make ice cream. You make good ice cream, maybe it has a little bit of originality to it, but in the end it's ice cream.  Now you put your ice cream for sale in a mall with 500,000 other people selling ice cream.  Some is better than yours, maybe a lot of it is worse than yours. But you are all selling ice cream.


The secret to selling more ice cream isn't simply making more flavors. The secret is getting people to come buy your ice cream and become attached to it, to seek it out, to walk by all the other ice cream to buy yours.


Once you have those customers, you can sell more to them.  But when you have no customers, making more flavors gives you a tiny added advantage of having more things to sell, but if no one knows/loves your brand, you are just waiting for customers to randomly walk by and pick your product out of a whole bunch of similar products.


It's only for chumps if you think selling books is simply following a formula an waiting for your bank account to fill up.

That's actually quite a profound analogy. It sums up my own experience with marketing my books better than I could have myself. In particular, the difference between finding new customers (expanding your readership) and selling more flavors to them (writing more books) is a really important distinction to make.

Offline anniejocoby

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2176
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2015, 09:11:20 PM »
This whole conversation reminds me that I was looking through the list of the top 100 authors on Kindle, and I ran across the name of a guy who used to post here all the time. Or his pen name, rather.

I remember well when he was thrilled that he sold 50 books - he never sold that many in a month. Now, it's like 18 months later, and he's in the top 100 authors in the entire Kindle store. I think he beat out Jodi Picoult.

What changed? He decided to write romantic suspense, found out he had a (real) knack, and that was that. Before that, I don't know what genre he was in, but he decided to give up that genre to try to write to market and, boy, did he.

It's a Cinderella story, but it can happen to anybody who has the dream of making millions and follows a plan to do that. Because I wouldn't be surprised if he's a millionaire by now. 

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
Annie Jocoby | ]Badge[/url] | Annie Jocoby website

Offline Perry Constantine

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2614
  • Gender: Male
  • Japan
  • Action Fiction Author
    • View Profile
    • Percival Constantine - Action Fiction Author
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2015, 09:26:49 PM »
So now my concern is that there is very little money to be made in KDP unless an author consistently ranks in the top 500 or so. For money, real money where you can survive and thrive comfortably, buy a house, travel, and have money left over, that seems to be the case. Otherwise, writing is just a hobby because $20,000 or so is not really living for me anyway.

First off, it depends on where you live. $20K a year actually makes for a very comfortable standard of living in my area. Second, even if 20K a year isn't enough to live on, that's still $20K a year that you didn't have before. Even if you have to supplement that with some other income, you're making money you can live off of doing something you love.

Quote
I read an article that said most authors make four figures. If it takes several months to write a book, and you make a few hundred a month, well, that is a few dollars an hour. That places most authors well below fast food workers, and even some panhandlers.  Is time better spent doing something else, even if you love to write, if you want to make a living?

Sure, if money is the only thing that's important to you. But there's no rule that says if you want to be a writer, you can ONLY be a writer and can't do anything else. There are many, many, many writers who have other streams of income. It's not all or nothing.

And would you rather write or work the counter at McDonald's?

Quote
The only reason I bring this up is because I have seen people struggle, including myself, waiting for that better someday that never comes. Don't get me wrong - I love to write, and I love words, and I have made enough money to survive, but it is not living.  Writing is no longer fun if there is only chump change.

If the only reason you love to write is because of the money, then you shouldn't be a writer. I wrote for nothing for years. Even if I never sell another book, I'll still write.

Some of you guys are writing the wrong stuff. Niche titles with no real market, and thought behind them. I'm not trying to be mean, but it's the truth.

I've said this before, I'm going to say it again, and I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face: why in god's name would I write something I don't care about just because it sells? Because it might make more money?

Writing something I hate is about as pleasurable for me as sitting in a cubicle for eight hours a day. But at least when sitting in the cubicle, I get a guaranteed paycheck and benefits.

Offline anniejocoby

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2176
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2015, 09:39:00 PM »

I've said this before, I'm going to say it again, and I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face: why in god's name would I write something I don't care about just because it sells? Because it might make more money?

Writing something I hate is about as pleasurable for me as sitting in a cubicle for eight hours a day. But at least when sitting in the cubicle, I get a guaranteed paycheck and benefits.

But Perry, it's not all or nothing. I personally hate writing straight erotica. I tried, but I don't have the knack. For me, there's only so many ways you can describe two people doing it. It's bad enough that I put lots of sex in my books, but to write an entire book about that - not for me (and that's NOT disparaging erotica writers. I'm just saying I hated writing it). I would agree with you - I would never write anything I HATE. That would be depressing.

Sometimes, though, you can find a genre that you never thought about before, try writing in it, find that you like it, and you're making good money. It might not be your first choice, but you like it fine all the same. That's sort of me. I love writing romance, but I never thought I would. In reading stuff, I'm more of a dark fantasy/mystery/thriller type girl. I could make money in those genres, too, but it's somewhat easier to make it in romance, so here I am.

Oh, my words will be twisted around, I know it. I'm NOT saying that making money in romance is easy, or that writing it is easy. I am saying that it's a genre that gives pretty good odds of doing well. And I'm not selling out, because I genuinely love what I write. I love my characters. It just isn't the genre that I would have necessarily chosen from the very first.

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
Annie Jocoby | ]Badge[/url] | Annie Jocoby website

Offline Caddy

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5653
  • Gender: Female
  • Novels For Adults Who Color Outside the Lines
    • View Profile
    • Caddy Rowland: Slice of Life
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2015, 09:50:59 PM »
You do you, and I'll do me, thanks.

Ditto.
ALSO WRITING HOT GAY M/M ROMANCE UNDER SIBLEY JACKSON

The Gastien Series: Sometimes the "impossible" is possiblebut the cost can be extremely high. | There Was a House:They better be damn good. There will only be one chance. | The Avengement Series: Karma really can be a b*tchespecially when it scores a willing partner.

Offline Cherise

  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *******
  • Posts: 8001
  • Gender: Female
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2015, 10:00:47 PM »
If someone told you that you were guaranteed to make a comfortable living at writing, they lied.  Any business you run yourself (and you say you consider writing your business) is only as good as you make it.


Let's say instead of books, you make ice cream. You make good ice cream, maybe it has a little bit of originality to it, but in the end it's ice cream.  Now you put your ice cream for sale in a mall with 500,000 other people selling ice cream.  Some is better than yours, maybe a lot of it is worse than yours. But you are all selling ice cream.


The secret to selling more ice cream isn't simply making more flavors. The secret is getting people to come buy your ice cream and become attached to it, to seek it out, to walk by all the other ice cream to buy yours.


Once you have those customers, you can sell more to them.  But when you have no customers, making more flavors gives you a tiny added advantage of having more things to sell, but if no one knows/loves your brand, you are just waiting for customers to randomly walk by and pick your product out of a whole bunch of similar products.


It's only for chumps if you think selling books is simply following a formula and waiting for your bank account to fill up.



+1

Offline Jim Johnson

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6278
  • Gender: Male
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Storyteller and Cat Minion
    • View Profile
    • Ineti Press
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2015, 10:03:06 PM »
As far as I know, there are some very successful SF/F authors. On these boards even. There is a dude called Hugh Howey, for example.

As for people who suggest that we should all sell our souls and write smut, they can go and bark up the creek with the other dogs. Many people do quite well writing what I write. I don't even need any extra income, thank you very much.

Depending on how you define successful, at least 70 sff indie writers joined SFWA within the last three weeks on the strength of their indie sales (1 work earning $3k in a year, IIRC).

Offline Sophrosyne

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2252
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2015, 11:04:32 PM »
Authorpreneurship. It's not just about writing.

If you know how to write well and are willing to rewrite as much as needed...

If you publish books with great covers, solid editing, clean formatting...

If you have your cover, product description and sample pages working together instead of at odds with each other...

If you're willing to do a promotion every few months...

If you're willing to have a social media presence...

If you're willing to keep writing and publishing...

It's not chump change.

What it is, is a business.

If you are willing to make your book as professional as the ones coming out of the Big 5, or out of Amazon's imprints, it's definitely not chump change.

What it is, is an unprecedented opportunity to make a living as a professional author/publisher.

However, many people sabotage their own success. They don't write enough, they put out books before they're ready, they slap on whatever cover they can do themselves in Photoshop, they don't market, they use utilitarian product descriptions instead of intriguing ones, they put their weakest writing in the sample pages, they aggressively over-market their books on social media and never make a real connection with their fans.

Offline Sophrosyne

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2252
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2015, 11:10:08 PM »
LOL. The response was to the original post. That'll teach me to respond before I read the entire thread. I'm just so tired of hearing people say that indies only make 4-figures a year.

Yes, some are. But there are a lot who are making 4- to 5-figures a month.

That is definitely not chump change.

Online thewitt

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Gender: Male
  • Charlotte, NC
    • View Profile
    • The Triadine Saga
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2015, 11:46:35 PM »
It's nearly impossible to estimate the income of independent authors, but you do have to go into this with your eyes open.

You will find that some people post on websites such as this one, anonymously, and boast of six or even seven figure incomes from their self-publishing empire.  They don't include their real names though, or their book titles, and claim this is simply to remain anonymous.  I call BS on virtually all of their posts, and just dismiss their advice out of hand.  Why?  It has no credibility behind it.

There are others who will talk about their income from self-publishing who list their books in their signatures, have websites where you can find all of their listed works, and using tools like KindleSpy you can estimate their income from sales on Amazon anyway.  Now KindleSpy has issues - and guesses income wrong for many - but it's not going to say someone earns $1000 a day if they are making $1000 a month...

There is great advice on this and other forums, and those who tell you that you need to have well written, well thought out, professionally edited and presented books are right on.  Covers and titles are your first hook, followed by your blurb and then if you are lucky your "peek inside."

You will generally need to have more than one book published before you have any credibility with the readers, unless you are very good at marketing or get very lucky.  I mean if you can get Oprah to recommend your first book on her show, you will be an overnight success...

My own titles are growing in sales every day, and though I won't be able to write full time any time soon, I am pleased that sales continue to grow and cross multiple sales channels.  I have no desire to be KDP only, and I suspect my Amazon sales are not as high as they could be as a result, but I've had a really strong pop on iTunes, B&N and Kobo this last month, and am seeing sales in Australia through GooglePlay that really surprised me.

If you decide to enter this business, keep in mind as others have said it IS a business. You not only need to write a good book, well crafted, that is an interesting read - but you need to market it as well. This is true whether you self-publish or Trade publish by the way... If you submit to an agent, one of the key things they want to know is how to YOU plan to market your book - which it what THEY need in order to get paid....  They expect you to do that as well....and not simply write and move along to the next novel in the list.

Author of The Traidine Saga: An Epic Fantasy
Timothy Bond | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | TakeAHike

Offline Mark E. Cooper

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6614
  • Gender: Male
  • Essex, England
    • View Profile
    • Impulse Books UK
Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2015, 12:24:17 AM »
Not sure how you're coming up with those numbers, but a book that's ranked #10K is selling 10-15 per day, or 300-450 a month. Priced at $3.99, that's $800-$1200 a month. All six of mine are in Select and if it weren't for promos, they'd all be in the 10K to 15K ranks. Still, that's $4800 to $7200 a month. More than I made as a truck driver.  ;)

Nobody is going to make a living on one book. Writing more books is the key.

Correct. It took 7 books for me, and mine are $4.99. I'm in all the different stores, yet Amazon is still 50% of all income and Audible 35%. Write a series that people enjoy, and although ranks fluctuate and with it your sales, you'll make a good living as long as you keep giving your readers good books to enjoy. In other words, find what your readers want more of, and give them that thing.

I don't stick with one genre. I know, I know... I'm bad, I'm stupid, the common wisdom says yadda yadda... I write what I want to read. If I don't read a genre, I don't try to write in it. That doesn't mean I won't try erotica or romance one day, but you can be sure I'll be reading all the bestsellers in those genres first! Write what you know is such a cliche, but it's still true. It just means research what you want to write thoroughly first.

You don't have to be in the top 500 or even the top 20,000 to make a living. My books used to hover around the 10k mark. Now most are in the 20-30k range. I still make a very good living, because I didn't stop at that magic book 7. Never give up, never surrender, and all that. I love my writing life. I don't do anything else.

Don't give up, mate. Back in 2001 I never thought I would be doing this for a career. Miracles DO happen.