Author Topic: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?  (Read 39717 times)  

Offline Simply Unbound

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #75 on: March 19, 2015, 09:10:22 AM »
I'd rather be a poorly compensated KDP chump than a 9-to-5 grind chump, particularly considering the 9-to-5 now tends to come with unpaid overtime.

Your results may vary, however.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 09:13:39 AM by Simply Unbound »


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Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #76 on: March 19, 2015, 09:15:46 AM »
I'll take my six figures of chump change and be happy to be called a chump.

Offline Indiecognito

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #77 on: March 19, 2015, 09:34:36 AM »
I'll take my six figures of chump change and be happy to be called a chump.

Me too, though I'd rather be called a chimp. Or, in a perfect world, a CHUD.

Offline doolittle03

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #78 on: March 19, 2015, 09:36:06 AM »
I'm trying to wrap my mind around this. So an author who makes "only" a thousand or few thousand dollars a month wouldn't be considered very successful?

Thank God someone said it! (um, pick me?)

I am currently making chump change but the way I look at it, I was making no change at all in traditional publishing where I was truly a chump with the strange dealings that went on there.
 
Cinisjoy and Books Butterfly ... excellent thoughts there ... thank you.

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Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #79 on: March 19, 2015, 09:40:10 AM »
I'd rather be a poorly compensated KDP chump than a 9-to-5 grind chump, particularly considering the 9-to-5 now tends to come with unpaid overtime.

Your results may vary, however.

Very true. It's hard to beat the health insurance and the employer match to the 401k, though.

Offline daringnovelist

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #80 on: March 19, 2015, 09:44:07 AM »
People get mixed up between income and income streams -- that is, a wage and investment income.

Intellectual property is capital.  The time you invest in creating it is like buying a bond.  It pays off over time.  You don't say "I worked for three months and I only get $100 a month from it." You say "I invested three months, and expect to have income for the next 20-30 years."

In that sense, you compare that three months effort to the money that would buy a bond.  A 10k investment right now would net you about $300 a year right now.  A more risky stock portfolio averages $1000 a year for that amount.

So if you're making over $100 a month on a three month investment, then you're doing well.  You're beating the market if you normally make $40k a year with the time you're investing in writing.

Now, as with most investments, the income on that is going to vary, and there are a lot of factors that go into it -- such as how many more books you write, and how you maintain your body of work over time, especially after you retire from writing, and how "evergreen" your genre, subject and style is.

But if you are writing midlist books, you're talking a long term game, not a short cash-in.

Camille

Offline wtvr

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #81 on: March 19, 2015, 10:00:14 AM »
tl;dr

To recap:
People who make $ to $$ say it is impossible to succeed except for luck but wanting more than that makes you a greedy sellout anyway, so don't ever change!
People who make $$$ to $$$$$ say hey there are lots of ways to skin a cat but success is just around the corner if you make some strategic decisions about what and how you're writing and follow the examples of people who are doing well.

OK who do you wanna believe?

Offline cbaku

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #82 on: March 19, 2015, 10:32:34 AM »
If you just needed to vent a little, I get it, and consider yourself hugged.But it's writing, and THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. This is true whether you are trad-pubbed, hybrid or indie. Even if we write a ton, lead with the must-have pro covers and blurbs, and have brilliant, flawless content, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. Wander around in the fiction stacks of your local library or a big brick-and-mortar bookstore (if you can find one...). You're going to see the blood sweat and tears of thousands who went before you, carrying the same fire inside, and the great majority of them will never be Stephen King or Bella Andre. No one WANTS to labor in obscurity. Hell, even Emily Dickenson wanted to make it.  ;) It's okay to hit a wall now and then and wonder aloud if you're a chump, but the truth is that, although we writers have more opportunity now than ever before in history, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. Writers have to write. So, give up in relief and do something else, or get back to work. xo
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Offline m.a. petterson

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #83 on: March 19, 2015, 10:37:44 AM »
I have a friend with a full-time job who plays in a band on the odd weekend.

He spends hours and hours practicing, drives a $3000 van, has $12,000 worth of equipment, and makes maybe $50-$100 per gig.

When someone pointed out the economics of this to my friend, he replied, "If I have to explain you wouldn't understand."


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Offline Vaalingrade

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #84 on: March 19, 2015, 10:55:51 AM »
The thing with niche genres is that mainstream genres used to be niche themselves before someone wrote some gateways works and got people taking notice. Doing that take a lot of understanding about how genres and fandoms work, but it can have amazing returns if you do it right.

But as to the larger topic... you can't expect an instant money shower. Individual books might not make a ton, but once you have a nice, hefty catalog there's not a lot of difference from the earnings of someone with a few bestsellers and someone with enough midlisters to choke some sort of thick-necked animal.

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #85 on: March 19, 2015, 11:18:05 AM »
1,000 very successful authors who earn $25,000 a month
9,000 successful authors who earn $10,000+ a month.
Around 45,000 authors who earn $5,000 to $10,000 a month.
Around 180,000 authors who earn a few thousand a month.
Remaining 765,000 authors who make nothing.

At Author Rank 13000 you make about 550 bucks a month. I wonder what Author Rank it takes to make 2000 a month on Amazon.

Offline daringnovelist

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #86 on: March 19, 2015, 11:43:11 AM »
1,000 very successful authors who earn $25,000 a month
9,000 successful authors who earn $10,000+ a month.
Around 45,000 authors who earn $5,000 to $10,000 a month.
Around 180,000 authors who earn a few thousand a month.
Remaining 765,000 authors who make nothing.


This is a very manipulative set of numbers.  That "make nothing" level actually reflects the income of the majority of Americans overall.

Let's face it -- many of the people here are not talking about making a living -- they're talking about getting rich. There's nothing wrong with that goal at all, but that doesn't make the rest of the world just a bunch of loser "hobbyists."

I never made more than 2.5k a month in my life - and most of my life I made significantly less -- and on that I saved enough to retire early and write full time.  While others certainly need more than that to make a living, I certainly don't.  Give me 2k a month and I would never have to dip into my retirement accounts.  I would be adding to them.

So it's downright ridiculous to act as if people making 3k a month are barely making it and those making 1-2k (or even $400, or less) a month are making "nothing."

Camille

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #87 on: March 19, 2015, 11:45:22 AM »
This is a very manipulative set of numbers.  That "make nothing" level actually reflects the income of the majority of Americans overall.

Let's face it -- many of the people here are not talking about making a living -- they're talking about getting rich. There's nothing wrong with that goal at all, but that doesn't make the rest of the world just a bunch of loser "hobbyists."

I never made more than 2.5k a month in my life - and most of my life I made significantly less -- and on that I saved enough to retire early and write full time.  While others certainly need more than that to make a living, I certainly don't.  Give me 2k a month and I would never have to dip into my retirement accounts.  I would be adding to them.

So it's downright ridiculous to act as if people making 3k a month are barely making it and those making 1-2k (or even $400, or less) a month are making "nothing."

Camille
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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #88 on: March 19, 2015, 12:12:43 PM »

Offline Joe Vasicek

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #89 on: March 19, 2015, 12:25:44 PM »
This is a very manipulative set of numbers.  That "make nothing" level actually reflects the income of the majority of Americans overall.

Let's face it -- many of the people here are not talking about making a living -- they're talking about getting rich. There's nothing wrong with that goal at all, but that doesn't make the rest of the world just a bunch of loser "hobbyists."

I never made more than 2.5k a month in my life - and most of my life I made significantly less -- and on that I saved enough to retire early and write full time.  While others certainly need more than that to make a living, I certainly don't.  Give me 2k a month and I would never have to dip into my retirement accounts.  I would be adding to them.

So it's downright ridiculous to act as if people making 3k a month are barely making it and those making 1-2k (or even $400, or less) a month are making "nothing."

Camille

You are my hero, Camille. ;D

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #90 on: March 19, 2015, 12:28:03 PM »
I disagree. There is too much hype and not enough numbers. The list said that 45000 authors were making about 5000 bucks a month. That is not true. At Amazon Author Rank 13000 you make about 550 bucks a month. My question is not whether someone is frugal, but what Amazon Author Rank do you have to be to make 2000 bucks a month? I think this is the sort of information new writers would like to know. Also others trying to figure out whether full time writing is worth pursuing or not.

Offline Annabel Chant

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #91 on: March 19, 2015, 12:36:56 PM »
I may be misunderstanding those numbers, but are they not really for single books, rather than authors. If I've got this right, surely that means that there could be a far greater amount of authors earning in the higher bracket, from a large back list of books.

Unless I've got it wrong, which I probably have  :D


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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #92 on: March 19, 2015, 12:42:40 PM »
Dr no. You are asking an unanswerable question.   It will vary from month to month.  I can not tell you that you must be author rank 22, 346 to make $2000 a month.   I do believe rank goes by number of sales not by price. 
Hence if you want to make 2 grand a month, you need to sell roughly  6000 at 99 cents, 1000 at $2.99, 717 at $3.99, 573 at 4.99, 500 at 5.99 etc up to 286 at $9.99. 
This is providing you have no expenses on your books. 
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Offline anniejocoby

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #93 on: March 19, 2015, 12:44:51 PM »
I disagree. There is too much hype and not enough numbers. The list said that 45000 authors were making about 5000 bucks a month. That is not true. At Amazon Author Rank 13000 you make about 550 bucks a month. My question is not whether someone is frugal, but what Amazon Author Rank do you have to be to make 2000 bucks a month? I think this is the sort of information new writers would like to know. Also others trying to figure out whether full time writing is worth pursuing or not.

This is probably helpful. My author rank, on Amazon, this month, has ranged from a high of 14,000 to a low of 26,000, but the average has probably been around 16,000. Thus far, this month, I've made around $3300 from all the Amazons put together. Granted, I have 7 books for sale, so that might skew things some.

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #94 on: March 19, 2015, 12:49:54 PM »
My question is not whether someone is frugal, but what Amazon Author Rank do you have to be to make 2000 bucks a month? I think this is the sort of information new writers would like to know.

I can see why people might like to know it - i.e. out of curiosity, but I don't see how it can help. It's not like I can do things differently in order to aim for an author rank of whatever. In fact, it might put people off and make them think they've no hope of reaching that kind of level.

Offline bobfrost

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #95 on: March 19, 2015, 01:05:56 PM »
The trouble with using author rank to figure income is people with multiple author names.

I made almost 40,000$ last month and didn't even hit an all-star bonus. ;)

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #96 on: March 19, 2015, 01:20:44 PM »
I'm always looking over my shoulder to see if the Tax Man cometh.

If he catches me saying:

I'm writing because I want to write, not because of the potential financial reward

or this is my kind of expensive hobby

or it would be nice to be able to use this hobby to fund other expensive hobbies."

THEN the Tax Man will say that since I would write whether I made money or not, then I am pursing a Hobby.
And expenses to maintain a hobby are not deductible.

I had a conversation with the Tax Man years ago. Now I will never make any "hobby" comments on a public forum. Now, my writing is "for the money," Mr. Tax Man.

And I don't HAVE to make money. But I have to prove that my PURPOSE is to MAKE money, not just enjoy myself.


Offline Vaalingrade

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #97 on: March 19, 2015, 01:22:58 PM »
Using the ranks to figure out author income isn't going to provide usable data because you don't know how or even if they're selling elsewhere. That would make the rank estimation the floor of what they might make... buuuut, you also don't know what kind of overhead they're looking at per book. So maybe it will give you the mean? I don't know, statistics was too long ago.

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Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #98 on: March 19, 2015, 01:34:20 PM »
Author rank takes more into account than just sales, so you can't base anything on that except that those in the Top 100 are probably making a darn good living.

I totally agree that many people are writing the wrong thing. That statement has nothing at all to do with genre. It simply means they're not taking into account their individual talent and making it mesh with the current market. It is possible to write what you want and make it more commercially viable at the same time.

As for the $25k a month thing, I could easily name over 100 authors that make that and much more. If you take into account everyone who has ever published a book, then the percentage making big money is very low, but if you compare the big earners only to a pool of authors pursuing writing as a business they would like to support them, my guess is that percentage goes up considerably.

Making a living is a horrible description to ever use as comparison. For some, making a living is $20k and they're quite happy. For others, they left high paying positions to write and $20k a year wouldn't cover their mortgage. It's a very individual thing. When someone implies that 1 or 2k a month isn't good money, they are speaking from the position of their own financial obligations. They're not making a judgment about anyone else's earnings.

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Re: Is KDP Chump Change for Chumps?
« Reply #99 on: March 19, 2015, 01:41:03 PM »
Granted, Author Rank is about unit sales and borrows; not revenue. I see that now. Price of books is not included in the rank. So we can't get any useful info about how many writers are actually making 2000 bucks a month on Amazon. Pity!