Can You Make Money Self Publishing?

can you make money self publishing

Gaining a passive income stream is a blessing no matter your age, your profession, or what you’re interested in.

While receiving a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work feels great inside, passive income is a different kind of sweet.

I personally view passive income as a cheat code that can be used to hack the system so I can still make money while I’m living more and working less.

That’s why I’m always looking for passive income streams, and one of the best options I found is through self publishing a book.

It requires discipline and focus to write a quality book, but once you learn how to self publish a book and promote it, it’s off your hands forever while it continues to bring in money.

So to answer the blog title question, “Can you make money self publishing?,” in short, the answer is yes—and you can make a lot of it.

The Money In Self Publishing

Some firms predict that the self publishing market could get to $52 billion dollars at its entirety. That’s an absolutely massive industry, especially for an activity that is still in its early days.

With around a $52 billion dollar pie, there are enough pieces and crumbs to go around for thousands of authors.

And the revolution will continue to grow for decades to make this market even bigger, in my opinion.

Of course there are weak books out there, where the authors don’t give enough time and energy to write and market a successful book. These result in little to no sales, have an Amazon ranking of two million or worse, and get bad book reviews.

But when authors follow the process the right way, and give extensive time and energy to their book, the results are worthwhile.

For example, even first-time authors are routinely bringing in thousands of dollars a month. 

Also, many authors easily bring in more than a thousand dollars a month when they have three to five published books out in the market.

And just as I became hooked with passive income after I became an author, other authors feel the same way and strive for more.

Those making thousands of dollars a month are writing and marketing more books until they reach the five thousand dollar a month club. While the writers making five thousand a month are shooting to reach an income of ten thousand a month off of book sales.

And if you weren’t inspired already, there are major league authors who completely broke through the self publishing world to make a fortune.

Here are two examples of many to choose from.

Author Amanda Hocking has made millions from self publishing. This article from The Guardian in 2012—she has surely made multiples of that income in the four years since—tells some of Hocking’s story.

And E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey started as a self published work before it blew up and even turned into a Hollywood movie. What started as a small ebook for E.L. James now brings home huge book royalties and also major motion picture royalties.

Authors everywhere are foregoing traditional publishing to go rogue and self publish. (See how much it costs to self publish here.)

Application To You

What do all of these examples mean to you? For one, it supports the idea that the audience and the money is there, in different scales, if you’re interested in publishing your own book.

And hypothetically speaking, if you’re able to publish and promote quality books then you can use this income stream to make an infinite amount of money.

However, before you get too excited, realize that it will take serious hard work and patience before you can live off this income or make a fortune.

But that should be fine because the journey is half the fun. And nothing that’s worth having comes quick and easy.

So assuming you follow this guide on how to write a book and get it written, there are two key essentials to get the ball rolling on your quest to make money from self publishing.

Key 1: Book Promotion

Remember the authors I mentioned who sell basically nothing and their book is ranked in the millions on Amazon? This is what they do: they write their book, publish it, and pray that it sells.

Then no one buys it as it’s drowned out by the rest of the competition, and they wonder what went wrong.

The people self publishing and making thousands of dollars a month are not only writers, but they also are advanced in marketing. And those making $100,000-$1,000,000 or more a year are expert marketers who know exactly how to sell books and get on the bestseller lists.

Here are some of the strategies the advanced and expert book marketers do:

– Grow an email list of people interested in the book subject through making their blog stand out

– Giveaway helpful content for free (blog posts, podcasts, etc.) before they ask their audience to buy

– Promote their work to their social media friends and followers

– Appear on influencer’s websites through guest posts and podcasts

– Come out with a book promotion video (here’s the trailer for my first book if you’re curious)

– Include cool promotions and incentives for their customers

– Time the release perfectly to optimize sales

Usually the experts do all of these things super well anyway, but then they also have the advantage of a gigantic audience that will buy their books at their command.

The smaller the audience, the more the up-and-comers need to grind to get their book noticed.

Key 2: High Quantity Of Written Books

Step two is basic economics: the more products you have available, the more you can sell to consumers. As an author, your product is obviously your book and having more of them published will contribute to more book sales and money in your pocket.

These are some additional reasons why.

When the audience trusts who is selling to them and what is being sold, they’re exponentially more likely to buy the book than they are to click on another page. And authors with multiple books to their name are viewed as more credible and more likely to deliver what the viewer is looking for.

Another thing top authors have going for them after publishing multiple books is repeat customers. Once a reader enjoys one book, they’re likely to buy another book by the same author, and so on.

Now these self published authors get to multiply their book earnings by every repeat customer. That’s a good business model to set up in any industry.

Or authors with multiple books that are relevant to one another have the flexibility to package them as a series, which could help drive more buying customers.

And this goes without saying, but you don’t get these benefits and extra revenue when you’ve only published one book.

How To Monetize Your Books To Another Level

Book royalties (even ebooks at $0.99) can be very profitable, as you saw in the examples above.

However, they may be even more valuable as a tool to drive targeted leads back to your business. It’s super easy to add a link back to your website in the front or back matter of your book and attract thousands of visitors.

And if you write a book that gives readers significant value, then they can quickly turn into a devoted fan who wants more from you. So you send them to your website and have them subscribe for email updates.

Once you have this working for you and gain a well-established following, your revenue can skyrocket.

For example, say your dream is to make a million dollars in one year. Is it likely that book revenue alone will get you to you a million dollars? Most likely not.

But on your website, you offer an online course that costs a $1,000 flat fee.

If 1,000 of your subscribers (who came from the book) buy your $1,000 online course, there’s your $1 million.

I told you there’s big money in self publishing and the extensions that can come directly from a book.

Can you believe how much money you can make from self publishing? What about promoting your book seems difficult?  Please ask me any other questions that you may have.

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