In 2020, the European publishing industry saw a total annual sales revenue of €22.2 billion. Although this slightly decreased from 2019, the total market value is estimated at €36 to 38 billion. With this worth, it’s no wonder many authors are trying to get their share of profits by writing new novels, books, and references. However, their sales highly depend on their success as a writer. We have, of course, seen best-selling authors like Stephen King and JK Rowling make millions of dollars from their books.
However, indie authors may not see the same level of sustainable income, especially when their book is still being published. Traditional publishing often relies on a successful book proposal, which starts before a book’s content is created. After finishing the book, it can take up to two years to launch an author’s book. On the other hand, self-publishing authors have to cover publishing and marketing costs out of pocket, which can stress their finances. Rather than relying on a singular source of income and savings, authors must manage their money well to ensure they can support their livelihood and passions. Below are a few tips on how you, as an indie author, can manage your money during the publishing process:
Find ways to cut costs
Self-publishing requires authors to take on most of the funding, with print publishing costing as much as €47,562.50 to €190,250 ($50,000 to $200,000) through custom publishing houses. On online platforms like Amazon, these costs can drop to €9,512 ($10,000), but a significant amount is still taken out of an author’s pocket. However, since authors are given more flexibility with self-publication, you can find ways to cut costs on your publication.
One of the best ways to save on costs is to do some processes yourself. While certain tasks like editing and illustrations are best left to the professionals, tasks such as proofreading, formatting, and marketing can be completed by yourself or a hired freelancer. Depending on your book’s genre, you can also save on material costs by opting for a less expensive type of bookbinding – such as a paperback cover option.
Diversify your income
Considering how it can take a while before authors see sales from their publications, they need to diversify their income to ensure constant cash flow. One of the most common wealth-building tips is to look for different earning opportunities. Finding other funding sources allows you to spare money if you need to cover personal emergencies.
In the age of technology, there are plenty of opportunities for authors to earn money beyond publication. Aside from writing gigs, fiction authors can earn passive income through other media forms such as podcasts and Youtube videos. You can also form partnerships with brands or people within the same genre, helping share each other’s audiences and build a following. These can simultaneously add to your income and encourage audiences to visit your material once it’s published.
Avoid incurring debt
Unless you’re a seasoned author with a history of earnings, it’s best to avoid incurring debt. Although getting a personal loan to fund self-publishing and other writing efforts is possible, some authors don’t always have a reliable income. If you are between writing projects and incur large loans without proper cash flow, it may be challenging to handle any unexpected expenses on top of rising interest costs.
Aside from earning additional cash through side hustles, you can also look for author-oriented grants or awards. Many organisations offer monetary rewards to authors for their quality work, particularly those coming from minority groups. Whenever possible, it’s best to join these opportunities that can help fund potential future writing projects.
Written exclusively for bookhubpublishing.com
By Jenise Von