Friday, February 4, 2011

Rock Out With $$$ (Can I Get a Self-Pubbed WHOOP WHOOP!!)

I am a math(s) geek and probably always will be. I love numbers and how factual they are. Like any good scientist (yes, I also loves me the science), I pithily say, "The numbers don't lie!" If your math(s) are right, you have your answer!


The fact is that I am in a situation where $600/month (600*12 = $7,200/year) is an adequate income for me. I understand I am lucky in a few regards:

1. I live with my fiance who only requires I pay my own bills and stock the house with food. (No rent.)
2. My car payment is less than $188/month. (Rock on Riley, I love my 2006 Chevy Aveo!)
3. I sent home most of my income while I taught in Japan - thus paying down my bills more than average.
4. I am smart with money (AND MATH(s)!)
5. I have implemented the Snowball Effect as pertains to bills, so I am ahead of the curve.

I am planning on selling my current WIP for $3.99. Let's round my royalties from that to a nice number - $2.50.

At $600 needed a month, in increments of $2.50 payments:
600/2.50 = 240 books a month must be sold
Per year:
7200/2.50 = 2880 books a year.

My goal is to sell 1000 books by December 15th, 2011 (of my current WIP). I expect to have at least 1 other book completed and up for sale before then.

If I assume 3/4ths of my sales will be from Book 1 (based solely on the fact that it will be sold longer):
.75*2880 = 2,160 books will have to be Book 1.

Hmm, that's still higher my 1,000 goal.

But, if I make my goal to sell 1k of Book 1, and produce 2 books, I can break it down closer to something like this:
Book 1: 1000
Book 2: 700
Book 3: 400
Total: 2100... getting a lot closer to providing for myself!!

This also assumes a continuous $3.99 price point for all three. That may not necessarily be the case, in which, I will have shorter works but probably more of them. So, if I were to say:
Book 1: 1000
Prjct2: 700 (at $2.99 ~ @1.75/book)
Prjct3: 400
Prjct4: 100
Total $: ((1000*2.5)+[(700+400+100)*1.75]=$4,600/year. That's more than halfway to my goal :)

I don't know what I'll write this year, or how fast I'll write. I don't know how good the ideas that come to me will be (but I pledge to discard the lame ones). I think it would be a shame if I couldn't produce one more book this year, awesome if I could produce 2 and amazing if I could do more, and still have the level of quality I expect from myself.

From my random math(s) ramblings, I believe I could be self-sustainable within 2 years.

I would like that very much :)

Robin Sullivan posted this insight over in the comments of Konrath's blog:
1 book - 10 / month
2 books - 50-60 / month
3 books - 200-400 / month
4 books - 1,000 / month
5 books - 10,000 / month

So, according to that, if I have 3 good books out, my theory holds pretty true! Two years ahoy!


  1. My family liked to play the game Cashflow 101 by Robert Kiyosaki. In it the goal was to try and make sure your passive income exceeded your monthly obligations for your life. Once your passive income exceed your monthly bills then you no longer had to work in the rat race. You were free. Of course, the higher your initial salary the more you needed.

    Selling e-books is a perfect way to build passive income. I have had businesses before but nothing feels as sweet as the monthly checks that I receive from Amazon and soon Barnes and Noble. I don't have to keep putting in time to receive money off of my previous books and that is awesome!

  2. My goal is to finish at least three books this year. One is already complete. I really just need to get it up on Kindle. It will take me at least two years to have five books finished. I would love to meet that mark sooner, but I recognize that it just aint gonna happen.

  3. Good luck! But I gotta tell you, I've got 5 books on Kindle, and last month, I sold 74 copies total.

  4. @Bakari: I've never heard of that game! It sounds right up my alley though... I know all about passive income (BBA, whee!). The problem is making it, making it sustainable - and not feeling like you sold your soul to the devil selling some crappy product *coughaffiliatescough*

    @Shelia: Go for it! My goal is also to finish three, but if I don't get it, I don't. I just want to write, have fun and maybe make a few extra bucks for Taco Bell along the way ;) If I could support myself on it... it would be a dream!

    @V.J.: 74 copies last month is 74 copies more than if you didn't have them ANYWHERE! With my one lonely book coming out this month, I could only hope for those numbers :)