John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Does it Pay to be an Author?

65059_10153347869770515_1749348253_nDoes it pay to be an author?

Of course it does.

Sometimes it pays a whole lot.

Other times not so much and you just have to hope to aim higher and hit the next time around.

And at still other times, depending on what sort of math calculations you choose to use, writing can actually cause you to lose money and make you wonder, “Is merely having a book listed on worth the money you are in debt to make this book?”

I can say that of the three categories I am probably most familiar with the third category.

jyb_musingsAbove is a copy of my first check for profit on my book Musings from the Middle. I chose not to try to make money off it and charge only about a dollar profit a book just to cover costs.

As you can see my first check (which I have been advised is going to be by far my biggest) is $119.12. Now that’s nothing to sneeze at, of course, and is clearly in the “three figure range.” At least until you realize that has to cover a family of four including two teenagers with one in college and one just a few years away. When looked at that way, $119.12 doesn’t sound like as much as it did at first blush.

Given today’s college tuition prices, $119.12 will only cover about 33 minutes of one class your freshman year at a state university.

When you factor in the help I got putting the book together, organizing it, designing a cover, etc, well….all that cost about $400. So when you add the $119.12 to that figure you get something like….well, about — $280.

So let’s assume that over the next year (or five years), I get other checks totaling this amount? I am trying to be realistic. My book is currently ranked on at #1,972,197. Again, nothing to sneeze at. Until you realize that means that 1,972,196 books are ranked ahead of you.

So if I do get a total profit on the book of $240 that means I am only in the hole a mere $160.

Click here to purchase

Click here to purchase

Which now leads to the big question. Would I pay $160 to be able to say I have a book on

The answer is, I apparently already have.

Had I not yet done it, I would be willing to pay…..hmmm…..maybe $150. And could see myself caving in if pushed on $160. So, I guess, all in all it is a good deal. And 33 minutes in a class at a state university is nothing to sneeze at–with today’s college tuition prices.

Especially if you are an author.


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