Does anyone [except a few] truly makes enough on their ROI to justify the high cost of preparing a book for publication?

I hadn’t thought about this vital topic until I read about it on a blog where the authors were complaining they feel they’re merely working for others although, they are Independents.

Indie authors see it all over the web. Some swear by the Blarney Stone they can’t, won’t touch or read anything if it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. Well, those are the same people would have never bought Tamerlane ,Edgar Allan Poe’s first published novel that’s now worth 665,000. It was certainly nothing grand to look at and contained a lot of printing press errors and some considered errors due to his writing style.

But like in The Prudential commercial when they slap down the Rock of Gibraltar  stating in the real world things don’t work out as they do in movies.

Pulling off the literature hype mask and star struck blind folders and looking at reality— does it make logical sense to spend nearly $5,000 for something that may or may not bear fruits?

Writing and selling books is a gamble. Realistically, from a ROI [Return On Investment] stand point does it truly makes good business sense to justify the high cost of preparing a book for publication unless you are well-to-do and doing it as a hobby? With the average full editorial service costing between $500.00 to $2,500 and much higher if it’s a big book; the average book cover costing between $50.00 to and can go as high as $3,000.00. Don’t forget the internal formatting which can tack on another $50.00-1,500.00 depending on the size of the book.

At these astronomical rates, right off the bat, one has to sell at least 250 books to remotely break even, rather Indie or traditional published.  So, in  short the vast majority of the first monies made goes to editors, cover designer, formatters and book promoters not the author. Simple math dictates that you have to sell 25 copies of your story to pay for the $50 cover design fee. Selling twenty-five copies mean that you’re working for the cover designer instead of yourself. For new authors, having to sell twenty-five copies may mean that you will never make a penny on a story, much less be able to buy anything you’ve had your eye on or pay a bill.

So when will you make any money following the ridiculous format outlined by those who do not have your best interest at heart? The answer is never. All of your earnings will go toward production.

If you have a small press you are still responsible for marketing and that alone can be very expensive.

My point being, nowadays, with the options of cheaper alternatives don’t break your bank to publish because those who are going to read your work will read it regardless of whether it’s written on a brown paper bag and those who aren’t going to read it won’t; even if it has all the things that some in the literary agenda avows that’s absolutely  deemable and written on expensive  Midori Paper; they still aren’t going to read it.

It’s very important to dream up interesting and exciting contents to your story. I know I’m often disappointed when I come across something saturated with all the bells and whistles and then the plot doesn’t keep my interest.  It’s like being really hungry and buying a big beautiful bag of potatoes only to open it and discover the few chips at the bottom of the bag but the rest of it is mostly air.




Don't be ridiclous

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
This entry was posted in ANNOUNCEMENTTS, author, authors, books, Personal thoughts, publishing, wisdom, writers, writings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Does anyone [except a few] truly makes enough on their ROI to justify the high cost of preparing a book for publication?

  1. Let me clarify something. I’m not saying forego a proper editing, formatting or obtaining a great book cover because if you do you, will have a literary hot mess. I’m saying if you’re an Indie and on a budget shop around for a freelancer who fit your budget. These are trying time and everyone is on a tight budget so use your imagination and ingenuity to stretch your publishing and marketing dollars.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bredan says:

    It makes no productive business sense at all. Serious readers do not care about all the superfical things. They want a good story

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Saksgirl says:

    No sound investment requires spending when thereof unforeseen profits. People who touts these things have interest in seeing an Indie author succeed. Their only goal is to wring as much money as possible out of the writer never mind if the book sell enough copies to recuperate the amount spent. It’s an unregulated business. So, of course they are going to violently push for thousands of unnecessary dollars to be spent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wm. Allen says:

    Excellent post and it was my experience after paying for cover design, editing, interior design, etc. I think I sold 150 copies, which I heard was pretty good for an unknown first time writer. Nevertheless, I never recovered by costs. But, it was a labor of love, so I have no regrets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy you sold 150 copies. That’s great. Outstanding for an unknown author. I’ve no idea how much my publisher spends on these things and was wondering does anyone recuperate the cost? But I do evaluate the cost of the parts I have to spend money on like marketing. I wrote this post because I read an article where several Indie authors were saying they never recovered the cost and they have so many other stories they would love to put out but can not afford to do so.


  5. Ann Harden says:

    No, it does not unless you have money to lose and to burn. Most unknown authors are not going to make $1,000-2,000 dollars per book. The service part of the publishing industry has placed the creation of independent work out of the reach of the average authors.

    First, they took away the Goodread free giveaways, then the Amazon ads were eliminated. How on earth is an indie author working at $7.25- 13.75 and the 13.75 that’s in more progressive states; are supposed to be able to afford all the nonsense these crooks are saying needed to produce a book. I see this shenanigan as the big publishing companies trying to turn things back the way they were. Most aren’t making a return on their investment and that’s the point to force them to stop writing.

    On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 11:02 PM

    Liked by 1 person

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