How are ya now? A theory was heard a while back if you wrote 50 books, you’d be making around $50,000. I’m not sure if that’s just a one-time amount or an actual salary. Let’s take a look at that theory and break it down a bit. Will this theory work for only one type of book, or will it work for a mix of books? Will this work for RPG game writing like I am trying to do? Could this be applied to other creative hobbies too?
I think The key is momentum with the books. Releasing regular books out there. I know some writers have said they gain so much momentum they put out a book a month. They write the book, send it off to the editors. I think another key to this is making fans of your work as well. Working towards the goal of 1000 true fans. Those fans that will follow your work, share it with their friends, and always return when your stories are published.
So let us see what this looks like.
So you are a fiction writer. You worked your but off and completed your first book. You self publish the book for say $5. You sell 100 copies of the book. That’s making $500 of it. Lets say you are a mediocre writer. You’ve hit some decent traction and made 50 fans.
Book 1 - 100 copies sold - $500 made - 50 fans made.
Total income - $500 - Total fans 50 - True fans 0
When you write another book and release it, say you sell it for another $5. Some of your previous customers come back and buy your book. Lets say 50 customers come back, and you get 100 new customers. So you sold the book and made $750. Say about half of those become fans. Say 25 of those new customers go back to get your first book. Book 1 received some new sales on it’s own. Say another 25 sold. You’re not quite sure if the 50 fans that came back are true fans or if they’re just regular fans. So we’ll bypass the true fan bit for now, but some of the fans you made may become true fans.
Book 2 - 150 total copies sold - $750 made - 75 fans - True Fans ???
Book 1 - 150 total copies sold - $750 made - 50 fans - True Fans ???
Total Income - $1000 - 125 fans - True Fans
You participated in NaNoWriMo and were able to push through 2 more books. You decide to space the release of book 3 and book 4. Book 3 is released at $5 per book. You sell 125 copies. That makes about $625. 75 of those that bought it are returning fans. During this release, 50 copies of book 2, and 50 copies of book 1 are sold giving you $500 from those sales. Book 4 is released during a special book month. You sell 200 copies of book 4 at $5 a book that’s $1000. Say some of those go back and buy your other books. Say 75 buy your book 1, 50 buy your book 2, and another 75 buy your book 3. By this point the true fan bit doesn’t really matter, the point is you’re getting about 50-75 new sales of your old books, plus selling to about 75 returning fans.
Book 4 - 200 total copies sold - $1000 made - 100 fans
Book 3 - 200 total copies sold - $1000 made - 75 fans
Book 2 - 250 total copies sold - $1250 made -
Book 1 - 375 total copies sold - $1875 made -
Total income - $5125 -
It’s not hard to see the combinations here. Once you build your momentum to having 50 to 100 true fans you are making 250 - 500 each time you release a book. Take that to 500 true fans, you are making $2500 per book. 1000 true fans and you are making 5000 per book. This is just counting selling new books at $5 per release. This isn’t counting previous sales that are coming in. This price will fluctuate a lot for new and previous books. And you might get to a point where you aren’t making any sales in your previous books.
Does it work for other areas of writing too?
You could apply the same theory for RPG content. Say you are writing character backgrounds. You release a series of character backgrounds for $1 per. If you get up to 1000 true fans, you are generating $1000 each time you release a character background. Maybe you decide to do compilations, or complete 1-5 level character builds for more $. Those fans will buy from you because they trust your work.
Paintings, art, 3d printing, videos, all of it could use the 1000 true fan formula to get 50 projects to 50,000. Paintings and art may be tricky if it’s not digital art. The same goes for video content. As for writing, I think it covers a lot of ground in theory.
Forgive me this got to sound more like more of an epic math word problem towards the end there. What do you think? Does the math work out? What do you think about making a little extra income with writing? I’ve heard that it’s not a good strategy to go into writing with money as the goal. I guess that’s different if you are writing a book about money, like an investing book, or a money management book. I digress, One should do their hobby for enjoyment, money comes second. If it can pay for itself, great. If it can’t, you’ve still created something and had fun!
Thanks for reading thus far!
Who am I?
Joe DeMarco a single father, freelance writer, and software quality assurance analyst by my day job. I am a big-time gamer, and really enjoy checking out all kinds of games available. Putting my curiosity to the app store I find random games to check out.
If you have a game you'd like me to review, contact me and let us see how we can work together.