Archive for August, 2011

Self-Publishing Can Be Profitable

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

I just received my second royalty check for the second edition of WHAT TO CHARGE: PRICING STRATEGIES FOR FREELANCERS AND CONSULTANTS. With these royalties, plus the Kindle sales and the books I’ve sold on my own at personal appearances, I have almost recouped the basic cost of the publishing package from the self-publishing outfit, Outskirts Press—in just 6 months.

The actual cost to publish the book was nearly double the basic cost by the time I added on extra features, such as Kindle and a Library of Congress number. The add-ons were services I felt would increase sales. I can tell these were wise investments.

I had anticipated recouping the costs of producing the book in two years. If sales continue well this year, I might recoup the costs in about one year instead. I also had anticipated a third year before I would see any profit, as I would have substantial promotion costs in the first year the book was available.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I start to see a profit within two years?

Many people wonder if the money spent to self-publish a book can be recovered. My answer is yes. Choose a good basic package and additional features that will encourage sales, then aggressively promote the book to the target audience. Self-publishing can be profitable!

Work Break

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I worked steadily in July. In an ordinary year, this would not be news. But this is no ordinary year. After the second edition of my book What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants came out in March, I decided that my main client this year would have an odd name: “Marketing the Book.”

After four months doing little paying work but being fully occupied promoting What to Charge, my favorite client called with an assignment. I happily took it. When his colleague called with another job, I took that one too.

As usually happens after a break from my ordinary business, I launched into these assignments with a vigor that sometimes eludes me when I work steadily for months or years on end. After being away from the ordinary work of my freelance writing and editing business for a spell, I return with new energy, insight, and speed.

Vacations don’t cut it for me. I am not refreshed by a vacation that involves preplanning, travel, and early rising; I’m exhausted! But taking a break from business, often while still working but without pay, rejuvenates me.

In my 26 years as a freelancer, I’ve had seven or eight work breaks of one to four months. Two were forced by recessions that temporarily halted the work flow. The others were breaks I gave myself, either as a reward or as an opportunity to concentrate on something I wanted to accomplish. During these breaks, I’ve often worked, but at my own pace and without pay. I finished a novel, wrote and 10 years later revised What to Charge, created courses I wanted to teach, and cleaned and reorganized my office. These were activities I couldn’t complete when I had clients to satisfy.

Other freelancers manage to accomplish what I do on work breaks while they are simultaneously working for clients. I applaud them. I need concentrated time away from client pressures. Work breaks work for me.