Passive Guy hit the wall with math in high school. He searched in vain for a college that didn’t require the math part of the SAT exam.
If Excel hadn’t been invented, PG would have required some horrible-looking finger transplant to add or subtract double-digit numbers.
Author Dean Wesley Smith has gone on a numbers binge. These numbers will interest even the most innumerate of authors because Dean shows you how to earn a living writing fiction.
Start from the premise that I am a professional writer.
Start from the premise that I want to make $100,000.00 per year with my fiction writing.
Start from the premise that I can write four novels a year. (About one hour of work per day…1,000 words per day total. 80,000-90,000 word novels.)
Start from the premise that I only want to indie publish. (Ignoring all other income from sales that will come an indie publisher’s way such as translation, movie, audio, and such.)
Start from the premise that I will make this money like I make it in traditional publishing advance and royalty system. (When I make $25,000 on a book in traditional publishing, it comes in three advance parts for a $20,000 advance and $5,000 more in royalties over a few years. About five years total time to earn a full $25,000 traditionally publishing a book.)
So to the math:
I want to make $25,000.00 per book paid out over a 5 year period.
$25,000 divided by 5 years = $5,000 per year per book.
$5,000 per book divided by 12 months = $416.67 cents per month per book.
$416.67 per book divided by $3.50 per sale = 120 books sold per month per book. ($4.99 cover x 70% = $3.50)
That means across all sites (iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, Smashwords, Diesel, B&N, Kindle, Createspace, bookstores, and all the overseas ebook sites) a book must sell 120 books in a month regularly, on average, to make the author $25,000 over five years.
That’s right! 120 books per month to make $25,000 per book over five years.
And if you keep writing books at the 4 per year pace, in the sixth year you will make more than that $100,000.00 per year when all your books average that sales number. And you will have made far more than that total income over the five years.
Link to the rest of the numbers at Dean Wesley Smith