You’re Not Going To Make It With One Book

You're Not Going To Make It With One Book by Charles Sledge

Once upon a time being a writer mean trying and trying again until a publisher accepted you and then hoping that they knew what they were doing and could market your book to the top. However that was a long shot. Put simply only the great of fools or the most determined could ever hope to make their living from writing and even then writers had to find other ways to support themselves. Now we live in an age when someone can make a living off of their writing without going to a publisher.

When in fact publishers are more of a liability than anything and I would stay away from them. They take a good chunk of your money and then require you to market the book anyway unless you’ve already proven to be successful. A catch 22 and you’d be much better off making a name for yourself through marketing your book (something you’d have to do anyways with a publisher) and still being able to keep a good chunk of your revenue. Stay away from publishers. Alright now with that being said it’s time to address some myths of self-publishing.

The Dream To Never Dream

There is a dream that many writers have that’ll all but guarantee that they never make it. And here’s what that dream is, that dream is having one book/novel that they work hard on and really polish to perfect then publish it and before they know it it’s the next biggest sensation. They’re making theme parks about it and making new movies about every Valentin’s day and even have a whole religion based around it. Sorry but that isn’t going to happen. You are statistically better off playing the lottery then you are having one book make you big money.

You’re not going to make it on one book. You’re not going to have the next million best seller. Like I said before it’s more likely for you to win the lottery then make one book that pays for everything. Writing one book then sitting back or even marketing it as much as you can is not going to be enough to make it. You have to keep writing, keep publishing, and keep marketing. It’s a cycle. Sure it’s passive income but “passive” is a very misleading title. Once it’s built you still have to maintain it and keep growing it.

Portfolio Of Good Books

Alright so you know that you’re not going to make it writing one book, so you have to write a whole host of books before you can start expecting to make decent money. Obviously whatever niche you have chosen is going to have a large effect on this as well as your overall quality of writing. Don’t publish crap whether it’s ghost written crap or quickly hashed together changed just enough to not be plagiarism recycled garbage crap. However with that being said even having one amazing written and informative book isn’t going to be enough for you to make good money (or really any money) off of.

You make a little under 7 bucks for each book sold through kindle when prices at the 9.99 price point (the highest 70% royalty amount). Now maybe Amazon will change in the future but nevertheless you aren’t going to be making huge money off any one book sale. Let’s say it increases to 8 bucks just for the hell of it. To make 60k a year (not great but livable) you’d have to sell 7500 books a year and that’s not including taxes and such. So if you’re selling 2.99 books and the like think about how much more you’d have to sell where your takeaway is pretty much 2 bucks a book.

More Than You Think

Put together how many books you think you’ll need to make it then double it and then double it again. Then you’ll be closer to what it takes to make it as a self-published author. That’s including you knowing sales and marketing which are non-negotiable skills for making it in any business and frankly in life. So keep writing, keep publishing, and keep marketing. Eventually you can get to the point where you’re making a couple of extra grand a month which you can then use to support yourself while you work on another business or use to funnel back into your publishing empire.

Authors who make it generally have pages and pages of books that can be selected from. I know people are fans of numbers even just as a goal to shoot for. So if you really want one I’d recommend settling down to write 50 books before expecting to make good money from it. These don’t have to be 100,000 word novels and actually shouldn’t be. And by the way this is a pretty much arbitrary number and I purposely made it a little high (to push yourself). They could be 10,000 word 2.99 books or half 2.99 books and half 9.99 books. But 50 is a good solid round number to shoot for.


Again this is for someone who wants to make their living as a self-published author. The work has to be done well (as in quality) and must have a good title, keywords, and description as well. Don’t throw up 50 random books and expect to make it. And the upside is you could make it long before this. Put your head down and get to work. The money comes after the work and marketing are done not before. And every book you write helps to market the other books making your overall portfolio exponentially stronger with every addition. So get writing.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it. You can follow me on Twitter here.

-Charles Sledge

Charles Sledge

  • Johnny Grube

    I prefer small books with no bullshit, they can be 25 to 50
    pages, the price shouldn’t matter if the information is there.
    I love your books, I got most of them except, the ones on
    picking up women been married 24 yrs plus never had a
    problem in that department.

    • Thanks. With the shorter ones try to solve one problem thoroughly and with the bigger ones try to give a broad overview of a subject. And haha yeah you won’t have much use for those.