I have yet to meet an author who thought his/her publisher did enough marketing or who was satisfied with the royalties received. Most have the fantasy of writing the book, submitting the manuscript, and then sitting in a lawn chair next to the mailbox, waiting on those big checks to show up. The reality of publishing and the source of real income is a quite different picture.
How Much Money Can You Make From Writing A Book?
Jay Conrad Levinson is best known for popularizing the term “guerrilla marketing” in his many books. He comments, “Some people asked me how much I made from my first book. The answer I gave was $10 million. The book itself only paid $35,000 in royalties, but the speaking engagements, spin-off books, newsletters, columns, boot camps, consulting, and wide-open doors resulted in the remaining $9,965,000.”
The first edition of my book 48 Days to the Work You Love was released in 2005. it quickly became a New York Times bestseller and has now sold in excess of 800,000 copies. It continues to do very well and I am thankful for the royalty checks that come in. Other books including No More Dreaded Mondays, Wisdom Meets Passion, and Rudder of the Day have also added to the income I enjoy from book sales. But as I have little control over royalties, I’ve never depended on that income for any real expenses, vacations, or retirement funds. My wife Joanne and I typically have fun guessing the amount before we open that twice-yearly envelope. And then we squeal with delight or groan in fake agony when the dollar amount appears.