Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Profit and Loss

Technically I am not writing novels to make money. Truthfully speaking though I would not be writing everyday and working to understand the self-publishing market simply for relaxation. I'm writing stories that I want to read, their comercial acceptance or failure will not determine my satisfaction with the tales.

At some point when we try and monetize our hobbies we need to start looking at a return on investment. How much are we spending on our hobby and are the returns big enough to continue with a sustained investment. There are a number of authors who are very open with their comercial success. Joe Konrath shares some sales figures on his blog. I hope some day that I can do posts like his and let you know how many thousands of copies of my book have been sold. Today however my book is a cost center.

I'm about 6 weeks from publishing on Kindle. To date I have spent $265 on my book. The break down is simple:
  • $9.95 for my domain name
  • $5 for a place holder book cover from Fiverr
  • $250 for 10 ISBN numbers
The expenses above do not include a few things that a hardcore accountant may expect to see. The laptop I use for writing is a seven year old MacBook, in my mind that makes it a free resource. I should put a value on my time, I have thousands of hours invested in the book, but no line item for that. My cell phone is actively used for social media updates and book marketing, but I would have it if I weren't writing so again, no line item. All of the writing has been done with Google Docs so there is no software cost for that. However yesterday I signed up for a trial of Microsoft Office 365 and I already know that I will pay that subscription when the trial is over, that will be a line item.

Over the next six weeks I expect to drop thousands on my book for things like a professional cover design and professional layout services. I'll update my profit and loss statement to reflect those expenditures when they occur. In March I will publish my book so starting with the April update there will be some income to balance out the expense.

Are you tracking the investments you make in your book? 

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