Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

"Journey to Publication"

The Facts – How Much Does An Author Make?

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The journey to publication has been such an adventure, but it doesn’t stop when the book is published.

My editor and publisher, Nancy Williams sent the formatted pages of “Conquer All Obstacles” to Ingram’s branch called Lightning Source—a POD (Print On Demand) printing company. An incredible printing alternative to the traditional means. Now, the customer can order online and it’s as if the book is sitting on the shelf. Within hours, the book(s) are printed and shipped. So incredibly quick. Why, just this morning, an email from Nancy stated that the 300 copies of “Conquer All Obstacles” were printed and in the same day as ordered, loaded on truck and shipped away. Miraculously, I will have the load of books delivered to my door in about a week.

The shipping (through Purolator) is not cheap. The 9 cases of 34/box costs me just over $400. Shipping, distribution costs, printing cost, and the initial creation of the book (editing/cover) all must be taken into account when figuring the break-even or when the book the author has written will finally be considered profit.

In my calculations, it will take about 200 books, sold from my hands, to break even (and that’s not including the wage/hr or time factor in the story creation).

The printing of a book is around $4.75
The shipping is around $1.25
The editing/cover is around $1.00
The distributing is around $8.00 (Note: My distributors are Coles, Indigo, McNally’s, Books Briar Patch, Broadway Stationary...yes 40% is the going rate these stores rob from the author)

Since I’m my own Publicist (arranging media and book tour) and Marketeer (posting media releases/author profile/book synopsis/site creation with functioning links/advertiser) there are no cost for this area.

I’m selling my book for $20. Taking away the expenses (4.75+1.25+1+8) = $15 of expenses (not taking into account my time writing the book or misc. expenses such as travel/accommodations to book signings, etc.)

$20-$15=$5 per book

Not paying myself anything, I will make $5 per book sold.
I’ve read that the average fiction writer sells around 500 books. Doing the math, the average writer will make around $2,500

The moral of this write-up is...if you want to become a published writer, don’t go quitting your day job.

Now on a more positive note...there are exceptions. Oh, the fellow writers I’ve talked who’ve boast their excitement of their future sightings while on the Opera Wimphrey Show. Just like the parents who believe their little Johnny will be the next NHL Star, many authors carry the same dream...ah, to be rich and famous. And there are the few that do.

What does Jo-Anne believe?

Lately through Internet, TV, and newspaper interviews, I’ve been asked “What’s next for Jo-Anne Vandermeulen”? It’s not that I’m not a dreamer, but I’m more to predict the future or my state of fame in a realistic light.

“One day at a time”. I plan my next course of action; but at the same time, I’m careful not to plan the outcome. Expectations are just bad news.

God has predetermined my journey. My role on this earth is to keep my eyes open. Feel and listen to the signs as to the direction I’m suppose to take. If the doors open, walk through. If there are barricades stopping me...chances are, this is my will dictating my actions.

I’ve learned to really listen. If I’m tired, I sleep. Taking care of myself has become a priority. Call this maturity (okay...comes with age), wisdom, or the fact that I became so ill that most of my natural abilities were robbed—my entire perspective about life has changed.

I’m not writing for the money or fame. I’m writing because I love it...it feels good, and the doors are wide open--I've managed to *Conquer All Obstacles*.

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