What is your goal for this book?
A. Fame and Fortune. I want to hit the best-seller lists and do a coast-to-coast book tour.
Really? Good luck! Here’s what else you’ll need:
(1) A contract with a Big-Five Publisher [see answer A to last question!] Why? Because the New York Times only counts books sold by major publishers in major book stores. They don’t care how many copies your Grandmother buys.
(2) Major publishers don’t send first-time authors on whirlwind book tours. Is your name James Patterson? J. K. Rowling? No? then you’ll need to tell your grandmother to save some of her book-buying money to pay your bus fare.
B. I’m writing a book about my family. I only need enough copies to pass out to everyone at my next family reunion.
These are the people who knew you when you were ten – hair pulled back into pigtails, shiny braces on your teeth, coke-bottle lenses in thick pink plastic frames perched on your nose, and scabs on your knees, right? They loved you then. They’ll love you now. Have fun with your project. Find a friendly local printer and make yourself a book.
It depends on what bills you’re talking about. You’ll probably never make a living wage. But it is possible for self-published books to pay their own way through the publishing process, with enough left over to finance a fine dinner out or a quick research trip. [See answer B to the last question.] You can do this if you are willing to do the hard work . . . and if you have enough of a bankroll to finance the process before the royalties start coming in. We’ll be talking about how much you’ll need in a couple of weeks.