Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bookonomics 101: The 7-Day Work Week

Last night I called my parents and gave them a gentle reminder that I had released a new book. My Mom was excited, as always (and promised to tell all her friends to look me up), but when she put my Dad on the phone, the old man got down to brass tacks almost immediately.

"How many are you selling these days?" he asked.
I told him.
"And at what price?"
I told him the price ranges of my books, what the average roughly was (based on current sales), and the royalty rate. He did some quick math, and said, "So you're making about $_____ per week."
"To be honest," I said, "it's a little more, since I actually sell seven days per week."

My Dad laughed at that. He had actually calculated his estimate of what I was earning based on a 5-day work week - as if my books were only available Monday-Friday. I had to remind him that my books are actually out there hustling seven days a week (not to mention 24 hours per day). Which is really kind of amazing when you think about it.

Basically, as an author, you write a book and then put it out there for sale. At that juncture, your book is available all day, every day. For all time. It's a literary perpetual motion machine, requiring no more input of energy or effort on your part.

Moreover, it's passive income. You did all the heavy lifting on the front end in terms of writing; now, everything you're earning comes from that initial creative endeavor. 

Frankly speaking, I've tried other ways of earning passive income from writing (like posting articles at sites like Squidoo and Hubpages) but outside factors - e.g., Google's constant algorithm changes - essentially cut me off at the knees every time I would start gaining traction. It occurred to me then that, rather than post hundreds or thousands of articles (many of which required in-depth research), I could follow an earlier dream and put that same energy into writing novels. 

Needless to say, I'm glad I did. Not only does it appear that my work has found an enthusiastic and supportive audience, but I'm doing the type of writing I always wanted to do. And, while I still have to deal with algorithm changes from platforms like Amazon, I'm finding far more success with novels than I ever did with articles.

In short, my books are out there working tirelessly for me around the clock. Of course, it helps if I give them an occasional boost through marketing, but the truth of the matter is they are going to continue charging relentlessly and non-stop out into the world, working every hour of the day, seven days a week, for my benefit. In truth, that's more than most of us do for the day job - in fact, we'd probably quit if our boss demanded it of us - so I feel quite blessed to be the benficiary of any progress on their part.


  1. GREAT WORK, KEVIN! So proud of you...Many, many BLESSINGS. Your mom did her job....I just ordered your last three books.

    1. LOL! Yes, she is undoubtedly my biggest cheerleader. As always, thanks for your support.

  2. Sensation recently charged its way into my kindle account and now I've ordered the next in the series.
    Ebook specials are like the mythical drug dealers in the PSAs of my youth; "here kid, the first one's free (or 99c)," and then you're hooked for life.

    1. LOL! Thanks, my goal is to write literary crack; now I've just got to figure out how to expand my distribution!


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