It is possible to make a living from writing and selling books, although even among traditionally published authors, there are many more who must also have a day job. If your aim is to make money selling books, you need to write for a readership using expertise that only you can convey in a way that they want to consume it. Writing whatever you feel like probably will not net you a large profit.
If you want to make money from selling books, you need to make some calculated decisions early in the piece. You will need to be coldly pragmatic and unemotive with these decisions, practical and objective.
There are different strategies for different genres and different markets. If you think about it, books are about as diverse as people are, so working out how to make money selling books is not the right question. There can be no simple answer to how to make money on any book. The question needs to be something like 'how to make money on a book in the post apocalyptic fiction genre' or 'how to sell and profit from books about ADHD, autism spectrum and learning disorders'.
I did just that with my book The Anger Volcano, not because I want to manipulate and take advantage of parents of children with ADHD, autism spectrum and learning disorders, but because I know that successfully marketing my book will benefit them by getting it into their hands at the right price! As a small business owner I also cannot afford the time or money to publish my own books unless they are likely to cover costs, and preferably also make some profits.
It is not a shameful thing for a writer to want to earn money from their work. But if you are going into self-publishing with that aim, you need an experienced publishing consultant in your corner. Contact us!
You have to write the right book. You have to write it and publish it the right way. Check out Write it Right our title about self-editing.
You might like to read more about my book publishing and marketing strategy for The Anger Volcano.
How do I manage a publishing project in order to cover costs or make a profit?
You do the math, subtracting all your costs from all your (likely) sales. This is easier said than done and requires intricate industry knowledge and project planning. We can help with a publishing consultation or costs-benefits analysis.