The Dollars and Sense of My Latest Book Launch

Photo by Niels Steeman on Unsplash

On November 14th, I launched my newest book Love Letters to WritersBecause of the first trimester of my pregnancy, I had to make the choice to be a bit less intense – i.e. stressed – about this launch than I had about others, and yet, I wanted to be sure I gave the book a good push out into the world.  (Forgive the unintentional pregnancy and birth metaphors, friends.)

I had a wonderful book launch team of almost 200 people who were on FB and available via email, and they shared memes, recommended the ebook for pre-order, shared interviews and excerpts on their blogs, and just generally spread the word.

So here are the results of that launch in all the ways I can measure. I share them here because I know that it has always been so helpful to me to see other’s publishing and sales figures as a way of both anticipating costs AND have a benchmark by which to place my own publishing costs and profits. I hope these numbers will help you in the same way.

Review Statistics

110 members of the launch team downloaded the free ARC of the book, which I made available 6 weeks before launch.

42 of those people reviewed the book, as of this morning.

In other words, 38% of those who got a free book posted a review.

Sales Figures (As of 11/29/2017 at 8am EST)

KDP – 48 copies for a total of $143.58 in royalties

CreateSpace – 20 copies for a total of $92.99 in royalties

IngramSpark – 3 copies for a total of $7.11 in royalties

Draft2Digital – 1 copy for a total of $2.85 in royalties.

Total Royalties – $246.53

Publishing Costs

Cover Design – $350

Proofreading – $325

Formatting – $150

Print Template – $39

Promotional Memes – $35

Total Publishing Costs – $764


Thus, as of 15 days after launch, I have made back 32.37% of the cost of publishing this book.  I’ll be honest and say that I had hoped to cover the costs of this book by now, but given the number of sales, I’m also pleased that I’ve made this much of the cost back.

I have no doubt that, in time, I will fully cover the costs of publication and also begin to net a profit.  I’ve always had trickling sales online, but when I speak in public – which I do as much as possible – I often sell a great number of print books.  Those engagements plus steady if slow online sales will eventually cover the cost and turn this book into a small but regular passive income stream for me . . . and that passive income, which grows with every book I publish, means I can write more books and do the work of service through those pages.

Are there any questions I can answer for you about these figures, about the launch, about the costs involved?  If so, please do ask. I’ll do my best to answer as thoroughly and honestly as I can.


If you’d like to order a copy of Love Letters to Writers, of course, I’d be thrilled.  You can find it at IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and everywhere else books are sold.