So I continue to contemplate the possibility that one could make a living and then some (maybe a lot then-some) by self-publishing “spicey” literature. Note how cleverly we avoid the “p” word here by way of avoiding endless annoying spam.
Not that the site’s several spam-catchers don’t do fine in that department. But one supposes it wouldn’t be good to bring oneself to the attention of, oh, say, the NSA or some other black-helicopter set. 😀
Where were we? Yesh. Raunch.
Pour moi, I wouldn’t need to crank 30 grand a month. Far from it. Thirty grand a year would get me out from under having to teach freshman comp and also bring an end to the editing jobs.
To continue to live in my present crimped lifestyle, I would need to gross (not net) $2,440 a month, on top of Social Security. This would pay the bills — all the bills — and keep food on the table most of the time.
It would be nice to see that income float in the door all through the rest of my life, not just while I still have enough ginger to churn out two or three unclean novelettes a week.
Our spy in this business tells us that he hires out some of the writing to freelances who will scribble 5,000 words of formulaic smυt for $100. Another source I’ve come across keeps the length to 3,000 words. Even though I probably write more than 3,000 words every day, most of those words are undirected. Hiring “content providers” would guarantee that you could keep the business going into your dotage, assuming you could hire a trustworthy project manager…which I do believe I can.
So let’s consider what the business would have to gross to cover projected costs, per month:
$3,000: 30 novelettes at $100 apiece = $3000
$500: Contract business manager: + commission on revenues above a certain level
$300: Contract accountant/bookkeeper
$400: Editor/e-book template checker (make contract providers use template)
$500: Overseas artist to create cover art
$300: Marketing agent: + commission on revenues above a certain level
$2,450: Payout to me
While that sounds like a lot, it’s not six figures. It really isn’t much more than I was earning at the Great Desert University, especially when you add in the side gigs I had going on at the time.
At the outset, expenses would be lower than those shown, because I can do my own formatting and I can write the “content” myself.
As the business grows, the manager and the marketer would be motivated to ramp up their efforts by commissions on revenues over, say, $8,000. So, supposing the business made $10,000 in a month and each of these worthies got a 10% commission on the $2,000, they’d each make $200 extra, adding up to $2,400 a year apiece. If the business actually did make 30 grand (why do I doubt it so?), then each of them would make $2,200 in that month ($30,000 – 8,000 x 10%).
And that would surely make their efforts worthwhile. Mine, too: $30,000 – 8,000 – (2,200 x2) = $17,600 of pure gravy.
Best not to eat that Thanksgiving dinner before the turkey’s hatched. But isn’t it fun to think about?