Hey! Today, after a long absence, I’d like to officially welcome myself back to the land of the bloggers! Today, I wanted to share with you guys a mini documentary. It is a mini documentary about what it’s like to have to hustle books! It was created for us lovely Internet viewers and put out there by Paul Perlman, fellow officer… Admittedly, playing on a different field, but an author nonetheless. In case some of you don’t know, I wrote a book. About a year ago, I took a series of posts that I had been attempting to develop into a play and compiled them into a book called, the Gimpy Monologues. It was simultaneously one of the most rewarding and terrifying experiences I’ve elected to undergo. And you know what? Selling books is extremely difficult. And everybody’s experience is different, depending on how you go about it, but no matter what, it is hard as hell. Let me tell you some of what I learned.
There are some people out there that don’t read. I know this isn’t a shock to some of you, but it was to me. Not only are there people out there that don’t read, but they have no idea that writing a book actually takes time and skill. If you undertake it yourself, you will find people who, upon hearing that you are writing a book, will either ask you why you are doing it, or they will simply say “that’s nice.”
I don’t make any money off of used books. That’s right, I don’t make any money off of used books. I went on to a lovely bookselling website that I happen to use quite frequently, and found several copies for sale from vendors across the country in used condition. Here’s the thing, the average profit margin for an independent author on each book that they print is somewhere between $4-$6 per unit, is that is not a huge profit margin. In some cases (like mine), the profits from book sales are really the only source of disposable income I have. Here’s the thing… I have dreams, I want to make this world a better place for people like me, which I believe will in turn makes the world a better place for other people who find themselves on the fringes, lying just outside the realm of social acceptance.
I have rent and utility bills to pay just like everyone else, along with things like student loans. If I don’t make any money on books, I can’t afford to do it sends that helped to raise awareness around really anything of social value. Along the same lines, essentially, marketing is up to you. You are pretty much on your own when it comes to selling your books… When I first started, I had no idea what I was in for, I assumed that people were going to be helping me sell books. I was mostly wrong. People only want to buy something if they know it exists. I could talk further, but chances are that if printed, this blog post would come out to be something like thirty pages. All I’m saying, is when you go into a used bookstore and you’re buying a book that is really new, remember, there might be someone on the other side who, like me, has given away a fair amount of copies to people that might get something out of it.
That scratch that those are some of the things I learned, along with so little sociopolitical sauce, I guess you might say. I leave you with the aforementioned documentary: