How Much Can You Make by Self Publishing?

King’s Code wrapped up it’s first month in sales recently, and it’s time to share some data on it. I know I’ve been promising some self-publishing information for a while now. After the recent experiences with King’s Code and Understanding Ukraine, I definitely think Amazon’s KDP program is the route to go.

It’s very easy and they sell it for you. Almost anyone could fire up a halfway-decent eBook, encourage some friends and family to buy it, and you could probably jump up the algorithm and end up selling one a day. Granted, if you’re only taking a $3 royalty, that’s not much. But, it’s close to $100 a month. It’s something.


King’s Code launched at $0.99 for the first four days—Monday through Friday afternoon. I think I adjusted the price upwards to $4.99 sometime late on Friday, and it probably went into effect on Saturday morning.

The numbers looked like this:

  • December 11th (pre-orders? Amazon doesn’t really specify this very well): 4
  • December 12th: 29
  • December 13th: 25
  • December 14th: 13
  • December 15th: 16
  • December 16th: 20

Keep in mind, these are all at 99 cents, where you an only take a $0.35 royalty. Meaning I made a little more than a quarter on those sales. Do the math on them and it comes out to about $37.45.

Go ahead and laugh.

The next day, at it’s planned price of $4.99 with a 70% royalty, I sold 4. That’s about $14 a day, so a third of what it did during the launch week. The day after, 6. $20 in the pocket. Best of all, I don’t do anything for it now other than tweet a link out once a day and link to it on this site.

It’s stayed steady the entire month, churning a few a day. Here’s a snip from December 17th to January 19th (I’m writing this on the 20th).


Here’s a quick snip of the royalties I made during those dates.

When you add it up with all those currencies, let’s just say it’s $425, give or take. I definitely would like to get the European market going. Let’s say I had four books, all doing that same output. All of a sudden, we’re looking at $1,700 a month instead of just $425.

And those books are 100% passive. Once they’re written they are there forever. Amazon sells it for me as long as I do a little bit of self-promotion—which, by the way, you should never be ashamed of. If you write good content for free there’s nothing wrong with asking for a sale.

$1,700 a month is definitely nothing to sneeze at. That covers my entire cost of living and buys me a few nice glasses of scotch. It also doesn’t include any of my premium products, coaching, or affiliate offers (most of which make significantly more than that $425 per month).

As I’ve discussed before, aiming to make $1,200 a month and live abroad is stupid and lazy. That’s no way to live. It’s basically the same as working your crappy office job and doing just enough to get by. If you’re going to move abroad, do it right.

I was making $100 a month a year off this site and in January I’m hoping to clear $3,000 (read December’s report here). I had enough saved that I didn’t have to freelance, but some of you may have to. The trick is to build up these sort of passive thigs in the meantime. $400 a month is $400 less of freelance clients you have to take on, giving you $400 worth of time to write the next book.


It ain’t glamorous, I’ll admit. $400 is small peanuts. But it’s a start. Reasonably, King’s Code is a short book. It’s likely at it’s cap as far as sales performance. Maybe I could push it up to averaging 10 a day, but I definitely don’t see it become a best-seller or anything of the sort. It’s not realistic for a short-hitting book (88 pages).

But now, I never have to touch the thing again. That’s $400 a month of time I’ve now freed up.

‘Til tomorrow,

PS: If you want to see what’s inside the pages of King’s Code, click here.

  • John says:

    Good job!! I’m working on book#2 and plan on releasing several more. Like you said, it’s all passive..

  • Props for putting your numbers out there. I’d be curious what your sales are down the road as your readers and influence grow.

    • Kyle Trouble says:

      Thanks, I appreciate the comments on being transparent. Shows I’m going in the right direction.

      If anything major changes with the earnings I’ll share it.

      • Western Mastery says:

        There’s a certain value to transparency. Trying to appear too perfect just backfires after a while. Seeing your numbers is helpful to me since I plan on publishing in the future. I also like to keep an eye on how people in various circumstances are doing.

        I like what I’ve read from your blog a lot, particularly the posts on gaming women in various countries. If I were to levy a criticism I would say that the design of your book cover strikes me as a bit amateurish. But I haven’t read it so I can’t say any more than that. Either way, keep up the great work.

      • Kyle Trouble says:

        Much appreciate the feedback, both positive and negative. Hope to see you comment again, certainly don’t hesitate to ask if you’ve got questions regrading self publishing.


  • Thanks for sharinng this kind of stuff. Always helpful to fellow bloggers as well as people who never considered you could actually make money outside of a day job.

    Do you see yourself using DPD or any other 3rd party vendor again or is KDP the way to always go for books? Publishing on KDP means that you can’t sell the book anywhere else, correct?

    • Kyle Trouble says:

      No problem. Glad you enjoyed it.

      I still use DPD for some other stuff and have other projects in the works that will utilize it. You’re correct – you give rights away.

  • Johnny B says:

    enjoyed the King book, and was a bit shocked at your age vs relative knowledge. good luck with your ventures and travels.

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