How Much Can You Make by Self Publishing? - This Is Trouble

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.

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