It isn't smart.
To become part
Of the landscape.
We must escape.
In a volume business, such as publishing books, high volume sales must offset low margin pricing to be profitable.
Publishing books is a volume business in which high volume sales must offset the low margin pricing, usually a percentage, of retail price markup that is added to the wholesale cost of the books. Profitability comes with a high volume of book sales. Buyers will not pay a lot for any single book, so low margin pricing is critical to the sale of books. Within this low margin business, it is necessary to create high volume sales. Volume is another name for book. Books selling in the single digits are going to generate very little money. Self-published writers typically sell about 200 books, most of these to family, friends and personal networks. To climb above this number, writers must reach beyond their own circles through word-of-mouth. Writers generally must sell 2,500 books to defray the startup costs. This same number may also earn the representation of a Literary Agent. Sales of 7,500 books are said to lure traditional publishers. Commercial value increases each time purchasers take a chance on our books.
Buying our own books, to give them away, is not a sound business alternative. People rarely value things that are free. The only reason writers should order their own books is to sell them or to test the integrity of the sales reports, turnaround times and quality control measures at the book publishing house. A publisher does not make a generous profit unless and until books are selling by the thousands. Independent printers often cut corners or fail to report sales of books printed in small numbers on demand. Bulk orders are printed less expensively on offset presses, including at most self-publishing houses. Cumulative profit from publishing books comes with fast-moving inventory, printed on cheaper presses. Low margin pricing coupled with high volume sales can lead to substantial earnings for writers and publishers. A high volume approach to content generation is being used by established influencers to generate traffic to their websites as well as to raise interest in their content. This high volume content approach probably only works for writers who have built an audience with authoritative, quality content first. Many volume businesses are using per-click and per-impression advertising to increase their following and crowdfunding to expand and distribute their content. Beware that crowdfunding does not guarantee contributors of full credit and it may not reach the targeted fundraising goals.
In addition to the considerable challenges of the new publishing environment of website design, security concerns and SEO, writers must remain alert to developing trends. For instance, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies may influence or limit the future size of the business market for book publishing. Many organizations are turning to Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies for purchases and for payments. Cryptocurrencies eliminate middlemen and third-party institutions from financial transactions. They may create a simpler and more stable solution to global finance than the existing sovereign currencies and currency exchanges. The future role of cryptocurrencies is unclear, but they already have left an indelible mark on the financial world. Expect change in the economics of the business of publishing books, where high volume sales must be offset by low margin pricing