Is it more profitable to be an author or a maker?

5 replies
Which is more likely to make the most profit per year: Publishing a book series, or running an internet business via Ebay? I'm re-entering a handmade niche on Ebay and IF my items sell, they have healthy profits (at least one hundred an item in general - this is what I got in the past), but it's time-consuming work. But I also used to be a writer (not so much anymore) and have my work saved. I know that most authors don't make much, but I've also heard that you generally do better with a series than with one book, and I have a series.

I'm looking to make one of these fields a lifelong career, not just a "job". I like my craft and I think I could get back into writing again as well. I could honestly do either one happily, but can't predict the finances. I've tried blogging, hosting my own website, etc. and I think one of these two (Ebay handmade business or authoring books) is going to be my best path.

Note: I'm referring to getting published with an actual publishing house, not self-publishing on Kindle...Also note that I'm not doing either one of these sloppily or lazily. I'm hiring a former literary agent to look over my book and query letter if I decide to publish, for example.

Which path would be wisest to pursue? Thank you.
#author #maker #profitable
  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    Honestly it's impossible to tell you which way to go.

    Traditional publishing is hard these days, advances are down your cut as a first time author is low and publishing houses expect a lot from you. That said if your work starts to catch on then there is the benefit of a big machine behind it which can swing into action.

    A lot of authors don't make any money and fewer make significant money but that's not to say it can't be done. In all likelihood though you will look to supplement your income from other sources at least at the start.

    I own a digital publishing house and can tell you that what we look for in new authors:
    • A clear voice
    • Well crafted story
    • A clearly defined genre
    • Competition in the market
    • A hook (how can we sell this book)
    • Diversification (what else could we do with this book)
    • An author we can work with
    • An author who has a following
    • An x factor or the feeling this book has it despite lacking other areas

    We have just under 20 clients on our books and it still surprises me which books take off which is why I will never say don't do it. Just be aware it's hard and there is no guarantee of success.

    How this plays out against your other option is for you to decided.
    I've got 99 problems but a niche ain't one
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  • Profile picture of the author actionplanbiz
    i vote for author. once you create your product it can make you money forever (or a long time). its also highly scalable. you can also leverage a lot more avenues of automation which frees up your time.

    Crafting/ making will require too much of your time and it will be difficult to outsource. which it makes it limited on how much money you can make.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by The White Queen View Post

    Which path would be wisest to pursue?

    How can you delegate the personal responsibility of deciding your own career path?

    Do you really trust a bunch of random people on a public forum to advise you judiciously?

    No one here knows you or your desires, interests, skills, abilities, talents, and past experience and education. Shouldn't those things be your criteria for choosing a path rather than simply "what is more profitable?"

    I will tell you right now . . . if you can't decide this most basic of all questions (your own career) you are definitely not cut out to be a small business owner who has to make important decisions daily.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author zerofatzreturns
    yeah personally I would go author on that. There is a lot more room for growth and upside. Doing eBay is hard work. Doing Amazon FBA is easier and more scaleable but still...your business still is very much dependent on amazon.

    With the publishing thing, you are open to promote courses that are related to your book on the back end, the audiobook version, just a lot of options there with the publishing.

    Also when you were talking about getting a REAL publishing house and not just doing kindle publishing...I could have swore I just felt you losing bucket loads of money lol.

    Kidding...but seriously, we live in a time where being a Kindle author is every bit as relevant as being a traditionally published author.

    All that matters is how many units you can push.

    I just interviewed a guy who does 6 figures a year publishing kindle ebooks. He hires other people to ghost write them and he acts as sort of a publishing company.

    30 to 50 page outsourced Kindle books is a very viable business model right now, especially if you understand how to put a back end in place on those books.

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  • Profile picture of the author kurttasche
    Both methods can be just as profitable. Although, if you want to establish yourself long-term as an expert, book writing is the way to go.

    But, why not do both? Sell your products on Ebay and bring in the $100 profit per item while you also work on getting your book series published. Then, after you've done that for awhile, focus on the one that benefits you the most.
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