Categories
Books Writing

Do Authors Make Money from Secondhand Books?

The other day an old friend contacted me. She’d stumbled upon a secondhand copy of The Shoestring Girl selling for an amazingly high price. You can see the listing here if you are interested.

My friend wanted to know just how much money I would personally receive should that copy sell. While I was responding to her questions, I shared the link on my Facebook page so that everyone could have a chuckle.

I have been responding to private messages and emails from people asking the exact same question ever since. I have decided to share this here to help future readers understand the situation.

When an author or other media creator produces an item like a book, a song, a video, or whatever, they receive a small royalty payment from their distributor whenever a new copy of their item sells. In the event of streaming media like music or unlimited reading services, the content creator will also receive a small royalty payment whenever someone accesses their content.

This changes for physical items like books, CDs, and DVD videos after that initial sale. If you purchased one of my books new for five dollars, I would do a little happy dance because your support has provided me with a bit of money to continue paying my bills. If you sold that book to your neighbor for a hundred dollars, however, you would be the one dancing.

You would not have to contact me and pay me a single penny from your profit. You purchased my book fair and square so that money is all yours. It doesn’t matter if you bought it new or found it in a dumpster. After that initial sale I receive nothing.

If you stumble upon one of my books at a library and read it, I receive nothing aside from the tiny allotment I receive when a library decides to stock one of my books. If you stumble upon one of my books on a torrent site, I receive nothing as well.

This same rule applies if you are a small author like myself or one of the greats like Stephen King. It applies if you are a small-time musician or a famous celebrity like the Beatles.

After that initial sale, we receive nothing.

Similarly, when one of us decides to publish a blog post or share something on social media, we receive nothing in exchange except for your comments. That is the reason why so many websites are overran with advertising. They stick it there and pray that you click so that they can afford to keep the lights on.

I have a serious moral issue with the sheer amount of advertising we are accosted with on a daily basis. I detest when a website tries to bully me into signing up for their mailing list with their stupid popups, because it means that I will receive even more advertising from them in the future. That is the reason why I refuse to start a mailing list. It is also the reason why I don’t have popups on my website or run a bunch of ads.

I do my best to practice what I preach. I occasionally offer the random affiliate link when I’ve discovered something interesting but I strive to do that as little as possible. I do this because it does help me to pay the bills. I might receive $20 a year from those little links but $20 is a lot when you live the way I do.

To be honest, I feel guilty whenever I receive even that small amount. I worry that I am being a hypocrite every single time I post one of those links.

But here’s the truth: I spend a lot of time writing the posts you see on this website. The only thing I receive in exchange are comments or the few pennies tossed my way if you do happen to click. I don’t mind that, but just like you, I need to have some money coming in if I want to pay the bills.

Content creators of all types have limited time with which they can use to create things. We can only write so many books and blog posts. We can only create a certain amount of music, movies or whatever it is we create.

And most of us don’t make a lot of money doing it. To be very honest, if I didn’t live as simply as I choose to live, I couldn’t afford to do this for very long but this is a labor of love and so I keep on writing.

I honestly believe that most of us creators feel the exact same way. We just feel blessed that you love us enough to toss us a comment or a few pennies now and again.

If you love your local writer or content creator enough (and have something to spare), please reach out to them and offer a small donation. The majority of us would be delighted to have that bit of extra with which to pay our bills.

And if you happen to be the lucky person who sifts one of my books out of a dumpster and sells it for triple digits or higher, know that you have my blessing. I am delighted to know that I have helped you in some small way.

Thank you. Thank you for just being there. Your presence is the reason I keep writing. I hope that this answers your questions.

Love,
Annie

For the curious:

If you happen to be interested in learning what the average author earns when you purchase a book, check out Mark Coker’s presentation on the subject here. I am personally at the very end of this extremely long tail, a tail that Mark illustrates in slide 16 of his presentation. I’ve clipped it just in case you’re in a hurry:


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Books Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom Update

It is amazing to think that I started my third semester of college last week. It’s even more amazing that despite the challenging assignments, I managed to complete them with time to spare.

I’ve spent most of my downtime recharging when I haven’t been focused on my book. The first draft is completed so I’m giving it a few days to settle before I tackle the rewrites. In the meantime, I’ve done a lot of reading and resting.

It seems my battery was lower than I thought. For several days I did little more than sleep! I guess you never know how much a public job takes out of you until you escape. My body is delighted that I’ve done it again.

But I got to spend some time with my granddaughter! I’ve not gotten to spend much time at all with her due to my obligations with work and college, so this is an entirely new experience for me. I was able to attend her second birthday party this time, something that my public job schedule never allowed.

And I even went with my daughter to her doctor’s appointment a few days later so I could babysit Granddaughter while we waited.

Here she is digging through my purse while we waited. We had to put on lipstick. We had to examine everything I carried with me as she played with the fascinating items. My keys were a big hit.

My Katie has finally started to relax now. While she was worried about our finances at first, she has now realized that I’m actually okay and has volunteered to help with the cover art for my next book. She’s starting a small book cover business online so we intend to help one another. Here is the cover art she crafted for that book.

Cover Art for Book

I haven’t quite worked out a title yet; I’ve decided to break the whole thing down into major steps to make it easier for readers to understand and to hopefully help others avoid the pitfalls that can result when you get too excited and skip a step.

With that in mind, the first book is about finding your path.

You see, it is actually easy to build a business that will allow you to escape your public job. You just find a way to make money and get started.

The problem with just picking any old way to make money, however, is that it may not bring you happiness. It may not take you towards the life you want to lead. I fell into that trap with the first few businesses I started. I made money but I was miserable. It wasn’t until I figured out the life I wanted to lead and worked from there that I embraced any sort of real success and happiness.

It took me years to realize my mistake. I want to help you avoid that should you decide to pursue your own financial freedom.

I’m not certain what to call this book. Part of me wants to name it “How to Find Your Path,” or “How to Find Your Path to Freedom and Happiness” but I haven’t decided.

Do you have any suggestions?

Categories
Books Freebies Frugality

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Hello Everyone!

Once again I have joined the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. To thank you for being such loyal readers, I have listed all of my books at a sizeable discount or for free. You can find a list of my books here.

All you have to do is click on the book you are interested in. When the description page loads, simply choose to purchase it using the sale coupon on the right hand side. While you are there, please check out all of the other books that are on sale as well. You will find a lot of bargains.

Enjoy!

Annie

Categories
Books

Big Book Sale

Hello everyone!

I’ve enrolled all of my books in the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale. To celebrate not only surviving yet another winter, but to give thanks for just being in one piece I’ve deeply discounted every single book, making many of them FREE.

This sale will only last a few days. Visit my Smashwords profile page to grab your copies while the sale lasts.

While you are there, please check out the other lovely books that are being offered by other Smashwords authors. There are a lot of gems there.

Peace,

Annie

Categories
Books

Time to Move on

Now that the new Shoestring Girl is making its way through the publishing channels it is time to move on to my next book project.

One thing I plan to do is take the old posts that were salvaged and format them into a book for your reading enjoyment.

Next I plan to work on a novel.

I plan to work on both project simultaneously; that way when I get tired of focusing on one I can switch to the other and maximize my productivity.

What projects are you working on?

Categories
Books Frugality Simplicity

The New Shoestring Girl is now LIVE on Smashwords

Hello everyone!

Guess what? As soon as I started working in a program I remembered well from before I was hurt I managed to get this book properly formatted on the very first try!

It is now live on Smashwords here, and will be coming to Amazon, Apple, and other retailers soon.

I will let you know  just as soon as other retailers begin listing it; you can keep up to date on my Facebook page and the sales page here on Annienygma.

Thank you so much for your support!

Categories
Books

Painful Realization

I have made a painful discovery over these past few days: I am not as healed as I would like. I have severe issues when it comes to learning and using software that I wasn’t extremely familiar with before I got hurt.

While I managed to get the new book formatted for print, I have had a nightmare when it comes to formatting this puppy for ebook format. I can get everything to work in LibreOffice, I can even code it so that it works in html, but when it comes to converting those files to the DOC format that I need in order to submit it to my ebook distributors, it messes up every single time.

I’m not talking tiny glitches; I’ve seen everything from hamburger text, missing hyperlinks (to mark the chapters), and NO access to the footnotes. I have nuked this file and started over so many times I am ready to cry.

But I haven’t given up. I’m very familiar with Microsoft Word, fortunately (I took a class on it years ago), so I know how to format everything so it will look nice in that program natively.  My problem is with the conversion process. So I got the bright idea to borrow a computer that had Word installed so that I could use it to get this ebook finished.

That didn’t work out so well. They had games and stuff they wanted to play so I had to give the computer back. Sigh.

But I kept trying. I managed to get the 45-day free trial of Office 2003 to work on my ancient dinosaur. I’m not as familiar with it as I am the newer versions, but it works. As a result I have nuked this file ONCE AGAIN (feels like the 20th time) and started formatting it in THAT program.

Wish me luck that I get it done before the trial is over. I plan to work nonstop, taking breaks only when forced, in order to beat my deadline.

Hopefully when I get some more money coming in I will be able to locate a copy of Office on eBay for cheap, one of the older versions that you don’t have to pay for a subscription to. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, know that I am doing my level best to get this ebook formatted and released so that you guys can have it on your ereader devices.

And please wish me luck. I’m gonna need it.

Categories
Books Frugality Simplicity

The Shoestring Book is now in Print

Amazingly, CreateSpace worked really fast; my book is already available for sale in print!

You can find it on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Katie and I are working as fast as we can on the ebook; I made a newbie mistake when I was creating it that has forced me to completely reformat it so that it will look right. Right now we’re taking turns doing this page by page. As soon as it is published I will let you know. We’ve got over 400 pages to reformat so this is going to take a little while, I’m afraid.

 

Categories
Books Frugality Simplicity

The New Shoestring Girl Book is Almost Ready!

Hello Everybody!

I am exhausted. I’ve been working at this non-stop since I last posted. In the end I had to get Katie to help because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to do some things with the formatting and I needed fresh eyes and a healthy mind to help review this 400 page monster.

But we did it!!!

The book cover

Right now I am in the process of uploading the print version of this book to CreateSpace to get it published. Once that is finished I will work on formatting this sucker for ebook format.

To thank you for all of your help and support I want to give you the PDF copy of the book for free. It isn’t much, but I want to pay forward all of the kindness and support you have given me. Please feel free to pass it around to your friends – and if you know of any bloggers who would be interested in it, please send it to them as well.

You can download the book here. Just right-click and select “Save As” to download it to your computer. (This link has now been removed since it is now available in ebook format. You can purchase it here.)

If you don’t mind, would you mind leaving an honest review about the book somewhere when it is published? Reviews are like gold to authors cause they are what help us get noticed. Heck, just telling your friends about us helps more than you can imagine!

Anyway, I won’t keep this PDF file up forever; I plan to remove it once I get the book published in ebook format at the very least, so grab it while you can and share the love.

Oh – I will let you know when the book goes live.

Thank you. Thank you for everything!

Love, Annie

Categories
Books Writing

It is Finished

I finally finished the first draft of the new Shoestring Girl book. It weighed in at 135,097 words. Whew!

Let the editing process begin!

Categories
Books Writing

Accountability

One thing I have been doing with my latest book is to keep a running journal of my progress. Every day I post an update on my Facebook page to let everyone know how much I’ve gotten done.

There are some days when I’m feeling lazy that I don’t want to write but, knowing that I will have to post the fact that I didn’t get anything done on the book is an excellent deterrent to laziness.

This just gives me the motivation to get started every day; once I get going it is easy to continue. My daily goal is to write 1,000 words a day; my daily average is actually 2,501 words a day though some days I might write more or less depending upon what is going on with my life.

Have you ever held yourself accountable for your goals? Please share your stories in the comments below.

By the way, I tend to update my Facebook page a lot more often than I update my blog these days; I share interesting money-saving things I find online as well as the progress on my current book. If you like stuff like that you might want to follow my page.

Categories
Books

My Book Killed Google Docs

Hello everyone!

I think I killed Google Docs. Well, if it ain’t dead, it sure ain’t happy with me at any rate.

I’ve been having problems working on my current book for a while now. Google Docs began getting slower and slower, to the point where I would have to wait several minutes for my words to show up. The sad part is that I’m typing this sucker one-handed; it was taking longer for the words to show up on the screen then it was for me to type them!

Then it started crashing. Repeatedly.

After a lengthy battle I finally decided to download the file and start working on it offline using LibreOffice since I no longer own a computer that has Microsoft Office.

Google Docs would only allow me to download in RTF format and DOCX format. the RTF was, shall we say, imperfect? It was also over 100MB in size. The DOCX file refused to open due to an error. Simply copying and pasting left all my footnotes behind.

I still had a free account on Office Live from years ago so I used it to open the DOCX file.

It would only open read-only.

By this point I was ready to throw something out of a window. It was well past 2am, I wanted to work on my book, and nothing I tried worked. I called it a night. The next day I went in search of a buddy to happened to have a copy of Word.

We managed to get the DOCX file to open and converted to something usable. It isn’t perfect, but it is way better than what I had.

I’m leaving the book online for now in hopes that you can at least look through what’s there but I learned a valuable lesson: Google Docs does not handle large files well. Fellow writers, consider yourself warned.

Now I’m off to work on the book again. I will upload changes/new sections if I can. Sorry!