In October, I wrote, illustrated and published a children’s book. Are you curious how much money :moneybag: such an endeavor makes?

Here’s a post about the money and publishing parts of the process—things I think are interesting to read. Maybe I’m crazy for sharing all of this information… but, like I said, I think it’s interesting.

If you don’t think they’re interesting, you can go buy some pickles.


Q: “How much money do you make?”


Okay, not millions, but I’ll tell you (down below). Before releasing my book on the world, I asked Jake Parker why one would choose to use a publisher over self-publishing. His answer: “So you can actually make some money.” He’s right :)


I’m using CreateSpace and IngramSpark for the paperbacks and hardcovers respectively. Here’s the breakdown for both:

Online orders
Channel Sticker price Publisher's cut My cut
Paperback sold on Amazon $8.99 $7.25 $1.74
Paperback sold on CreateSpace $8.99 $5.45 $3.54
Hardcover $14.99 $13.47 $1.52

If I wanted to make no money on paperbacks, then I could sell them for as little as $6.09. On CreateSpace, you use this tool to adjust the price:

CreateSpace pricing page

As the author, I can order copies directly for a wholesale amount:

Author orders
Source My price
CreateSpace $3.65 + shipping
IngramSpark $8.97 + shipping and fees, fees, fees

(I wish there were no fees. Fees make doing any kind of predictive math impossible.) Those of you who paid $7 or $13 for your in-person-delivered books might be thinking I made a killing off of you. Not really…

How much I’ve made so far

Here’s all my costs and revenue as of this writing:

Thing Income Expense
Paint, paper, pens -15
Publishing paperback -14.48
Publishing hardcover -156.67
22 online paperbacks orders 46.68
5 online hardcover orders 7.60
30 paperbacks ordered by me for in-person delivery -127.50
30 hardcovers ordered by me for in-person delivery -288.88
In-person purchases 374
Total 428.28 -602.53 = -174.25

Since I gave a few books away as gifts, the amount of income from the in-person purchases isn’t quite 30 paperbacks/30 hardcovers.


So, I’ve made -$174.25 publishing my book :moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag:

Would I do it again? Absolutely. There’s definitely more expensive hobbies than book-writing. And I had way too much fun doing it.

Would I self-publish again? I think I’d skip the hardcover unless it was an above-average book.

Would I consider a publisher? Yep. It’s more a question of if they’d consider me :)

Stay tuned!