March 8, 2015

Break-even is the point of balance between making a profit or a loss. It’s the point where you’ve earned enough to pay back your investments and cover your fixed costs, and you’re on the cusp of (hopefully) making an actual profit.

I broke even on Wage Slave Rebellion last month.

I could tell you the exact day, though I’d have to separate out the costs I’ve already paid on Action Politics, which would be a pain. The particulars are, to be honest, not important.

What’s important is that in two months, I earned enough to pay back the editing, illustration, and formatting costs for a full-length novel which I can now—thanks to the power of the internet and the long tail—earn money on forever. With negligible fixed costs and low overhead, 95%+ of what I earn from WSR from now on will go straight into my pocket, to buy sandwiches and keep a roof over my head and let me keep writing. It’s an asset I can earn on for years to come.

I don’t say this to brag. I say it to thank you, and to make a point.

This is why I decided to self-publish. Had I published traditionally, my book would be an asset for someone else to make money on, while they threw me a pittance and told me to get back to work. Instead it’s just me, you, and whatever intermediaries I choose to let in on the process.

The risk I took in paying the production costs up front has turned out to be a good one, rather than letting someone else take the risk and reap the rewards. And now my story continues to be mine, rather than some publisher’s for my lifetime + 70 years.

(Yes, that’s how long publishers own the rights to most of your favorite novels. Crazy, isn’t it? But luckily, not for me.)

It’s a brave new world. The old models are breaking down. That’s horrifying for some, but from where I’m sitting, it’s a great time to be writing.

As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).

By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

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