Self-Publishing Numbers from the Wall Street Journal

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

One of Nyree Belleville's self-published titles

Author Nyree Belleville has earned over half a million dollars in the last 18 months by self-publishing her own books, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal about how much self-published authors are earning these days.

Belleville is an established author of romance fiction, and has published under the names Bella Andrew and Lucy Kevin. The WSJ reports that Belleville earned, at most, $33,000 for her previous, traditionally published books; but her 10 self-published e-books on paid out over $500,000 from April 2010 to now.

To counter that, there are writers like Eve Yohalem, who has paid $3,400 to self-publish and earned just $100 in the first month. However, Yohalem goes on to say in the article that the sales cycle is a big motivation to self publish. A book may only stay on bookstore shelves for six months, but Yohalem says that with e-books, “It’s often six to nine months before your book takes off, and you never take it down.”

Read the WSJ article: Self-Published Authors Need Success to Begin.

So is patience the secret to self-publishing success? Well, that and a huge fan base. While many self-published authors have successfully built fan communities on their own, this is an area where traditional publishers bring a great deal of value. Making the decision between traditional and self-publishing is one that many established and would-be authors are considers.

As publishers, what steps are you taking to attract and keep the best writing talent?

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.