by Nomsa Chirisa

Writing and publishing a book is one of the greatest things you could ever do with the knowledge that you possess. While writing and publishing can be done for various reasons, some writers do it for financial gain. Many people believe that once a book has been printed and published, sales automatically soar, earning them a huge profit instantly. We all envision this in our day-to-day businesses because we aim for financial gain. Publishing a profitable book means that the writer is able to cover all book production and overhead costs while retaining a fair share of some returns. Take it as your remuneration for all your input – time, and effort.

But, are all published books profitable? Certainly not, but all books have the potential to be. So, what makes a book profitable? If you are writing for financial purposes, you should be able to not only break even but also have some profit in your pockets. To achieve this, there are many factors which you should carefully consider in producing your book. Remember in our article how do I price my book? we mentioned the importance of a good investment as a driver of a good return. A profitable book cannot be separated from its production and manufacturing expenses. However, the first thing is to know what you want to write and be vigorous in the processes which your book will go through before it lands in the hands of the reader.

Let us look at how you can make the book you are writing a profitable one.

Quality and appealing design

It’s no secret that quality is an excellent driver of profits. That is why your book should be exactly that. High quality attracts high revenues, hence profitability. You’d be surprised to know that some readers walk into a book shop to buy a book only after getting a feel of its paper and cover, or just by assessing the cover design or print quality. Quality is a sure attraction for customers, and it says a lot about you as the author of the book. Among other things, your paper should be durable and clean, your images of high-resolution standard, with the binding durable to keep the pages together. So, before you print that book, you may want to ask yourself: Which designer and printer am I going with? What is their quality like, and how is it generally perceived by its users? In this instance, the quality of your book should thus deliver the elements that respond better to readers’ needs. When you have done this, your book will also have a new market – high-income earners. Because your readers are here for quality, aim to give them just that. After all, what’s a book if it doesn’t cater to the needs of its readers?

Information gap

Writers do not write from a vacuum. If anything, their books serve to cover an information gap or to challenge the already published knowledge. Either way, they fill a yawning gap in the market. And as you write your book with the reader in mind, cater for their information needs and demands. Without these, readers wouldn’t read your book or buy it for that matter. Where there is an information need, there is a whole lot of readers waiting to buy that book, earning you good profits. However, in order to cover an information gap, you are compelled to do so effectively. Doing so requires intensive market and knowledge research, creativity in crafting a good story, choosing a writing style that best tells what you want to say, and engaging your reader with your story. All these features combined bring out a good book which will address an information gap, attracting customers and earning you high profits.

Author establishment

The name of the author on the book cover is a powerful tool that drives profits. Some readers buy books because of the name of the author on the cover. The more you write, the stronger you are established as an author. Seasoned authors are known to be good writers, hence their readers have an automated need to buy their books. It’s just like with your favourite brand of clothes which is established and well known for their quality and affordable designs. Each time you hear of their new arrivals, you do not second-guess the quality or prices, you simply walk into the shop and pick a beautiful design of your choice and a perfect size for your body, and head straight to pay. In the same vein, authors who are established already have a competitive edge. They are also in a position to sell their books at a higher price because they know that their work is good, and the readers are also aware of that. But being a seasoned author takes practice. Write more, and often. The more you write, the more you perfect your writing and before you know it, you are an established author. And you will realise that as your name appears on the book cover, it will carry the authority to attract high revenue and profits.

Content worth/value

We all love a good story, don’t we? A good story is what keeps your readers turning on the pages, and definitely telling a friend about your book. Ultimately, this will increase your revenue and profit margins. As you begin to write that book, take constant stops to ask yourself if your content will be of good monetary worth. If not, take your time to write a book that will hook your reader. In book publishing, we believe that you must not publish a rushed job, lest you crash and vow never to publish again. Time is a factor that we can never overlook, and it nurtures your content into the best version it can ever be, just like wine matures. As you write your book, ensure that the content carries value to its readers, because they have the buying power to make your book profitable. Let your content be engaging, entertaining, educating, insightful, and let it serve its purpose to the readers. This way, you are well on your way to making huge profits from your book.

A profitable niche

This is almost similar to covering an information gap, although in this case, you pick a profitable niche in which you specialise, to provide a solution for a problem. I remember my supervisor telling me how she picked the scholarly niche to write for. She identified a problem among college and university students, how they struggled with research modules and projects, and she came up with a blog idea to help ease this challenge. Later, she developed a simple research guide, and she is further developing it into a comprehensive book. This has earned her huge profits through her social media following and subscriptions, and the guide is selling well, with a demand for a detailed book that will further soar the profits. We all have a special interest in a specific field, find a problem, and start writing on it to provide solutions. Because the market is segmented and your knowledge is specialised, you’ll be surprised at how writing for a special niche will earn you huge profits. Remember, you are a mastermind writer.


As you partake in your writing journey, take some time to stop and think about how you can profit from your book. Think of the publishing process, the printing and distribution of your book, and come up with a formula for a profitable book. Find a pattern for all your books, and those small improvements and quality changes you make for each book will set you up for better profits. The secret may be in quality, from the idea, niche, content, design, and right through print. And it sums it up somehow nicely, the better the quality, the higher the profits.





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