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  1. #1

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    I stumbled onto this reddit thread today:

    I've made nearly $2.5 million self-publishing my books on Amazon. AMA : selfpublish (reddit.com)

    There is some good information in the thread about self-publishing on Amazon from the point of view of a guitar teacher.

    I am assuming that, with COVID, this has been a lean year for teachers and that some here would like to explore other potential income sources.

    I self-publish a couple of books on Amazon that have nothing to do with music, and have had some success doing it. Nothing like what this guy has going for an income stream, but respectable. Years ago there was a big upfront cost in self-publishing, but print-on-demand technology has changed that.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I have one of his books! I can say, it's totally worth the $5, maybe even more than that.

  4. #3

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    No I haven't self-published any instructional books, but I do hope to later this year - possibly in the very niched market of latin jazz guitar

  5. #4

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    I have one published book on scale sequences that's doing pretty well and two more about half finished, one on scales and another on theory applied to guitar.

    Scale Patterns for Guitar

    .

  6. #5

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    A piece of advice if you publish on Amazon. Do a kindle version and run a sale on that version, preferably free. Then post a note about the sale here and ask people to review it (I assume that's OK, especially if it's free). Reviews by actual buyers are invaluable in generating future sales.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals
    I stumbled onto this reddit thread today:

    I've made nearly $2.5 million self-publishing my books on Amazon. AMA : selfpublish (reddit.com)

    There is some good information in the thread about self-publishing on Amazon from the point of view of a guitar teacher.

    I am assuming that, with COVID, this has been a lean year for teachers and that some here would like to explore other potential income sources.

    I self-publish a couple of books on Amazon that have nothing to do with music, and have had some success doing it. Nothing like what this guy has going for an income stream, but respectable. Years ago there was a big upfront cost in self-publishing, but print-on-demand technology has changed that.
    I’ll have a look at this thanks

  8. #7

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    Mel Bay publish about twenty books of mine...I make about a million a week

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Mel Bay publish about twenty books of mine...I make about a million a week
    Starting next week......

  10. #9

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    That's what they tell me.

    Seriously, I do have about 20 books with them, so know a thing or two about approaching them, should anyone here be contemplating that. If so, drop me a PM. But, no, it's not a path to riches, I'm sorry to say, though the company is great to work with.

  11. #10

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    I have three jazz guitar books published in Amazon. I do all the work myself; design, typesetting, notation, copy-editing etc. I have a background in graphic design so have all the software. The hardest part is checking for one's own mistakes, which mostly occur with TAB. I'm still finding them.

    I'm happy to offer any of the books to jazzguitar.be forum members at cost in exchange for reviews. Unfortunately, I don't offer them as Kindle editions yet. They sell but it's a trickle, and Amazon costs and commissions are high. Reviews probably do boost sales, but readers need to buy the books themselves. If you offer them as gifts it is an expensive way to promote. You can buy author copies, which are heavily discounted and send them to people, but reviews won't be from verified buyers. Amazon advertising is as opaque as Facebook advertising. It works on a cost per click basis, and they continue to charge your credit card well after the advertising campaign, presumably (one hopes) due to some accounting convention. Advertising does seem to help a bit with exposure, but increased sales barely cover the costs.

    You have to bear in mind that self-publishing has led to a flood of books being sold online so chances of your publication being found are seriously diminished. I sold more on my own website years ago by promoting them on youtube when it first started out. So much stuff is now free that I wonder if anyone makes money from books, CDs etc nowadays.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by vsaumarez
    I have three jazz guitar books published in Amazon. I do all the work myself; design, typesetting, notation, copy-editing etc. I have a background in graphic design so have all the software. The hardest part is checking for one's own mistakes, which mostly occur with TAB. I'm still finding them.

    I'm happy to offer any of the books to jazzguitar.be forum members at cost in exchange for reviews. Unfortunately, I don't offer them as Kindle editions yet. They sell but it's a trickle, and Amazon costs and commissions are high. Reviews probably do boost sales, but readers need to buy the books themselves. If you offer them as gifts it is an expensive way to promote. You can buy author copies, which are heavily discounted and send them to people, but reviews won't be from verified buyers. Amazon advertising is as opaque as Facebook advertising. It works on a cost per click basis, and they continue to charge your credit card well after the advertising campaign, presumably (one hopes) due to some accounting convention. Advertising does seem to help a bit with exposure, but increased sales barely cover the costs.

    You have to bear in mind that self-publishing has led to a flood of books being sold online so chances of your publication being found are seriously diminished. I sold more on my own website years ago by promoting them on youtube when it first started out. So much stuff is now free that I wonder if anyone makes money from books, CDs etc nowadays.
    I'm curious. Can you pop up a link? EDIT: I see you have a link.

    If I choose to review something on my channel I generally do so because I particularly like it (I gave Randy Vincents most recent book a rave review, for example), so I don't want to promise. I would tend to review something if it fits well into the sort of teaching I've been doing on my channel, so that wouldn't be necessarily be a reflection of what I perceive to be its quality.

  13. #12

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    Thanks for the offer, Christian. The books are a compendium of my playing, so don't follow any learning regime or structure. In that sense, they may only have casual use for instruction.

    Solo Jazz Guitar is 30 arrangements, as I play them and interpret them.
    Solo Jazz Guitar 2 includes improvised chordal solos for some of the standards, and draws on ideas in the licks book.
    Jazz Guitar Licks cover changes such as bebop, rhythm changes, circle of fifths plus a section on chordal licks.

    If you choose which book you'd like and PM me your address I'll get one out to you. Author's copies are $2.14 (retail $17.95). Shipping to US and taxes will be about $6.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by vsaumarez
    I have three jazz guitar books published in Amazon.
    I just purchased Solo Jazz Guitar 2. I am looking forward to your take on Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Could not find a table of contents for the other book. The layout of the music and TAB appears to be on the large side and clear which I like. Some of the Hal Leonard books have small and faint printing. Your cover design reminds me of a couple of books I have by a Connecticut guitarist named Bill McCormick.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    I just purchased Solo Jazz Guitar 2. I am looking forward to your take on Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Could not find a table of contents for the other book. The layout of the music and TAB appears to be on the large side and clear which I like. Some of the Hal Leonard books have small and faint printing. Your cover design reminds me of a couple of books I have by a Connecticut guitarist named Bill McCormick.
    Thanks for the purchase of Solo Jazz Guitar 2. I hope you enjoy it and Mercy is a nice and easy arrangement to learn. I want to add a quick caveat. This book was published before I had a chance to go through the proof. That's because it took a month to arrive by which time I was already neck-deep in other projects. If you PM me your address I will send a revised copy as soon as I have time to proof it. In the mean time, let me know if you have any questions.

    You should be able to read the contents of the other Solo Jazz Guitar book on Amazon, but here it is anyway:
    Anybody here self-publishing guitar instruction books?-screen-shot-2021-02-25-3-38-18-pm-png

  16. #15

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    Just read this whole thread. Happy to see several people here doing this (and others buying the result!)

  17. #16

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    For those selling on Amazon or other outlets what's the average percentage that you actually make. Let's say it's priced at $17.95 would you end up with $5.00? More or less? I'm not looking for exact amounts and I realize it's long term small royalty payments. But I would think that you could at least cover paying yourself for the time invested in writing the book. But then again I'm probably wrong.

  18. #17

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    In most cases more like $8-10, but it depends on the page count and which options you take.

    The royalties on paperbacks are here: Paperback Royalty (amazon.com)

    eBook royalties are a bit more complicated: eBook Royalty Options (amazon.com)

    Those royalties are astronomically high, especially since you can publish the book for free.

    Of course in real life you have to:

    1. Edit and format the book yourself, or pay someone to do it
    2. Create a professional looking cover, or pay someone to do it
    3. Market the book yourself, or pay someone to do it (targeted Amazon Ads are not terribly expensive)

    I had some experience on how to format a book, so I did everything myself. Some folks will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to have someone else do these things. My thought in starting the thread is that some of the marketing can be done with a tasteful post on this site. For some of you, having a reasonably priced book to sell to your students might in itself make the enterprise worthwhile, even if you don't make a lot of money.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals
    In most cases more like $8-10, but it depends on the page count and which options you take.

    The royalties on paperbacks are here: Paperback Royalty (amazon.com)

    eBook royalties are a bit more complicated: eBook Royalty Options (amazon.com)

    Those royalties are astronomically high, especially since you can publish the book for free.

    Of course in real life you have to:

    1. Edit and format the book yourself, or pay someone to do it
    2. Create a professional looking cover, or pay someone to do it
    3. Market the book yourself, or pay someone to do it (targeted Amazon Ads are not terribly expensive)

    I had some experience on how to format a book, so I did everything myself. Some folks will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to have someone else do these things. My thought in starting the thread is that some of the marketing can be done with a tasteful post on this site. For some of you, having a reasonably priced book to sell to your students might in itself make the enterprise worthwhile, even if you don't make a lot of money.
    Thanks for your honest information. I'm not saying I'll never do it, but it's nice to know that it could be worth the time and effort. I don't think most of us would ever think we could make a lot of $ from book sales. I would look at it as a little bit of $ each year for maybe several years.

    Thanks Again