1 2 3 4 Previous Next 46 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2012 8:13 PM by thye chean Branched to a new discussion.
storebot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I installed iBooks Author and am now considering business ideas.

 

I have never authored a book before.  I am an expert Javascripter and have a MacBook Air but am relatively new to Dashcode. 

 

I have used an iPad, all told, about 20 minutes.

 

IIRC Apple's cut is 50%.  Which means if I set my price let's just say at $.99 my cut is $.495.  If I average 100 sales a day, that's only $50 profit/day or $18,250/year.

 

100 sales/day for a year seems naively high.  But I want to know the potential upside, so $18,250/year is what I estimate my upper limit to be.

 

This is assuming I can create a nice book. I was thinking of doing a children's story because my son is 2, and if I owned an iPad I would certainly buy from the iBooks children's category.  The iBooks Author controls are familiar looking and since I know programming I have some ideas around e.g. html5 storage.

 

Forget content for now.  How much profit is within reach, at what confidence level?  At this point, given what little I know, I would have to say I have about 5% confidence that I could make at least $18,250/year.

 

I am intentionally not considering the multiplying effects that are possible here.  If I were to produce several books, these could potentially each earn the same amount estimated above, and I could create a little iBooks authoring factory in my home.  The buzzkill is that I am also multiplying my assumptions.

 

This is to say nothing of my costs.  I have to buy an ISBN, spend time designing and authoring content at the computer, purchase art, probably pay Apple a hidden fee, and (need I mention) the opportunity cost of not working on other ideas.

 

How are these numbers coming out better for you guys?  Where is my early, rough business plan going askew?

 

"It's all about great idea, less execution."  - David Heinemeier Hannson

  • 1. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    Dan-o ™ Level 2 Level 2 (380 points)

    I am not trying to be offensive, but if you want my brutally honest answer, it's this:

     

    1) This isn't the place to get business plan advice, anymore than going to your favorite sports web site is the place to get health advice. Talk to experts who know about running a business, face to face.

     

    2) You don't have a business plan; you have some very unifinished numbers you've thrown together, and what seems like a very iffy assumption on your part, as to how qualified you are to author a successful children's book and market it. You are definitely "multiplying assumptions" as well...

     

    My advice to you is to consider whether you're getting ahead of yourself, and if so, you should really take a step or two back and spend some time looking at what you are uniquely qualified to write about, if anything. I say "if anything" not because it's not possible but because most people (even those who are good at what they do or who are really interested in some topic) are not qualified to write a book. That is partly for lack of writing background, and partly because for popular topics like JS programming (free PDFs and how-to sites all over the place) and parenting / children's books (endless stacks at the bookstore), you have to have A LOT to share that isn't widely and freely available already.

     

    If every person who was really good at JavaScript or who had a 2 year old, decided they should write a book about either one, the world would end up filled with disappointed JavaScript programmers and parents.

     

    If you decide there IS something you are uniquely qualified to write about, I advise you to start small. Build a web site and start publishing short form articles, then get some published on third party sites also. As you gain popularity and expertise, THEN think about writing a book. That way, if you decide it's the right idea and the money equations work, you'll have a platform you've already built to market the book. Good luck.

  • 2. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,735 points)

    storebot wrote:

     

     

    IIRC Apple's cut is 50%.

     

    No, 30%

  • 3. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    storebot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My post title was perhaps misleading.  I did not present a formal business plan.  Then again I did not use the word formal.

     

    I am at the ideation phase.  I am exploring a potential business idea.  It is rational to ask "If the stars aligned perfectly, and great content flowed onto the electronic page from my brain, and I did no external marketing -- if the God of Children's books strikes me and I built a masterpiece in iBooks Author -- what is the maximum profit I could expect to earn?"

     

    This isn't the place to get business plan advice...

     

    Do you speak for everyone on this forum who could potentially share insight with me?

     

    My advice to you is to consider whether you're getting ahead of yourself...

     

    I am at the very first stage of considering a business plan.  I am just riffing about ideas.  What prior stage do you imagine I am forgetting?  I am learning about the business platform of iBooks Author so that I can form a hypothesis, so that I can write a formal business plan.

     

    Forget content.  Forget that I know how to program.

     

    Pretend that I already have a world-class project in iBooks Author, ready to be submitted.  Imagine I have the iBooks equivalent of the Mona Lisa, all ready, and a friend on the Apple iBooks team.

     

    Now that we are not talking about content anymore we can focus on imagining the best-case profit scenario.  I am a no-name author and I have done no promotion/marketing.  What is my maximum conceivable profit, assuming prices of $1, $2, $10?

     

    @Tom, thanks for that correction.  Okay so I take 70 cents on the dollar, even better.

  • 4. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    storebot wrote:

     

     

    Now that we are not talking about content anymore we can focus on imagining the best-case profit scenario.  I am a no-name author and I have done no promotion/marketing.  What is my maximum conceivable profit, assuming prices of $1, $2, $10?

    I'm not sure that's a sensible question, because the answer is "many millions", regardless of the price of your book. If you make the NY Times bestseller list, it'll be many millions indeed…

     

    We know essentially nothing about your book, other than it's going to be a children's book. It's not possible from this to predict sales figures, so your profit could be anything, from zero to millions.

     

    Michi.

  • 5. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    storebot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @MichiHenning -

     

    The NY Times bestseller list is for books made from trees.  I am limiting the purview of my question to what can be accomplished through iBooks.

     

    It is not possible to estimate how much profit the top no-name no-marketing authors in iBooks might generate?

  • 6. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    Fabe Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)

    Storebot - Your propfit idea is perfect but inflated. You need to divide by 100 and find another way to feed your child. Good luck.  - Fabe

  • 7. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    storebot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @Fabe -

     

    You presume to know more about me than you do.  My child is doing extremely well, thank you for your concern.

     

    Your claim is that the best possible content, authored by a no-name author with no external marketing, can generate -- maximum -- $365 per year.

     

    If you believe that, why are you pursuing such a worthless financial goal?

  • 8. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    storebot wrote:

     

    The NY Times bestseller list is for books made from trees.

    There are separate NY Times bestseller lists for fiction and nonfiction e-books.

    It is not possible to estimate how much profit the top no-name no-marketing authors in iBooks might generate?

    I don't think you will find any publicly available sales data for the iBookstore, at least not for specific titles. You could try contacting the authors of the books in the top charts to find out.

     

    Michi.

  • 9. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    storebot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @MichiHenning

     

    Fair point about the NY Times bestseller lists.  By arguing this point with me you're implicitly claiming that iBooks sales alone account for some no-name no-marketing authors on that list.  I don't think that's been established.

     

    I know the data isn't public, that's why I'm asking open-ended questions in an open forum.  I'm not expecting to find definitive numbers here.  I am expecting to find other people here who are thinking about how to make money on this brand new platform -- which, by definition, almost no one can claim to be an expert at.

     

    Forget the content, forget the tech.  That stuff is important but it is not as hard as it might appear to master.

  • 10. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    storebot wrote:

     

    By arguing this point with me you're implicitly claiming that iBooks sales alone account for some no-name no-marketing authors on that list.  I don't think that's been established.

    I don't recall making any such claim, explicitly or implicitly. I stated that, if you make the NY Times Bestseller List, you are likely to make millions, no more, no less.

     

    Michi.

  • 11. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    storebot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The scope under discussion is an iBooks only scenario.  So when you chimed in about how making the NY Times list would generate millions, I questioned whether you were talking about an iBooks only scenario.  We are getting off topic...

  • 12. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,735 points)

    storebot wrote:

     

    Forget content. 

     

    That doesn't seem realistic to me.  Phase one of the plan should probably be to offer your book for free to see if anyone at all downloads it.  If they do, you will be a little less "no-name" and can perhaps make some more rational projections about sales at various prices.

  • 13. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    Dan-o ™ Level 2 Level 2 (380 points)

    It is interesting watching your reactions...

     

    I can almost see the rationalizations materialize as you re-spin the questions, hoping for the answers you want. The truth here is you don't want most of the answers you're being given.

     

    You saying "forget content", makes no sense because without a very specific idea of the content you want to generate and the market for it, there is no plan. Just knowing the profit cuts and how many units it takes to make $X is not a plan of any sort. It's just a calculation. You don't need us for that; just hit the Dashboard key and use your calculator.

     

    As for speaking for everyone, no I can't. It's entirely possible Warren Buffet and Jack Welsh peruse this forum and are minutes away from giving you awesome business plan advice. But what I am saying is common sense: relying on an internet forum filled with people you know nothing about, to get business advice ("is this good / bad, smart / not smart"), is unwise. And whether you recognize it or not, business advice from a small business expert is what you need before deciding to pursue your book. Again, good luck.

     

    BTW I am a small business owner and published author (Wiley and others) so take that FWIW.

  • 14. Re: Advice on my business plan?
    JoeScrivens Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Stop feeding the troll everyone. It's not productive.

1 2 3 4 Previous Next