Well, now that I have self-published two books, I can still remember days I used to sit with a calculator racking my brains as to how many copies of my book I need to sell to break even. I would input all the cost that went into making the book. This included proofreading, editing, spellchecks, photo alignment, cover design, copy editing etc. Then I added the cost of advertising, promotions, book reviews etc. All that adds up to a large chunk. A good self-published book can cost you anything from $5000 to $10,000. Therefore, you need to sell at least 2000 copies of your book to break even. Now, that is not much. I would rather look if my book gave me 10x return. I mean, who wants to just break even?
For this, you will need to refine my goals. Let us look at what all my book did for me. You could land up events, speaking assignments, mass distribution book deals, leads, customers or even sell your business to someone who was impressed and moved after reading your book. Now that is value. Some of it you cannot directly quantify but it is of great value even in money terms. I mean, if you land up speaking assignments after selling your book, it is added revenue. Same goes for getting prospective customers as your book acted as a lead magnet. Therefore, you need to look at these added revenue streams that the sales of your book also generate. This will give you a realistic picture as to how much value the self-published book has added to your business.
So do not just look to break even. Look for that 10x return and value your book with a wider goal and vision strategy.
Learn more about self-publishing fundamentals. Read my ebook Blogging for Gold.