Royalties and publishing on Leanpub

Now that it costs me money to put books on Leanpub I have to consider if it is worth it.

I don’t write to make any money — I do it because I enjoy it and have some hope of maybe using my material in teaching in the future — but if it actually starts to cost me money to put my books online I have to think of another solution that Leanpub.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Leanpub. It is wonderful to have a place where I can put my half-written texts and get feedback before I am done with a book, but it is not something I am quite willing to loose money on.

I have pulled down the royalties I have gotten from the books and plotted them over time with a dashed line showing the break-even point. I have to pay $99 to put a book there now, which with VAT is $123.75.

If my books get to the break-even point I will continue putting them on Leanpub — and any money I make on top of the break-even point I will spend on trying to make print-on-demand physical copies — but if I can’t reach the break-even point I will just put them up somewhere else where people can get them for free and give up on making hard-copies.

The first book, Introduction to data science and statistical programming with R has reached the break-even point. Functional programming in R hasn’t yet. No one has paid for Object-oriented programming in R yet (nor should they, there is only one chapter written yet).

I will see how it goes with these three books and make up my mind later.