Josh Fruhlinger Shares Just How Much Money He Made Kickstarting and Self-Publishing ‘The Enthusiast’
And he is ready to ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, so bring ‘em.
I first discovered Josh Fruhlinger’s The Comics Curmudgeon in 2006. I was in grad school, which meant that I was de facto miserable, and so I spent hours reading his archives and literally laughing until I cried. (The crying might have been related to the “de facto miserable” part.) It was the first time in my life that I cared about Mary Worth. Josh gave me a reason to care.
When Josh launched his Kickstarter to fund his comic novel The Enthusiast, I was one of his backers. I got to read The Enthusiast when it released last December, and was not disappointed. (If you’re interested in social media, content marketing, or the DC metro system, you need to read this.)
Now, Josh has a new post up detailing exactly how much he’s earned from The Enthusiast—$4,369.14 to date—and why he used Kickstarter and self-publishing to get his novel into the world instead of going the traditional publication route:
In December of 2015, I published my first novel, The Enthusiast. It's about trains, comics, stealth marketing…joshreads.com
I came up with the idea for this book back in July of 2012. But I was wary of writing the whole thing and then trying to navigate a traditional publication process that might go nowhere, and Kickstarter, at that point only a few years old, was starting to become a known quantity. I decided I would crowdsource the novel instead, using the money to pay for printing, editing, and distribution — with, hopefully, some money left over that would be equal to or better than advances and royalties I might’ve gotten through traditional publishing.
Josh earned $20,159 in Kickstarter pledges, which became $18,352.11 after Kickstarter and Amazon took their cuts. The majority of this $18K went directly into book production, and—as Josh writes— “at this point, I’m getting dangerously close to not making any money at all!”
But he came out ahead. $4,369.14 ahead, on a professional-quality (that is to say, professionally edited and designed) self-published book. He also hustled to get that book in front of people, both during the Kickstarter process and afterwards during his self-funded book tour.
In the end, while I didn’t create a breakout self-published best-seller like The Martian, I wrote a book I’m really proud of, sold more than 1,300 copies, and made a few grand, which is more than most people can say.
If you want to know more details, read Josh’s post (spoiler alert: contains many numbers).
If you have questions about self-publishing, Kickstarting, planning and funding a book tour, finding a professional editor OR MORE, leave them in the comments and Josh will answer them in an upcoming Billfold post. (I KNOW, I AM SO EXCITED.)
I should also mention one more thing about Josh, which is that he wrote this classic Billfold post about freelancing and taxes:
by Josh Fruhlinger
I wrote about my surefire tax estimation system for freelancers for the Billfold in the hopes…thebillfold.com
But I don’t want to distract you from the more important task of ASKING JOSH YOUR QUESTIONS. Self-pubbing, Kickstarting, Aldomania 2006, anything you want. (But mostly the first two things on that list.)