It appears that the costs of publishing have really fallen, otherwise how can I explain that there's a good chance I'm going to be writing a book that might actually get published. In the last week two referrals came my way and I'm sitting here thinking "Should I do it?"
The major questions in my mind are: Is it profitable on its own? If not, can I do it in a manner which will be profitable (i.e. write about a niche that somehow brings in future business)? Should I partner with a publisher? Write it myself? Or perhaps "dead-tree" books are just "dead" and I should make it an e-book?
Oh yeah, and will I maintain the motivation to get it done? And done to a level that doesn't suck?
John Resig Writes about Writing For a Publisher
In his post about Programming Book Profits (which, I'm not going to be writing about "programming" but it's probably a useful comparison to what I would be writing) John Resig lays out exactly what his profits were 1 year after publishing. He also lays out some of the pros and cons and surprises that he found. In short: the paycheck from the publisher doesn't seem like it will be worth it.
Note: he recommends pretty strongly against the e-book route.
Go It (mostly) On Your Own With Lulu.com or the Kindle
ProBlogger's How to Be a Rockstar eBook Seller [Interview] mentions the use of Lulu.com for sales of their book. It appears that they've made a decent profit. Sadly though, while he gives revenue numbers he doesn't give "books sold" numbers and the sales $ depends on several factors so you don't really know how many copies they sold.
Note: they love the e-book.
Amazon has a program for authors called the Digital Text Platform where authors can sell their books. Amazon keeps 65% of the revenue (for what they provide - that seems a little high).
The "Writing the Book" Part
An hour a day? I think I can do that. Good enough to be happy with it? Hmmm...