Litkicks Message Board Archive

chapbook costs/investment/profits

Posted to Indies

hi jo jo--

i think for a writer, having a chapbook is kind of like having a business card, in that you can use them for networking. i've made two chapbooks, and i've sold some of each, but i've also traded them or given them away, just because the most important thing to me about producing a book is sharing what i'm writing with other people.

my first chapbook, including printing and supplies, cost about $60 to produce. over the course of a year, i sold enough to recover my costs and i did end up turning a small profit of about $5 - $10. that's not a lot, especially when it's so drawn out over time, but it's still a pretty good feeling to know that i wrote something that people were actually willing to spend money on. my second chapbook was a bit more expensive to make (i used more expensive supplies), and i'm nowhere close to covering costs or making a profit, but i don't really mind that, as the books serve as snapshots of who i was and what i was writing at specific times of my life.

anyway, all of that to say that no, there's not really money in chapbooks, but they're nice to have. i think, even though they're self-produced, it's pretty satisfying to have a book -- an actual book of your own writing printed on real paper -- that you can read and share.