Writing for Software Developers Financial Performance

This post reports income and expenses from creating Writing for Software Developers. I update the post every so often, unless I forget.

Writing a book is a huge investment. Mostly, you invest your time. I do not know how many hours I spent working on Writing for Software Developers, but it was my main project for six months. During that time, I spent plenty of energy on client projects and school, but this book was my primary focus. While the main investment was time, it also cost over 1,000 dollars to get Writing for Software Developers out the door. I hope that this transparency helps other writers know what to expect in terms of expenses and what level of income is possible when self-publishing a technical book. These figures are offered in the spirit of the Open Startups philosophy.

Here is a breakdown of approximate expenses:

Item Amount
Cover Design (freelance artist) $400
10 ISBNs $295
Copyright Registration $65
Printer $220
Domains $40
Gumroad Pro Membership (1 month) $10
Gumroad Pro Membership (1 year) $120
Audiobook Narrator $500
Newsletter Sponsorship $175

One thing to note for other authors is that I got thousands of dollars worth of professional copyediting and proofreading for free thanks to my mother's generous efforts.

My earnings so far are entirely through Gumroad. To date (January 12, 2022):

Line Amount
Gross Income 38,218.80
Minus Fees ($1,819.93)
Minus Refunds ($453)
Minus Chargebacks ($72)
Net Income $36,398.87
Minus Expenses ($1,875)
Net Profit $34,523.87

I sell the book for $36, $136 for the corporate license, of which I've sold 13. In total, I've sold 1,024 copies.

Complicating this data is sales and affiliate payouts.

This post is one of four about Writing for Software Developers.

  1. Writing Writing for Software Developers
  2. Marketing Writing for Software Developers
  3. Building the Writing for Software Developers Landing Page
  4. Writing for Software Developers Financial Performance (You are here)