Before I finished writing The Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism, I wondered how many copies I should expect to sell. I didn’t find much data to help me level-set, so I thought it might be useful to others if I published my own data. The upshot is that I sold about 1,000 copies in the first year, but a large percentage of that can be attributed to a single podcast appearance.
I released the book on March 2nd, 2020 in two formats: ebook and paperback. I only sold 2 copies in the first month, and I imagine that both were to friends or family who saw my email announcement. I released a hardcover version in April and an audio book version in May. Then in June sales peaked in June at 230 copies sold. That spike was thanks to Tom Woods, who invited me to be a guest on his podcast.
Another piece of information that was hard to find was how much incremental sales you should expect by releasing different formats. For example, is it worth the cost and effort of creating an audio book?
In an earlier post I mentioned a number of people who helped create the Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism. Conspicuously absent was Michael Malice, who mentored me through the writing and publishing process. He is getting his own post because I thought people would enjoy a little more detail about what it was like working with him.
Dr. Howard Grattan had it right when he described Malice as a modern-day Murray Rothbard. Not for academic work, but for the humor, irreverence, and pure joy that he brings to the libertarian movement. The analogy is also apt because, like Rothbard, Malice builds bridges both inside the movement and with people outside of it.
As a software engineer, I use a program called git to track the changes I make to source code files. So, when I started writing The Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism, it seemed natural to use git to track changes to the book as I went along. I am glad that I did, because now I can look back and visualize how the manuscript changed over time.
Here is a plot of the word count I had over the four years I spent writing. I averaged a blazing 55 words per day.
Dr. Howard Grattan invited me to be on the Honoring Ron Paul podcast this week to discuss The Ethics of Anarcho-Capitalism, Ron Paul, and the connection between the two. It was great reminiscing about Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns, the good times we had promoting libertarianism, and the friends we made along the way. Click the image below to go to the episode, or listen directly here.
I had considered narrating the audio book myself. I even recorded the first few chapters. After listening to my recordings, though, I decided to find a professional. I’m glad that I did.
Madeleine Brolly produced the audio book with style. She brings the text to life in a way that most non-fiction books only dream of. Her narration is engaging and her character voices are distinct and charming. I had hoped that the book would be fun to read, but Madeleine’s performance makes it a pleasure to listen to.
So, even if you don’t normally go for non-fiction books, and maybe you aren’t that excited about ethics, this audio book may be the reason to dip your toe into the wild world of libertarianism.
There are already goodtutorials available for how to do book layout with Scribus, but I thought it would be helpful to describe the solution to one of the bigger challenges that I faced in producing a print-ready PDF.
The difficulty was not due to Scribus itself, but rather that I chose to use IngramSpark as the manufacturer for my hardcover books. When I was comparing them to Lulu.com, it seemed that the main difference was that IngramSpark makes slightly nicer books but is harder to use. Quality seemed worth a little extra effort, but I did not realize how much harder it would be.Continue reading “book layout with Scribus”