Just a few minutes ago, I finished the rewrite of the fourth draft of Ruthless Charity after editing and just sent it to my final proofreader. While it's being proofread, I'll set things up on Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space, in preparation for publication in ebook and paperback formats.
My final proofreader will only be a day or two on it. After a dozen beta readers and a full round of editing, it's a super clean manuscript. Once she's finished, the final draft will go to my formatter. While it's being formatted, I'll send the manuscript to my narrator for audiobook recording, write the blurb and set up the email announcement.
The ebook should be published on the 13th or 14th and I'll claim the rights on ACX, to set things up for audio production. The paperback will follow a day later. The audiobook will be recorded and uploaded to ACX within a couple of days. ACX takes about five days to release.
I started writing this 65,000 word novel in mid-March, while finishing my last novel, Fallen Angel. Angel published in late April and I turned my full attention to Ruthless Charity. For about a week. While writing at least 1000 words a day in Ruthless Charity, every weekday, I slowly started developing the idea and the first couple of chapters of Fallen Hero. I just can't seem to write one book at a time anymore.
So far, Ruthless Charity hasn't been all that expensive. Rights to the cover photo was $25 and it didn't need any tweaking at all. Cover graphics brought the total cover cost up to $100. This is about normal for my covers. Beta reading will be the cost of buying and shipping a dozen paperbacks, about $100. Editing and proofreading will wind up at around $1200 and formatting will add perhaps another $400. Audiobook narration will be about $1600.
All told, about six months of my time in writing, though many of those days were little or no actual writing, and $3400 in production costs will have gone into Ruthless Charity, to get it to market. While that might seem like a huge sum to writers just starting their careers, this is my eleventh full length novel and I have built up a pretty large fan base of eager readers, and their numbers are growing every day. I predict that Ruthless Charity will be in the black, so far as production costs, before the audiobook is released, a week after the ebook is published. The book should earn about three times the production cost in the first four weeks.
All these steps are crucial. And as I outline in Blue Collar to No Collar, I don't expect, nor do I recommend, that a new author go to such expense to get their first, or even second and third, book to market. All these things I once did myself. This isn't a sprint. It's a long series of marathons.
Take your time. Create attainable goals and make a plan to achieve those goals. Put small milestones in your plan. Mastering each step will motivate you to work harder.
Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can. You need only to find your voice, locate your audience, make them happy, and work your ass off.