"self-published authors surveyed made money -- a 40% profit at the time of this study"
Whenever I get down about my sales, I'm going to remember that--because, well, I put in maybe $10 for the stock photo for the cover, and over four years, a few hundred bucks in promotion and I made WAY more than a 40% profit! Math isn't my best subject and I'm too lazy to pull out a calculator, but if I did, the % would be in the thousands. I did not hire an editor at that time--it wasn't in the budget, but even if I had, I'd still be in the black by thousands of dollars.
In fact, my latest two books returned a profit in just a few days. Even factoring in 'labor' costs of writing the books, I've done okay. It would be like if my job gave me an $11/hour raise if I worked full time. But of course, I never spent 8 hours a day writing. More like 8 hours a week. That's not a bad return on time invested. It also inspires me to make better use of my writing time because every day that I let slip by without writing is lost earnings. Yikes! It's like calling in sick to work without any sick time pay.
Would I have earned more traditionally publishing? I guess I'll never know because I wasn't ever given the chance to traditionally publish. Sure, I could have continued querying, but after 100 agent refusals, I I was pretty pissed at traditional publishing.
Maybe they could have sold more than I did on my own, but that still is no guarantee that I would have earned more. Remember, selling and earning are two different things. I don't need to sell as many as an indie author to earn more than I would with a traditional contract. Also, my first book took a year to hit the top 20 Bestseller List on Kindle. I doubt it would have ever had the chance to do that while traditionally published. Heck, it probably wouldn't even have been published yet, if the trade publishers accepted it!
Also, as of this posting, No Good Deed is free and will be for two days. Mark Taylor: Genesis, is free for another six weeks.
Seeking Vengeance is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time. One more thing, Mark Taylor: Genesis is also part of a boxed set anthology of thrillers. It will only be available for the summer and is a great deal for only 99 cents. 13 thrillers for under a buck: Thrilling Thirteen