The $300 “ultra deluxe edition” of Nine Inch Nails‘ Ghosts I-IV, limited to 2500 copies, sold out in a couple days (I believe released Sunday, no longer available this morning). There are some manufacturing costs, but they don’t appear to be using any precious materials. So if an artist typically makes $1.60 on a $15.99 CD sale, profit from sales of the limited edition already matches profit from a CD selling hundreds of thousands of copies.Link (Thanks, Brian!)
Then there are non-limited sales of a $75 merely “deluxe edition”, $10 CD, and $5 download, and whatever other products NIN comes up with around Ghosts.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.