One of the questions I was asked in a recent interview – Can a newbie writer hope to make decent money out of self-publishing?
I was startled to see this question because it seems very obvious to me (and to a lot of other Indies, I’m sure) that self-publishing is where the money is. Where else can you expect to get royalties of 65-70%?
In traditional publishing the superstars – the Stephen Kings and the Nora Roberts – are the ones making serious money. Everyone else is obliged to hang on to their day jobs.
This is quite different from self-publishing where even mid-list authors – people you might never hear about – are quitting their day jobs because they are able to pay the bills. The reason you might never hear of them is that they need to sell a mere 75 ebooks each day at $2.99 in order to make a living. The amount people seem to agree is a living wage? $50,000.
But I guess all of this may not be very obvious to a lot of people, so I thought I’d point you to a couple excellent blog posts. You can decide for yourself.
The Passive Guy: Indie Authors Are Quitting Their Day Jobs.
The second post is by the amazing Hugh Howey: Newbie Author Declines $120,000 3-book Deal
The title of this could also be: Literary Agents, and What to Watch Out For
If you haven’t read Joe Konrath’s post before, you should be reading it. It is almost mandatory for those considering publishing their book. Something’s messed up. Unable to insert link into post today, so I’m having to give you the entire link: http://jakonrath.blogspot.in/2014/02/fisking-donald-maas.html
According to a post bu Heather Greene — In 2011 the New York Daily News reported that 43% of all paperbacks were self-published, with overall publishing up 287% from 2006. The Wall Street Journal reported that self-published books were up by 160% over the same period. Amazon’s publishing arm, Create Space, told the New York Times that “its books increased by 80% from 2009-2010” alone.
Click here for the entire article.
In a blistering post David Gaughran takes on a newly formed ‘self-publishing’ company (if you want to know why I use the quotes, check out my self-publishing basics. I’m going to be updating that post in a couple minutes) and the literary agents backing it.
Whether you’re a published author, or are considering it, this post is a ‘must read.’
Click here for the post.
David Vinjamuri has a terrific article in The Forbes on this. Worth a read whether you’re traditionally published or chose to go the self-publishing route.
A direct quote from the article. (I picked this because a lot of writers seem to think being published traditionally will free them from promoting their work):
“An entire generation of traditionally published authors has come of age learning to self-promote. Particularly for mid-list authors the burden of writing and marketing a book a year without much assistance can be crushing. Some publishing houses have trimmed back even further, limiting editorial assistance to new writers to proofreading and line editing rather than structural editing.
These authors feel less beholden to publishers and more independent. They have been forced to become entrepreneurs, but are not rewarded commensurate with their contributions.”
Here’s another quote:
“One thing that mainstream and Indie authors seem united on is contempt for is the royalty structure that mainstream publishing houses apply to eBooks which is much less favorable than for printed books. This is foolish and counterproductive for publishing houses. Indeed, authors like Edgar-winning mystery author Lawrence Block and Margaret Muir have already embraced indie publishing for the obvious economic benefits. There are also many authors who started as self-publishers and are making a solid living in Indie-land. Many of them would be considered midlist or even minor celebrities if they had more visibility to the existing publishing world – I’m thinking of people like Robert Kroese and Rachel Thompson here.”
Click here for the entire article.
If you write only short stories, its been tough to get published traditionally. Self-Publishing has made that easier, of course, but there are other ways.
The Huffington Post has a good post on how to get your short stories published. Click here for the link.
Joe Konrath, kind of self-publishing, has a blog post on why self-publishing is beneficial for authors. Of course, this model might not work for everyone, but he makes an interesting case for it. Click here for details.