Three different things caught my attention this past month.
First, I get a message from someone (who shall remain nameless and genderless) that Person has found a great literary agent, a go-getter. Totally worth the Rs. 20,000 ($324) the literary agent demanded as ‘assessment fee’. Anyway, Person is not worried because the agent has promised to get Person’s money back when (not if) they sign up with a publisher. The contract also states that once Person signs on, Person may not approach publishers directly. Person states – “The Literary Agent said she will recover the money from the publisher and we agreed that every transaction will be above board hereon. Of course she insists that the practice is a done-thing in the Publishing world.”
Two things here:
1. It is unethical for literary agents to demand money. Honest literary agents make money after they secure a deal for you. That’s what the lifetime cut in royalties the agent gets (from your book royalties) is for.
2. Secondly, this practice is NOT a done thing in the publishing world. The literary agent alludes to it herself when she says that every transaction will be above board hereon, implying that the current transaction is not.
I wish the publishing industry were as with-the-times as the scamming industry.
Secondly – The amazing David Gaughran steps up to the plate with yet another must-read article for anyone considering self-publishing. He warns Indies against blindly trusting self-publishing outfits just because they happen to be aligned with known traditional publishing houses. Do yourself a favour and READ this article.
Last, but not least, Joe Konrath tells you why you should NEVER pay anyone to help you self-publish. Click here to read the article.
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
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.