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everywriter
05-01-2013, 04:42 PM
I wanted to know what everyone thought of this recent movement where you are seeing self-published ebooks at the top of the NY Times and USA Today best sellers list?

I really want to have a conversation about this with other writers! I didn't see this topic any other place on the forum. If I missed it someplace, I'm sorry to repost. Also, hello! I'm new to the forum.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/24/which-publishers-are-the-best-at-selling-ebooks-in-2013/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/30/when-the-self-published-authors-take-over-what-will-publishers-do/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

ebbrown
05-01-2013, 04:45 PM
What is your question? Yes, there are self-pubbed books making the lists. But I'm not sure what you're asking? :Shrug:
Welcome & nice to meet you. :)

everywriter
05-01-2013, 04:51 PM
Sorry, I guess I didn't really have a question, I just wanted to see what authors are thinking about the state of publishing and how it is changing. If I had to ask a question it would be, how does this change things? They are saying one of these authors sold 85,000 books in a 10 day period. What?! No support system. No ads, no book tours, just all internet. I'm wondering what does this do to the publishing world? Is this a good or bad thing?

BethBeth
05-01-2013, 04:55 PM
I'm not sure what you're asking either but if it's just opinions you want - I think it's great. If an author can get to the top of the best sellers list without the backing and marketing of a publishing giant, then whoopy-do (sp!).
There still seems to be a bit of a stigma about self-publishing. It can be seen as a desperate attempt when 'not good enough' to be accepted by a publisher.
However, the proof that it is a valid route for today's authors shows in the success that some are having.
As always with these things, if the novel is rubbish, it won't get anywhere. (The same doesn't apply the other way around though I don't think. Some fantastic novels just won't get the sales for a whole host of reasons.)
Whatever the reasons for the author going the self-publishing route, if it works, who can knock it!

sarahdalton
05-01-2013, 05:48 PM
I also think it's a good thing, and I enjoy following the success stories. HM Ward posts regularly on Kindleboards and it's very inspiring to read her posts.

As for how publishing is changing... I'm observing but not really opinionated about it. My books are self published so I'm just going with the flow.

Old Hack
05-01-2013, 06:17 PM
I wanted to know what everyone thought of this recent movement where you are seeing self-published ebooks at the top of the NY Times and USA Today best sellers list?

My interpretation is that publishing is changing. But then again, it always has changed.


I really want to have a conversation about this with other writers! I didn't see this topic any other place on the forum. If I missed it someplace, I'm sorry to repost. You didn't look very far, everywriter. I'll move this to our Self Publishing room, as it doesn't specifically address e-publishing.


Also, hello! I'm new to the forum.

Yep. Hello.

Also, I have to wonder: why did you link to two articles on Forbes which were written by the same person? Did you write them?

shaldna
05-01-2013, 06:18 PM
I think this should probably be in the self publishing forum.

Personally I think anyone doing well, regardless of their publishing medium, is awesome.

stranger
05-01-2013, 07:21 PM
I wanted to know what everyone thought of this recent movement where you are seeing self-published ebooks at the top of the NY Times and USA Today best sellers list?

I really want to have a conversation about this with other writers! I didn't see this topic any other place on the forum. If I missed it someplace, I'm sorry to repost. Also, hello! I'm new to the forum.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/24/which-publishers-are-the-best-at-selling-ebooks-in-2013/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/30/when-the-self-published-authors-take-over-what-will-publishers-do/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Seems that self publishing should be the first option for many authors in 2013. Doesn't mean that route is an easy way though.

shelleyo
05-01-2013, 07:28 PM
I wanted to know what everyone thought of this recent movement where you are seeing self-published ebooks at the top of the NY Times and USA Today best sellers list?

I really want to have a conversation about this with other writers! I didn't see this topic any other place on the forum. If I missed it someplace, I'm sorry to repost. Also, hello! I'm new to the forum.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/24/which-publishers-are-the-best-at-selling-ebooks-in-2013/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/30/when-the-self-published-authors-take-over-what-will-publishers-do/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

People who dislike self-publishing will poo-poo it in one fashion or another, while people who are pro-SP will be encouraged by it. Pretty predictable divide, I think.

I do think the second article's title about self-publishing taking over is an exaggeration. Some self-published titles are starting to compete in a way most people never could have imagined in their wildest dreams (or nightmares, for some), but I wouldn't say self-publishing is taking over. Making a showing, sure.

I enjoy success stories, period, regardless of the path taken to get there. But I'll admit it's nice to see self-published books hit the lists, mostly because a few years ago I thought that could never happen. I didn't think anyone would ever take SP seriously--I didn't then.

Old Hack
05-01-2013, 07:44 PM
Seems that self publishing should be the first option for many authors in 2013. Doesn't mean that route is an easy way though.

Self publishing is definitely the best option for some writers, just as trade publishing is the best option for others.

The trick is to make sure you understand the benefits and limitations of both, work out which one suits you best, work like stink to make a success of it and expect to be a failure.


I do think the second article's title about self-publishing taking over is an exaggeration.

If I had a penny for every article I've ever read which claims that self publishing is taking over, or that trade publishing is broken, or that print books are dead, or that bookshops are all closing down, I would have a great big box of pennies.


I enjoy success stories, period, regardless of the path taken to get there.

Me too.

everywriter
05-01-2013, 08:05 PM
NO, I did not write either of these articles. I haven't looked at self-publishing in the last year/ year 1/2 in any real way. Then a few days ago I bought a new Kindle, and I looked up ebooks. One of the two articles I posted above came up. I was shocked! I couldn't believe that self-published ebooks were making USA today and NY Times lists? I really wanted to see what other author's think. I do not know what I think of the idea. I know it's a big deal. It's a very big deal, but I just can't get my mind around what it means for the future of publishing.

I'm sorry that I posted this in the wrong place :( I'm happy it has found a correct home.

quicklime
05-01-2013, 08:19 PM
But...Hocking and Konrath have been on the NYT for several years now. So was the "Beer in Hell" guy......to the best of my knowledge. So it isn't exactly a new thing.

J. Tanner
05-01-2013, 08:39 PM
But...Hocking and Konrath have been on the NYT for several years now. So was the "Beer in Hell" guy......to the best of my knowledge. So it isn't exactly a new thing.

I think Hocking made it with her trade release, and I don't think Konrath has been there at all. But a number of romance writers, many with trade experience, have been doing gangbuster business. It seems tougher for other genres to make the list with self-pub titles, Hugh Howey being a recent exception.

stranger
05-01-2013, 08:40 PM
But...Hocking and Konrath have been on the NYT for several years now. So was the "Beer in Hell" guy......to the best of my knowledge. So it isn't exactly a new thing.

There's a difference between one outlier making the bestseller lists, and having 5 out of the top 10 being selfpublished.

quicklime
05-01-2013, 08:50 PM
..... I couldn't believe that self-published ebooks were making USA today and NY Times lists? I really wanted to see what other author's think. I do not know what I think of the idea. I know it's a big deal. It's a very big deal, but I just can't get my mind around what it means for the future of publishing.

.... .


sorry; I was responding to this, which hadn't mentioned the frequency. to that end, it isn't new. as far as building stem, it seems to be....not sure how long that will or will not hold, or what it will eventually mean--I've never bought into the notion self-pub "democratizes" anything except access to slush, and remain suspicious that given ten or fifteen years, self-pub will largely be a market of name recognition and not any easier to "get your story out there" in than trade publishing....but since you mentioned Hocking and Konrath being outliers, I'm not sure self-pub to "big numbers" was ever easier. It can be the right route for folks, certainly, but "easier"? I doubt it; I can't think of many places where having to wear three more hats makes a job eaiser though.

Katie Elle
05-01-2013, 10:06 PM
As Hugh Howey and others have tried to point out, the big story isn't the best sellers, but the far larger number of people who are making significant money or a living wage from "mid-list" levels of sales.

Krista Street
05-02-2013, 12:43 AM
Welcome everywriter! I'm new too... :-) Well, if you want discussion...

I think the self-publishing route has opened a lot of doors for writers. Didn't Hugh Howey say he went that route after being rejected multiple times by agents?? I could be wrong about that, but for some reason that's what I remember. For readers, we have a bigger selection at an affordable price, and as writers, we no longer have agents and publishers dictating what will be published versus thrown in the slush pile. I completely agree with quicklime though. It's definitely not easier to go the self-pub way. You've got to market, edit, promote and find time to write. Not easy at all...

shaldna
05-02-2013, 01:34 AM
in all, self publishing is a very viable way to go for someone who has the time, money, talent and skills to devote to marketing, promotion, editing, design, sales and customer service. It's a tough route and it's not for everyone.

The vast, and I mean WAAAAY over 99% of self published books are selling in double figures.

That said, there have been some great successes with self publishing, and some writers have made a great career from it. But still, the figures need to be considered. What is 20 writers out of however many million of self published writers?

And the concept of making 'a living wage' as a self published writer is EVEN HARDER than any other way.

And it's not just the end dollars you need to consider - you need to work out what your time is worth - you might well make a thousand bucks this month from writing, and that's great, but how many hours did you spend on it? on writing, editing, marketing, promotion, sales, networking? 10 hours a day? 15? suddenly that 1000 bucks doesn't equate to as much as you thought. So you need to consider that as well.

LOTLOF
05-02-2013, 06:14 AM
I think the important thing is that ten years ago it would have been impossible for a self published book to hit the NY Times best seller list. That it is even possible to do that now without a publisher says a lot.

Self publishing is at least a real option.

My first novel has been out for about four weeks now and I have sold just over 500 ebooks and made about $1,000 in royalties. I am not going to sell thousands of copies or make any best seller lists. I am also not about to quit my day job. Yet I am incredibly happy with this level of success. And have no regrets at all about choosing to self publish.

Don't think self publishing is a mistake if you don't sell 85,000 books. Think in terms of what your best option is and decide if self publishing or trying to find and agent and trade publisher is your best route.

Katie Elle
05-02-2013, 03:12 PM
That said, there have been some great successes with self publishing, and some writers have made a great career from it. But still, the figures need to be considered. What is 20 writers out of however many million of self published writers?

And the concept of making 'a living wage' as a self published writer is EVEN HARDER than any other way.

I just can't look at the people I know and believe that. I referenced the Hugh Howey article (http://www.salon.com/2013/04/04/hugh_howey_self_publishing_is_the_future_and_great _for_writers/) above, but I've had the same experience.

I just know too many people who've quit their jobs in the last year to not see that there are people doing quite well writing. People nobody's ever heard of, not people like Hugh Howey or Colleen Hoover. I know an even larger group who started writing and publishing because they didn't have a job who've gone from abject poverty to making a living.

And that isn't even mentioning the even larger group of people like my partner and I who are dabbling and making significant secondary income. We made $4500 in our first year of writing. This year we expect to double that. We're not an anomaly and we're not even particularly good writers.

shaldna
05-02-2013, 03:31 PM
I just can't look at the people I know and believe that. I referenced the Hugh Howey article (http://www.salon.com/2013/04/04/hugh_howey_self_publishing_is_the_future_and_great _for_writers/) above, but I've had the same experience.

I just know too many people who've quit their jobs in the last year to not see that there are people doing quite well writing. People nobody's ever heard of, not people like Hugh Howey or Colleen Hoover. I know an even larger group who started writing and publishing because they didn't have a job who've gone from abject poverty to making a living.

And that isn't even mentioning the even larger group of people like my partner and I who are dabbling and making significant secondary income. We made $4500 in our first year of writing. This year we expect to double that. We're not an anomaly and we're not even particularly good writers.

And do you consider $4500 a decent living wage?

The point I was trying to make is that far too many people get sucked into the idea that they can get rich quick by self publishing - or publishing at all - and that's simply not the case.

I make a decent amount from writing, but by no means can I afford to quit my day job. Bear in mind, I'm married to a publisher, so I have a good idea of what I'm talking about - I know many authors, and vey few of them make their living from writing alone - and the ones that do have usually spent years building up a fan base and ensuring that they have a consistant level of income from writing and that they aren't one hit wonders etc.

So sure, some people can make good money writing, but I guess it depends on your perception of a decent living wage - for some folks that might be as little as 10k a year, others couldn't afford to live on less than 60k.

Sheryl Nantus
05-02-2013, 03:51 PM
And do you consider $4500 a decent living wage?

Actually, it's probably less than that.

Publicity, copy editing, cover art, etc. would eat into that amount - unless it was already deducted.

As I've told friends before - I'm too poor to self-publish. I can't take the financial risk of putting hundreds of dollars out and *not* make the money back.

There's plenty of self-pubbed authors here on AW detailing their experiences. I see more making less than those making a "decent living wage".

:(

Katie Elle
05-02-2013, 04:19 PM
And do you consider $4500 a decent living wage?

I'm sorry if I wasn't being clear, but I was offering ourselves as examples of not particularly successful dabblers. We're not doing this as a living. We write between work and keeping a very active two year old from achiever her heart's desires of toppling a bookshelf or sticking her finger in the electric socket.

We are making what we consider a reasonable secondary income given our limited time. It pays for our internet, cable tv, and electricity and that's been a rather nice cushion.

But I know dozens of people who "nobody has ever heard of" who are making in the 3-10k a month range.

everywriter
05-02-2013, 04:42 PM
Even if they are not making a living writing, they are still writing. Many would have given up a long time ago. What's the difference between the self-published author who is making $4500 a year and the author who has a manuscript that will never be published? = $4500 and incentive to keep writing. I know many more writers who have given up writing than I know writers who have been published, so isn't a better world where you can give it a shot on your own and have a chance to make a little money. There are many many published authors who don't make a living wage from what they publish.

shadowwalker
05-02-2013, 05:02 PM
Not disputing anyone, but I'm always a bit skeptical of people who claim they're earning a great deal of money writing, whether they're self-publishing or trade publishing. Maybe I've just been around the block too many times to swallow the "I'm so much more successful than the average Joe" line, and not just from writers. If they're no longer going off to work in the morning, the house isn't falling into disrepair, and no rich relatives have recently died, then I might believe they're doing okay.

Yeah, I'm a cynic, through and through. :banana:

sarahdalton
05-02-2013, 05:54 PM
Katie's first post clearly stated that the $4500 a year was a secondary income rather than a decent living wage.

I'm not cynical about a self-publishing income. I'm small time and can see how having half a dozen mid-list books could bring in enough money for some people to live on. Obviously, it depends on the person.

I'd be really cautious quiting a job whether I was self-published or trade-published because you never know when those sales are going to slow down. I'm wayyy off the 'quitting a job' stage though.

The get quick rich people - I don't think anyone's trying to say that here, and I've never come across them.

shelleyo
05-02-2013, 06:28 PM
At place made up of primarily self-published writers, there's a much bigger range of self-publishing experience and incomes, and you do see a lot more people succeeding at it.

Thanks to two boards I frequent that are primarily self-published writers, I know several people making between $5 and $35k a month (at least one or two handfuls of folks make more than that), and have watched many go from making $0 - $50 a month to those levels. It's how I make a living now. There are also a number of people making between $1,500 and $5,000 a month. The low-end of that isn't living wage territory for most people, but it's a nice boost in income for most people.

There's no one here reporting those kind of numbers, I don't think, but there are only a handful of people actively posting their sales here--very small sample.

I'm not saying there aren't heaps and scads of people who are lucky to sell 2 copies a month to extended family--oh man, there are. But I think it's important to remember many people who are now making a nice extra income or a full-time living started out selling just a few copies a month. And the existence of all the truly awful stuff that's barely literate and should never have been put up for public consumption should not taint the fact that people can and do succeed, in the same way that all the horrible submissions that get glanced at and rejected do not taint the fact that many people get accepted for publication. No one ever looks down their nose at someone's new agent or publishing contract based on all the horrible submissions that must have gone before, but it feels like most people look at all the horrible self-published stuff out there and look down their noses at the stuff that does well, just because they got there by the same process. Man, I find that strange. :)

I don't think the self-publishing landscape is as bleak as most people here at AW do, and that's based on what I've seen among people I know.

The odds of failure or success at self-publishing aren't the same for everyone, just as they aren't if you're trying to trade-publish. Most people who try will fail at both, I believe, or at least not reach whatever goals they've set for themselves. But just like someone asking the odds of success in submitting a novel, those odds shift if you can spell, use correct grammar, tell a story, submit it in the preferred format, follow the rules. Most submissions are easily dismissed, but for the ones that do most things right, the odds of getting picked up are much higher than the average odds among all submissions.

It's no different with self-publishing. If you have a competently-written manuscript that tells a good story and you package and publish it well, your odds of selling better than the average self-published book go way, way up.

There are no guarantees either way, and of course self-publishing isn't for everyone. But it's not nearly as bleak as most people seem to think, especially for those who seriously work at it.

shadowwalker
05-02-2013, 06:36 PM
"$35k a month"

You would think, though, that someone making that kind of money - ie, having that number of sales - would make a bit of a splatter in the world of publishing, and if it really weren't that uncommon, that in itself would also be making news. I mean, SPs aren't exactly shy about their accomplishments or the "promise" of self-publishing.

sarahdalton
05-02-2013, 06:46 PM
SPs aren't exactly shy about their accomplishments or the "promise" of self-publishing.

That's a bit of a generalisation and sounds quite derrogatory. I don't know if you mean it like that or not, but it's quite insulting.

everywriter
05-02-2013, 06:49 PM
Yes people are making 35k per month. As I stated at the beginning one of the best sellers last week made 85k in 10 days. I think this is happening more than people know. There are some very good reasons for it too. 1. would you rather by a book from a profile of a book promoted on twitter or from the author directly. I mean: if Stephen King followed you on twitter would you buy more of his books? If you follow The Stand's book profile would you? Self publishers tend to be more hands on and closely related to their readers.

Self publishers are now, I believe gaining the advantage over traditional publishers. Why? How much does the book have to cost for a big publishing in order to turn a profit? How much does the self publisher have to charge to turn a profit? You see this happening more and more, and the average price of the best sellers list has dropped. Do you want to buy an ebook for 9.99, 8.99, 3.99 or .99?

shelleyo
05-02-2013, 06:56 PM
"$35k a month"

You would think, though, that someone making that kind of money - ie, having that number of sales - would make a bit of a splatter in the world of publishing, and if it really weren't that uncommon, that in itself would also be making news.

The links in the OP are pointing out how many self-published titles are on the bestseller lists lately. There are articles elsewhere online that talk about how many more there are now than ever before. So it is kind of making news.

I don't feel comfortable naming names, since most of the people I know who are making 20-35k a month share this information in a restricted-membership area. There are some people at Kindle boards who openly share what they're making, and at least a handful or two hitting in that range. Those posts are public.

You've already posted in this thread that you're skeptical of anyone who claims to make a living writing, self or trade. So even if you were given a list, you're coming at this from the assumption that they're lying. I'm not sure how to counter that. I make a living writing and have for several years now. Am I lying? Why do you think that? What, short of sharing a tax return, would persuade you to believe someone making such a claim? It's just one of those things where I think your mind is made up for some reason and that tends to shut down the conversation.

I don't make 35k a month, but if I did, I would sound pretty much the same as I do now. I try to be very measured when I talk about it, especially here, because I do believe it's not for everybody.


I mean, SPs aren't exactly shy about their accomplishments or the "promise" of self-publishing.We're not all the same.

Katie Elle
05-02-2013, 07:48 PM
You would think, though, that someone making that kind of money - ie, having that number of sales - would make a bit of a splatter in the world of publishing

Selling 16,700 units across an entire portfolio of their work? That's not bestseller territory. Keep in mind: 70% royalty.

shelleyo
05-02-2013, 08:05 PM
Selling 16,700 units across an entire portfolio of their work? That's not bestseller territory. Keep in mind: 70% royalty.

That's a really good point I didn't even consider when replying. Many of the people we know who are making 5 figures a month are doing it with multiple titles.

shadowwalker
05-02-2013, 08:43 PM
I wouldn't expect anyone to post income - but verifiable sales figures would be nice. And I'm not calling anyone (here or elsewhere) liars, but exaggeration isn't unheard of when talking to anyone about their successes, particularly when talking in a group of people who are also, apparently, having phenomenal success.

I suppose I've just heard so many Konrath-style success stories that I'm automatically skeptical. And some of that creeps in in the posts here - yes, there are SPs making good money - BUT the idea that they have a lot of books out there gets little mention. It's like pointing to the Stephen King's of trade publishing and making it sound like there's a really good chance others can be that successful. Some writers will make good money - most will not; that doesn't change no matter how they get published.

J. Tanner
05-02-2013, 09:02 PM
I wouldn't expect anyone to post income - but verifiable sales figures would be nice.

Not being snarky, but if a self-publisher is the only available source of those figures, as the publisher, and you won't trust them on the whole enough to self-report in the ballpark, how could someone even provide a verifiable sales figure that meets your standards?

I'm sure there are exceptions, but on the whole I see no reason not to take these people at their word. The Best Seller appearances, to me, are more than enough evidence to support the top end of the market is reasonably accurate (given that Best Seller lists are imperfect approximations themselves.)

shelleyo
05-02-2013, 09:11 PM
I wouldn't expect anyone to post income - but verifiable sales figures would be nice. And I'm not calling anyone (here or elsewhere) liars, but exaggeration isn't unheard of when talking to anyone about their successes, particularly when talking in a group of people who are also, apparently, having phenomenal success.

I don't doubt there are some people who exaggerate at times. But what I see most often, and it pisses me off when i see it, are people who really are making great money but being coy about how. It's not super common, I don't think, but I've run into it at least twice in the last few months.

I've seen cases where there's an outright lie (and none of it's erotica!) or where there's just deflection and no mention of the genre, when it's erotica. I think this has probably done some damage. All genres aren't created equal. Erotica and erotic romance are easier to make money with, especially just starting out, than say H/S/F. Someone writing sexy stories is likely to make more money faster than someone writing stories suitable for Tin House. So the ones who are raking it in with erotica but claiming that they're not writing erotica are giving people writing other genres a really false sense of where things stand, and I think that's a terrible shame.


I suppose I've just heard so many Konrath-style success stories that I'm automatically skeptical. And some of that creeps in in the posts here - yes, there are SPs making good money - BUT the idea that they have a lot of books out there gets little mention.

Konrath's success is even based on a lot of books. I think most of us are so used to the "big catalog" idea, we don't mention it because we assume everyone else is, too.


It's like pointing to the Stephen King's of trade publishing and making it sound like there's a really good chance others can be that successful. Some writers will make good money - most will not; that doesn't change no matter how they get published.

Most of us aren't pointing to the big successes, though, but the people making a nice secondary income or making a living without hitting the top of the heap, all while agreeing that a lot of people won't make much at all. Maybe it's just that so many others have acted like it's a get-rich-quick scheme and that self-publishing is the one true path to bestsellerdom that those of us with more reasonable attitudes get dismissed.

Katie Elle
05-02-2013, 09:22 PM
Of course you see people grinding out tons of books. Of course you see people writing in easy to write, underserved genres. They're going where the money is.

If you want to see the keys to success in the current market, the best thing to do is look at what sold as pulp paperbacks in the 1950s. It's all exactly the same stuff. It's commercial writing to a market. It's very high output. It tends towards the lurid, whether that's erotic romance, adventure science fiction, or men's adventure. And make no mistake, a big part of success is thinking of it as a business and writing to make money, not to create art.

You get the same type of criticisms as well. It's badly written, badly edited crap. It's all obscene, not real literature. The low prices will destroy "real" publishing. It's actually very amusing.

mercs
05-02-2013, 09:37 PM
I'm sceptical too with success stories, and it's why I love reading blogs like Blenia's on the front page of people posting figures I can relate to for this field. i'm sure there are some that are making huge figures, but it's very uncommon...

on the whole publishing houses and agents are very astute and the idea that they have missed loads of people who can generate 10k per month is (not impossible) but a big leap. plenty gets through the net, but it is a widely cast net that they operate!

it's perhaps easier now than it ever was to produce a high quality product that is accessible in the most common shopping areas (amazon, kindle, barnes and noble, ingram) but it's hard out there. I've yet to see treble figure monthly sales (ok, albeit in a far tougher field to start out) and I know what I get from each sale, so I would have to become mega best seller to post that money!

everywriter
05-02-2013, 09:43 PM
Katie I agree: poets say that about literary fiction writers, literary fiction writers say it about large publishing house writers, large publishing house writers say that about trade publishing, trade publishers say that about romance and on and on, so what. The classics aren't published by large publishing houses most of the time anyway.

shadowwalker I understand what you are saying. I know that you have a hard time believing it, but look at this: http://books.usatoday.com/usatodaybooks.pdf This is the USA today 150 best seller list for the week. On this list there are 15 (maybe more) self-published books 14 of which are published by different authors. I could understand if just a couple authors were on this list. Maybe like Stephen King selling 10 different bestsellers. That's not what this is. These authors are getting paid and getting paid well, maybe better than the traditional authors on this list. I know that going by what people say isn't always wise, I really agree with that, but look at these numbers.

Keep in mind 5 of the 10 bestsellers this week were self published. I don't think you can say this is rare anymore.

christwriter
05-02-2013, 10:19 PM
Even if they are not making a living writing, they are still writing. Many would have given up a long time ago. What's the difference between the self-published author who is making $4500 a year and the author who has a manuscript that will never be published? = $4500 and incentive to keep writing. I know many more writers who have given up writing than I know writers who have been published, so isn't a better world where you can give it a shot on your own and have a chance to make a little money. There are many many published authors who don't make a living wage from what they publish.

Isn't the average advance like $5,000 anyway?

One of the big things that tilted me over into the Self Publishing camp was the time factor in trade publishing. I think THE factor was googling response times for Tor and Daw and Baen after flunking out of the agent game and realizing that it would take two or three years to hear back from the first publisher, probably ten to twelve to hear back from all of the big six, and that working on another book while I waited to hear back on the first would just mean another ten-twelve years with the same probabilities of acceptance and the same amount of frustration. (I probably still would have stuck with it, but the frustration had pushed me into a very ugly place)

Based on that, and on how my self published titles are doing, it would have taken the same amount of time for me to hear back from Tor-Forge on my first novel as it will take for me to build a strong enough audience to release that first novel. Two to three years. And it will probably take the same amount of time (ten to twelve years) for me to hit "livable wage" as it would have taken to hear from all of the big six.

I'm not saying other people ought to take the same path or that Self Publishing is THE way to go, but I am saying that from where I was last year, and from where I sit now, moving from a goal in trade to a goal in self publishing was a lateral move, and moving back to a goal in trade would be starting over from zero.

stranger
05-02-2013, 10:23 PM
I'm sceptical too with success stories, and it's why I love reading blogs like Blenia's on the front page of people posting figures I can relate to for this field. i'm sure there are some that are making huge figures, but it's very uncommon...

on the whole publishing houses and agents are very astute and the idea that they have missed loads of people who can generate 10k per month is (not impossible) but a big leap. plenty gets through the net, but it is a widely cast net that they operate!


What net? Publishing companies and agents wait for authors to come to them. And many authors have stopping going to the agents and publishers when they figure out they can make more money on their own.

LOTLOF
05-02-2013, 10:45 PM
Isn't the average advance like $5,000 anyway?

One of the big things that tilted me over into the Self Publishing camp was the time factor in trade publishing. I think THE factor was googling response times for Tor and Daw and Baen after flunking out of the agent game and realizing that it would take two or three years to hear back from the first publisher,

Two to three years just to hear back? Seriously? Are their slush plies THAT big?

Ann Joyce
05-02-2013, 10:57 PM
Sure am enjoying this thread. Very interesting.

everywriter
05-02-2013, 11:06 PM
LOTLOF: Join the Dark Side. We have cookies!:roll:

everywriter
05-02-2013, 11:09 PM
Took me like 10 minutes to find that rolly thingy. First one ever!

shadowwalker
05-02-2013, 11:39 PM
Two to three years just to hear back? Seriously? Are their slush plies THAT big?

I think we're hitting exaggeration territory again - definitely on that 10-12 years thing. Unless, of course, one is actually waiting to hear back from one before querying the next. Certainly doesn't match anything I've seen here or other writing forums.

christwriter
05-02-2013, 11:40 PM
Two to three years just to hear back? Seriously? Are their slush plies THAT big?

I checked their sites, they said six months to a year. And then I checked the publisher's threads on Bewares and Background Checks. Two or three years and "Be patient" was pretty much the consensus.

As of right now the reply times DO seem to be a little better (as in you'll hear back sometime next year maybe) but there's still a couple people reporting two year wait times.

Like I said, that was the big factor for me. I knew there was no way in hell I could do another two years. It was quite literally killing me. Entirely my fault for not being a good girl and getting on/staying on decent antidepressant meds, but the rejection cycle was contributing to an extraordinarily unhealthy mindset. Getting that depressed was scary, and it took me a long time to isolate rejection as the primary trigger. Nothing was in any way, shape or form related to books or agents or anything, but rejection letters were tripping an unrelated issue that I still haven't gotten under control. It was like discovering that you're allergic to your favorite fruit, and I was very sad.

Sheryl Nantus
05-02-2013, 11:49 PM
And smaller publishers take much, much less time.

*points at her sig*

Depends on your genre, whether you want to go smaller pub or big Six, ebook or print... research, research, research!