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 All the money is in self-publishing these days...

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:40 am

LC, you might be missing out ... moneywise. I posted on an earlier thread about JA Konrath's latest book on Kindle. Read his blog to find out how he has switched to self-publishing and is making far more money than he earned through traditional publishing:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/12/you-should-self-publish.html

Interesting that he followed the views held by Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors and Absolute Write, but learned from experience that there is money to be made using digital technology. There's nothing like experience when it comes to learning!




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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:35 am

Most interesting.
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:44 am

Silly Mr. Konrath. He's becoming forgetful. He left this preface out:

"Once you become a famous novelist who gets $100K advances..."

And what a non-sequitor the first and last parts of his article are. He starts by telling us how much dreck the self-publishing world has, and finishes by telling us how much money he now keeps for his own stuff. But he has already proven that he doesn't write dreck! So who is his article directed to and about? Already traditionally published, successful novelists? Or the types who typically self-publish?

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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:36 am

I think I will self-publish and give my children's book away for free.

That ought to be fun.
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:41 am

LC wrote:
Silly Mr. Konrath. He's becoming forgetful. He left this preface out:

"Once you become a famous novelist who gets $100K advances..."

And what a non-sequitor the first and last parts of his article are. He starts by telling us how much dreck the self-publishing world has, and finishes by telling us how much money he now keeps for his own stuff. But he has already proven that he doesn't write dreck! So who is his article directed to and about? Already traditionally published, successful novelists? Or the types who typically self-publish?

'

I agree with LC here. I'm not sure Konrath is the best example to use. He was already a successful commercially published author before he self published on the Kindle. John Scalzi and Lawrence Watt-Evans have also recently self published but again, they are already established.

Not that self publishing is necessarily a bad thing but Konrath is the best argument for self publishing.
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:31 am

Without all the self-published authors, there would be no opportunity for traditionally published authors to publish their own work. Self-publishing on a small scale has always been around for those rich enough to afford it. Now anyone can do it. The overlooked talented amongst us can build a readership by giving away samples of their work through social networking sites. Then they can sell their ebooks in the same numbers at the same price as established writers such as Joe Konrath:

"Q: You're doing well because you have a platform in traditional publishing.

A: Will this assumption ever die? I'm not saying every self-pubbed writer will sell as well as I do. But there are many writers selling just as well, or better, and many of them never had a print deal. I'm sure my backlist helps. I'm also sure a backlist isn't needed to succeed."

I posted on another thread that two of my books have been viewed/downloaded over 2,700 times over a period of a few months. If you produce books that people want to read, they will do just that irrespective of the publisher or author. If you produce well-written books that no one wants to read, it doesn't matter if they are traditionally published or sold as e-books -- no one will buy them. In fact, you can't even give them away.





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LC
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:51 am

Quote :
I posted on another thread that two of my books have been viewed/downloaded over 2,700 times over a period of a few months.

Care to share sales figures?
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:14 am

The books were produced for promotion only. The print books are available on Lulu.com. I did not add a single cent to the price for Literature & Fiction Interviews Volume I. I soon learned that this had been a mistake. The books sold did not show up on my balance sheet because no profit was attached to them. The sold books showed up in the "books sold during the last week/month" but then disappeared and I could not track them. So I added 10 cents to the price of the second volume so that I could count the number of books sold (they are now listed with the 10c profit by them!). I could not give you an accurate number of print books sold without going through the balance sheet (all the Mandinam Press sales are listed together by date as they were sold -- a nightmare system worthy of PublishAmerica!) but all the Smashwords ebooks count as sales -- a download is a sale, whether paid for or free.


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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:25 am

Well, this is what you first said:

Quote :
LC, you might be missing out ... moneywise

Views aren't money. Eyeballs aren't money. Money is money. So until you show me that self-publishers generally earn money, I don't care how many downloads and views something gets. My texts are on pirate sites. I'm sure they get plenty of downloads and views. Doesn't put anything in my pocket.

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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:43 am

So publish them as ebooks and make some money. I decided not to charge because the books included material from other writers. No profit meant nothing to spilt between the authors. Just because I didn't want to make a profit on these two books, doesn't mean that you shouldn't produce ebooks and make some money for yourself.

Why does everyone assume that we should all be doing the same as each other? The opportunities are there for everyone. Some will make a great deal of profit, some will make very little. The same with buying and selling property/shares/investments etc. Some are very good at it while others put themselves into debt. It happens with self-publishing the same.

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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:06 am

LC wrote:
Well, this is what you first said:

Quote :
LC, you might be missing out ... moneywise

Views aren't money. Eyeballs aren't money. Money is money. So until you show me that self-publishers generally earn money, I don't care how many downloads and views something gets. My texts are on pirate sites. I'm sure they get plenty of downloads and views. Doesn't put anything in my pocket.


Indeed. Page views/downloads do not equal sales. Same with web site hits.

When you post a thread with the title, " All the money is in self-publishing these days..." then you are making a broad statement you need to defend. All the money is not in self publishing.

Why does everyone assume that we should all be doing the same as each other?

Because you have been posting in this thread everyone should self publish ebooks.
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:39 am

One of the very popular marketing sites has a free web program regarding the benefits of free ebooks. Free ebooks are considered a major advertising tool. The cost to the author is minimal and the ebooks can be used as a draw to what the author really wishes to sell. Advertising free ebooks at one's web site, blog or whatever may draw hits to the web site also. Free ebooks may be used as a tease for the interested person to want more of what the author has to offer.

I picked up a free ebook that had been printed by B&N when a series The Glades first came on television. The ebook was the script of the first show. I was amazed at how few words make a script and what simpleton language becomes a hit series. After reading the ebook, do you think I watched the show? Of course!
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:46 am


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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:20 am

It's been discussed in the past: What does a publisher bring to the table today, given that most promotion is now in the author's lap?

Three things: Royalty advances, access to high-profile reviewers, and well-positioned space in brick-and-mortar bookstores.

So...

  1. How long before advances are zero?
  2. How long before well-known reviewers cave in and start reviewing ebooks? Will it take bribes? Or consumer pressure?
  3. How long before you can purchase front-page positions on Amazon's Editor's Picks page?http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=sa_menu_kbo3?ie=UTF8&node=1286228011

Not long, I speculate.

The game is changing. Who wants to go first? My favorite quotation about the entrepreneur:

"You can always tell who the pioneers are. They're the ones with the arrows in their backs."
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:27 pm

Al Stevens wrote:
Who wants to go first? My favorite quotation about the entrepreneur:

"You can always tell who the pioneers are. They're the ones with the arrows in their backs."

Cool
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:21 pm

We won't be able to blame those snooty publishers for our lack of success. There will be no one to blame but ouselves.

Either our writing stinks or our promotion does.

AW Phooey!
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:56 am

Quote :


  1. How long before advances are zero?


I don't know about the rest but the answer to this one is: never. The day all the houses stop paying advances is the day someone starts a house that pays advances and all the commercial authors sign with it.

Advances are going down but will they vanish? Not anytime soon.
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:04 am

Are advances worth keeping?

http://jwikert.typepad.com/the_average_joe/2005/03/advances_and_ro.html

"What kind of advance will I get?

That's the most difficult question to answer. Typical book offers range from zero to one hundred thousand dollars. Agents can't --and shouldn't-- predict advances: On the one hand, if the prediction is too high, authors get upset. If the prediction is too low, authors begin to lose faith in the agent's professed knowledge about publishing.
The size of the advance may not be the most important element of publishing contracts, anyway. Under certain circumstances, the royalty schedule may be more significant than the advance. For example, a high advance coupled with a stingy royalty rate on a successful book may be worse than a low advance and a higher royalty rate."

http://www.adlerbooks.com/mostask.html

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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:11 am

and with that the goblin turned up, looked over the posts, and just wondered why should he read anything other than the posts here, saying "...actually the book is called published authors, where the characters are a motley bunch of admittedly inept but quality writers, and where the plot is to discover which one, amongst them that is, will notice forumland around them then, something like real TV done with writers, in writer's style, written in their own words too, in bitesize posts...", in fact, the plot was so good the goblin felt, that someone should actually write a book about it, so that everyone else here could then pass yet more comments about the book in their posts once more



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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:20 am

Quote :
pass yet more comments about the book in their posts once more

Actually, goblin, I've long thought that a book consisting just of "Best Of" from the comments section of various news sites would be a hit. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:37 am

Quote :
Actually, goblin, I've long thought that a book consisting just of "Best Of" from the comments section of various news sites would be a hit.

"...oh no LC, it's "worse of" that people want now..." suggested the goblin, adding "...after all, it's what they're use to, and think about those prestigious books by lady gaga, and paris hilton now, and then read through it and note down the words of wisdom then..."





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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:24 am

I lived on book advances for about 10 years. But that was in the good 'ol days. As small presses take larger bites from market share and big houses decline, advances for lesser known authors will vanish.

How long before would-be agents start spamming authors?
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:36 am

Al,

You have obviously done very well. How many books did that take?
Which ten years?
Just curious.
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:05 pm

Agents may spam me - I'm ready.
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PostSubject: Re: All the money is in self-publishing these days...   Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:17 pm

alice wrote:
Al,

You have obviously done very well. How many books did that take?
Which ten years?
Just curious.
About 20 titles published with over 30 editions plus foreign language translations. Most of the books did not earn back their advance (although a few went through the roof), but the publisher(s) didn't care. They were making money on my work.
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