I read that the Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince (now known as Prince) said he made more money from his work marketing it himself, rather than putting it out through a major record company.
I don't see any reason why an established writer can't work this business model himself, given the changing nature of publishing.
(If I could ever establish myself, I might try my hand at it.)
The author has a following in place and can make that leap.
Aside from outliers like Amanda Hocking (who despite her indie success is currently negotiating a seven-figure book deal with traditional publishers) it's hard to make a living as a self-pubbed author.
If Britney Spears gets a splinter, we see it all over the media. If my Grandma gets eaten by a shark, maybe eight people will care.
What I'm saying is, Authors such as Eisler already have a voice in the publishing world; therefore, they are better equipped at self publishing and advertising their book. But what of that first time author? I'm not saying it's impossible, just a lot harder to get the word out and make record sales. Was this a good choice for Eisler? Absolutely. Is it the best choice for everyone? No. I know some self published authors who should have sat at their desk editing and polishing before getting their pages bound. I say, (this is my own humble opinion) find a way to get a voice and then use it to make a change in the world.
What "Drock0211" and Jamie Ford said, more or less what I said. Going the self-publishing route would be better once a writer has established himself. He might wind up selling a tenth of the number of copies than if he published with a well-known house, but he'd get one hundred percent less expenses of that tenth, rather than royalties reflecting an uncertain relationship to number of copies sold. (Gross, very gross, oversimplification here, not taking into account electronic publishing or agents or returns or any number of things. Or even the actual percentage a writer gets for his book sales.)
I think it might be possible for someone previously unpublished to make this work, though...certainly with changing technology there will be other options.
Re: Jamie Ford's comment. I agree that a noticed writer may make more money than one who remains in e-pub. However, there are a bunch of writers who write good novels, but not outstanding rock 'em, sock 'em novels who can get some traction for books that are not in hot markets.
I think in some ways that the self-pub route can be a pathway to the publishers. Amanda Hocking (a phenom, for sure) has done it. It can be used to get traction with publishers.
I think for a lot of us who are pounding away, with e-pub it might be that half a loaf is better than none.
And while e-book sells are booming at the moment, you can still sell more individual books with the traditional way. But at the same time one makes a whole lot more money per e-book sold that regular book sold. And depending on the publisher you get the money sooner.
You are taking a chance either way. Some books probably won't sell much in the e format and few will sell the high numbers. And it could take you years to get a Traditional publisher to buy a book. Especially now as it sounds like. They need more writers but at the same time they seemed to have made it harder to sell to them. But notice I said harder not impossible. Plenty of writers are still getting good contracts.
But the issue also is that e-book sells are growing so fast some think it's the end of the traditional publisher. I'm one who doesn't think that but e-publishing will be a strong competitor of T-publishing. And most T-publishers-those that aren't already- will have to offer e-publishing as part of the deal.
If you go the e-publishing route you have to do more work or hire someone to do it, but as sells increase the number of books sold will equal the number of paper books sold. It's a choice with pros and cons each way.
As I said before I will be placing some stories for sell through e-publishing but I'm still trying the old fashion way with my new stories. I want to sell to F&SF, Analog and Asimov. Novels I will probably try the old way but if one of my three novels comes up short on the word count I will probably try the new way for that one. Later who knows but I may do it the new way. Right now I'm still inclined to do it the old way-in fact I seriously thought about trying one publisher this month if I could get the first three chapters revised in time but two will need to be revised a second time. Anyway my decision on what way to go could change with the way publishing is changing.
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited March 23, 2011).]
This might not be related to the topic, but just for curiosity's sake... How many of you bought ebooks from indie authors/publishers you didn't hear of? Posts: 628 | Registered: Nov 2009
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quote:...I want to sell to F&SF, Analog and Asimov...
My goal, too---though, when I started, it was Analog, F & SF, Galaxy, Amazing, and Fantastic. Print publication was what I wanted---electronic publication doesn't do it for me. E-pub reminds me of what we called "semi-pro-zines" in the day---lesser things that didn't pay much or had much of an audience. (Not necessarily true of e-pub, I admit.) I'm willing to look into it at times, but I don't do it right now, and it's not a major goal just because it's not what I'm looking for.
(Actually, I've been published in all the abovementioned markets but F & SF---fan letters!)
I've never bought an e-book---I haven't yet bought a reader. This is something that I will do, I'm sure---I just have to check things out and see which one has the features I like best. (I heard Kindles don't give page counts or word counts---a downcheck in my book. Most of you would know better than I.)
But for right now I stick with printed books and whatever I want to read online---and, far as printed books go, I've bought a lot from indie publishers, often directly.
I have bought Kindle 'bargain' fantasy as well as mainline books such as Rothfuss' Wise Man's Fear.
I did find out that when you look at series, to look at the page count in the description. I got into a series with a free volume 1 and paid about $25 for five 200 page mini-books. That's how some people are making money on Kindle these days.
You don't need a kindle to read e-books. you can set up an Amazon account and download a Kindle app on your PC. I even have one for my iPhone and can read the same book on both. Kindle has a sync that allows you to do that.
quote:This might not be related to the topic, but just for curiosity's sake... How many of you bought ebooks from indie authors/publishers you didn't hear of?
I've bought quite a lot of them actually. If they are reasonably priced I'll take a chance on a book that someone recommends on the Amazon forums. There are lots of posts on "If I like this book, what else should I read?" Not all of them have worked out, and some of them have been downright bad, but overall I think the experience is definitely worth it.
ETA: You can also download a couple of chapters worth of sample for books, and I do that first if I'm really skeptical about a book, but usually if it's only a couple of bucks I'll just buy it. Feels like a bargain bin at a used book store.
[This message has been edited by coralm (edited March 23, 2011).]
quote:How many of you bought ebooks from indie authors/publishers you didn't hear of?
I bought one of Amanda Hocking's books just to see what the big deal was. That probably doesn't count, since I 'heard' of her through writing discussions.
Like many readers I keep coming back to those writers I know deliver a dependable reading experience. Those I'm familiar with tend to be ones who came to my attention under the traditional publishing system.
If my 'legacy' publishing favorites went indie I'd follow them, no question. As I discover new writers I imagine more and more of them will have entered the business as indies.
I might have read works by dozens of writers who are indies, but who aren't beating the 'indie' drum. If so I haven't noticed, nor do I care. With the Kindle's sampling feature I can judge the work directly with no expense.