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Great article from The Writer and great news for indie authors!

Today, a six-figure income – or at least a full-time writing career – is actually a possibility for independent authors.
By Patrick Walsh | Published: August 18, 2016


independent author book sales

 

Can self-publishing really become a lucrative full-time endeavor? Can indie authors ever begin to rival the income of traditionally published authors? A “yes” to either of these questions seemed but fable a few years ago. But today, a six-figure income – or at least a full-time writing career – is actually a possibility for independent authors.

Recently, an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A on Reddit caught my attention. It was hosted by independent author Chris Fox. Fox has been very successful in his career – so much so that he claimed to have earned $65,000 off his self-published books in 2015, and hopes to triple that in 2016 (meaning a six-figure income based on his eBook sales alone). In fact, he recently quit a six-figure salary in the software industry to write full-time. For a few hours, he answered a variety of questions from fellow writers and aspiring authors. (See the full Q&A here.) So I wondered: Is Fox an anomaly, or is this a rising trend?

 

Author Earnings Amazon salesCredit: AuthorEarnings.com

 

AuthorEarnings.com has published a report on this very subject, so I jumped into the data. Their May 2016 report reports 1340 authors earn over $100,000 per year on Amazon.com. The striking fact here: “Half of them are indies and Amazon-imprint authors.”

Surely this is just for eBook sales, right?  Brick-and-mortar print sales from the Big Five will most certainly bridge the gap and make up the loss in sales. Not true, Author Earnings finds.

“The author earnings gap between publishing paths is so wide among these six-figure-earning authors that once again brick-and-mortar print sales and the like cannot significantly alter the picture,” the report says.

Interestingly, Big Five-published authors make up a significant portion of the 100k-earners if they’ve debuted within the last 100 years. But if you narrow the timeline to those who’ve debuted within the last decade, indie authors make up an overwhelming amount of the big earners – see the figures here. The amount of high-earning, traditionally-published debuts dwindles as we get closer and closer to the present day.

This trend is also true for authors earning over $250,000 per year and over $500,000 per year. The data shows it: Independent authors are threatening the traditional model. It’s certainly an exciting time to be an independent author.

A bit about how these figures were discovered: Author Earnings use a software spider that crawls across Amazon’s bestseller lists, links to also-bought recommendations and through each authors’ full catalog. This resulted in a million-title dataset. You can download the raw data used to compile the statistics on Authorearnings.com.

Patrick Walsh is a serial entrepreneur and the owner of PublishingPush.com, which specialises in PR and book marketing. 

Keep writing! Until Next time…

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plot-vs-characterI think plot vs. character has just as many opinions as outlining vs. pantsing. I’ve read great books that were plot driven with light character development and good books with fantastic characters and a flimsy plot. But, since writing two novels and part of my third I’ve found that the amazing books, the ones that stay with you years later, have both elements. They contain a page-turning plot and deep characters. When I say deep characters I mean human beings with internal and external challenges and emotions that readers can identify with.

So, instead of there being a debate about which should be stronger, I say knock it out of the ballpark and bring both to your story.

Until Next Time…

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The novel plannerI have five million things going on at any given moment, and if I’m not organized I’ll lose everything. Identifying this has certainly helped me in all aspects of my life, but especially my writing. And, I have to admit, I love exploring and finding cool stuff for writers. If it’s something that is fun or helps us become more successful, I’m on it.

With that being said I didn’t find this next tool before I planned my novel, but I am using it for my next book. Kristen A. Keiffer of She’s Novel came up with this brilliant planner that can be used for two books! She’s packed monthly and weekly calendars, brainstorming, a resource center, story idea list, and more into a planner that is easy to carry with you.

What’s also great about it, the price. You can purchase one on Amazon for only $16.19. Click here to see the planner and take a peek inside.

If you’ve also found some great tools to plan a novel I’d love to hear about them.

Until Next Time…

 

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writer's toolsIf you missed the last two posts concerning saving money on edits, just hop on over and get caught up. Just click here and here.

Another priceless resource I used in my writing process was K.M. Weiland’s “Structuring Your Novel Workbook“. Although I didn’t use the workbook in  conjunction with her book “Structuring Your Novel” I found it incredibly helpful as a stand alone tool.

If you’re confused about how fiction books are structured, K.M. Weiland’s workbook will take you step-by-step in understanding and planning your plot points. Her books are clear and to the point.

K.M. is full of additional and free resources as well, but she is a powerhouse when it comes to structure.

I recognize there is controversy whether to plan or not but if you, at least, take the time to establish your hook, plot point one, two, three, and the climax of your story you will save yourself hours of stress and frustration. How do I know? Experience.

I hired an amazing editor who used to work for Harper Collins. I can’t say enough awesome things about her and even though I have plenty of edits for my novel I do NOT have rewrites, plot holes, issues with dialogue, and I only have minor characterization issues with one character. Not only would I have spent hundreds of dollars more if I had the above issues I might have given up when the edits came back.

Until Next Time…

 

 

 

 

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