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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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Fantastic article from Writer’s Digest!self publish

By: | August 11, 2016

Hybrid publishing is an emerging area that occupies the middle ground between traditional and self-publishing and therefore includes many different publishing models— basically anything that is not self-publishing or traditional publishing. “Hybrid publishing” is not a term all publishers or authors in this space use; other terms that describe this type of publishing include “author-assisted publishing,” “independent publishing,” “partnership publishing,” “copublishing,” and “entrepreneurial publishing.” But right now, because it’s a catchall, “hybrid publishing” is the umbrella term I’ll use throughout this book to refer to this middle ground.


brooke-headshot featuredgreen-light your bookThis guest post is Brooke Warner. Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-Light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, and How to Sell Your Memoir, and the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). She blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and SheWrites.com. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.


The hybrid publishing space is somewhat controversial, in part because it’s new and in part because there’s no universal agreement about what it is. Because hybrid models almost always involve the author paying for some or all services (and always in return for higher royalty rates), some assert that hybrid publishing is the same as vanity publishing. For people who like to think in black-and-white terms, the hybrid publishing space upends their sense of order. Without hybrid, there are’ just traditional publishing and self-publishing. Black and white. You get paid to publish or you pay to get published. The hybrid publishing space is not for black-and-white thinkers. There are a number of models, and in my experience what sets them apart from vanity presses is that they’re run like publishing companies. Many of them have a submissions process, control their own cover design and editorial process, and have publishers calling the shots and curating the lists. There are also traditional publishers that are cutting hybrid deals, in which authors pay for some services in exchange for higher royalties.

The payoff for the author in hybrid publishing comes from having more control. The author is investing in their own work, or perhaps raising money through crowdfunding to finance their work, and then keeping the lion’s share of their profits, rather than giving it all away. Authors retain creative ownership and are treated more like partners in the process, instead of being at the whim of their publishers.

The following are four main kinds of hybrid publishing:

1. Traditional publishers that have been brokering hybrid publishing deals for years.

The precedent for hybrid models goes back years and years. A number of publishers have cut deals with authors for what might have been qualified as “distribution deals,” “hybrid publishing arrangements,” or “copublishing ventures.” All this means is that the author pays up front in some capacity. This might be for part or all of the print run or the cost of production. In exchange, the author is usually negotiating a higher royalty rate, since they’ve invested in their own work. The only downside to this variation of hybrid publishing is that it’s not transparent. Most of the traditional publishers who do it don’t talk about it, because the concept of authors paying to publish is so heavily stigmatized. In fact, it’s still the case that authors who subsidize any part of their work are barred from submitting their work to some reviewers and to many contests. These authors do not qualify for membership in certain writers’ associations. (Thankfully, many review outlets, contests, and associations are changing their tune on this, but not enough of them and not fast enough.)

[How To Write Novels When You’re A Parent]

2. Partnership publishing models.

Models like these include my own publishing company, She Writes Press. Our authors absorb the financial risk of their publishing endeavor in exchange for high royalties. We offer traditional distribution (which we’ll explore in detail in Chapter 6) and all the benefits that brings.

Partnership publishing models like She Writes Press are exciting in that they offer authors access—to review sites, to a sales force selling their books into the marketplace, and to a partnership with a publisher that has a strong reputation with booksellers. The downside, however, is that there’s a real financial risk. Publishers mostly don’t earn out their investments on books they acquire, and partnership publishing is no different. You are assuming the financial risk for access and for the possibility of a high reward. However, it’s a competitive marketplace out there, and I always encourage authors to go into this option with their eyes wide open. It’s not a foregone conclusion that your investment will be recouped. Other presses like ours include Ink Shares, Booktrope, BQB Publishing, and Turning Stone Press.

3. Agent-assisted publishing models.

Many agents are starting their own publishing companies in order to publish the works of authors whose books they cannot sell. For the most part, these efforts are valiant. Agents feel strongly about the work they’re seeing and want to find an outlet where these authors can be published. They’re hybrid because the authors are being published under the agent’s imprint. What these models lack to date is any kind of effective distribution method. Where they excel, and what makes them like the other two models above, is in understanding publishing and putting out quality books that their authors can be proud of. One asset here as well may be on the foreign-market side. If your agent continues to represent you and has published your book, it’s likely they will make strong efforts to sell foreign editions of your work, so be sure to ask. Examples of agent-assisted publishing include Reputation Books (a division of Kimberley Cameron & Associates) and the Curtis Brown Group out of the UK.


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4. Other assisted publishing models.

What makes assisted self-publishing models different from the partnership and agent-assisted models is that they may or may not be run by someone who knows about books. In these cases, you are paying someone to help you publish. You are not working with a team that is going to publish your work under their imprint. This model really qualifies more as self-publishing than as hybrid. However, I believe it’s important to include these models here, more as a caution to aspiring authors than anything else. Just because you are working with a company does not mean that it is a good hybrid company with services that will help your book succeed. The market for book publishing has exploded, and as a result a number of companies have cropped up to deal with the pain points unique to authors—namely, that getting a book from manuscript to publication is a complicated process. Many of these companies have given the word “vanity” some propulsion because they’re not vetting and they don’t care about editorial quality. That’s on the author, which is why I believe this is somewhat dangerous territory in which you need to be careful. This is basically expensive self-publishing, and some of these companies outright take advantage of authors. The company with the most notoriety in this space is Author Solutions (home of iUniverse, Balboa, WestBow Press, and Archway, to name a few). Not all assisted publishing models are bad, but some of them have a reputation for exploiting authors, so you want to be careful. Do your homework.

Until Next Time…

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how_-much_to_chargeI received an article with this information and wanted to share. Although I didn’t use Reedsy for editing and my book cover, I found I fell within most of the pricing ranges.

One thing I didn’t see on this infographic was the Q&A time with the editor. I certainly had questions as I moved through the process and the last thing I wanted was to be left hanging if my editor said, “this doesn’t work in the plot.” I’ve worked with previous editors who would make a comment and instead of being able to ask a few questions you had to make the changes, submit, and pay again. I’m not clear what Reedsy offers, but if you’re looking for an editor, it’s an important topic to ask about.

By Maryann Yin on May. 2, 2016 Reedsy Self-Publishing Infographic (GalleyCat)

Until Next Time…

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Once again, Colleen shares valuable information for authors!

🌼Colleen Chesebro Fairy Whisperer 🌼

There are some really great ideas and services offered here. READ the fine print and see if something works for you. ❤

Want to skip traditional publishing and share your work with the world? Bookmark this list of resources now.

Source: 28 Resources, Tools and Tips for Self-Publishing Your Next Book

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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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More moneyEveryone loves saving money, but sometimes I don’t want to go the extra effort to do so. This time, however, I did take the extra steps and I saved hundreds of dollars. I was thrilled!

If you’re following my posts on Facebook (facebook https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby/) you know my upcoming novel was sent to my editor January 15th. I sent her 75 pages of my manuscript in order for her to present a scope of work and price. This is what she wrote back:

“I’ve spent some time with chapters of Tears in the Sun, and overall your development and plot are strong. You’re a good writer, and the story is intriguing. You only need light developmental editing.”

editor

I was so excited I didn’t sleep that night! The next day I finally got over myself and looked back at what I did that saved me money, and I laughed. The one thing I dreaded so much ended up being my best friend. And what was it? What did I do that not only saved me money but kept my sanity in tact?

I planned. I won’t say I outlined because that rubs people the wrong way just like it did me. When I began the novel I stomped around like a little kid and refused to outline. How dare it stop my creativity, who says I have to outline? This is MY book and I can break the rules if I want too. But, then I realized, that if someone’s intention is to become a best-selling author they need to act and think like a best-selling author and that means implementing solid strategies that WORK. Best-selling authors did not break the rules with their first several books.

Okay, enough said. We’re all intelligent people. If you dread the thought of outlining then there is another way than writing roman numerals and a. b. and c. under headings. I think so many people had that yucky experience in school that it throws them off when it comes to writing a novel. Give that old thinking a kick in the butt and allow the idea that there is something easier that will produce the same or even better results without losing your creativity! It will actually enhance it.

Over the next few posts, I’ll share the tools I used and also where you can grab them for yourself. These tools boosted my creativity, allowed me to shift gears when my characters demanded I go another direction, and actually KEPT me on track. At the time I was writing the novel I was working a part-time job, running my resume business part-time, selling a home, buying a new home, and moving. There were times I didn’t write for days, but on Sunday, my one day off, I would write 40-60 pages only stopping for pee breaks and snacks. I easily dialed back into the zone even when I had to go three weeks without writing a word! You can do it too.

Until Next Time…

 

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I stumbled across this fantastic resource and wanted to share with you. I’d love to hear any feedback.

 

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