Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

07/26/2014

Update: Some Unknown Authors Still Making Good Living from Self-Publishing


A self-publisher in the moneyMy previous posts on this subject on this blog give an excellent background on the birth, growth and sustainability of profitable self-publishers.

Other posts on this subject on my other blog (Writers Welcome Blog) can be accessed here for those interested.

Yes, there are quite a few authors, many unknown, who bang out quite good livings by self-publishing their works. And tonight’s post will show that some of them actually make MORE money than initially offered by big house publishers.

The links above provide mucho history through inside and sideway looks into the development of the new game-changing, self-publishing acceptance that has enabled more authors to make a living – and/or, in lieu of immediate financial success, at least get their work read by readers and gain a following for future projects.

This insight is provided by Nassau News Live (a hyper-local student-run journalism project from the School of Communication at Hofstra University in New York):

 

Unknown Authors Make A Living Self-Publishing

 

Five years ago, printing your own book was stigmatized and was seen as a mark of failure.

“But now,” says Dana Beth Weinberg a sociologist at Queens College who is studying the industry, “the self published authors walk into the room and they say, ‘I made a quarter of a million dollars last year, or a hundred thousand dollars, or made ten thousand dollars, and it is still more than what some of these authors are making with their very prestigious contracts.’”

Weinberg says there is still a strong financial case to be made for publishing books the old fashioned way, but there are now many well-known independent authors who have made a fortune self-publishing online.

One of those authors, Hugh Howey, recently published a report arguing that self-published writers earn more money overall from eBooks than authors who have been signed by the big five publishing houses. The report, which Howey created with an anonymous data researcher who goes by the name “Data Guy,” uses Amazon’s sales ranking and crowd-sourced sales data to estimate authors’ total earnings on eBooks.

The report has been attacked by critics who point out the figures don’t include cash paid to authors as part of a book advances. And they say Howey is underestimating the money earned from old fashioned print sales. He’s also been called a tool of Amazon in that company’s war against established publishing houses.

Trustworthy data is difficult to come by. And Amazon doesn’t release detailed sales numbers.

Howey says he’s just trying to point out that self-publishing can be a decent way to make a living even if you aren’t selling millions of books. And he points out that self-published authors are able to keep 70 percent of royalties on all eBook sales. As a result, he says, many relatively unknown authors are making a decent living self-publishing their work.

One of those authors is Michael Bunker, who has a long beard, close-cropped hair and a wide brim hat, and describes himself as an “accidental Amish Sci-Fi writer.”

His latest book, Pennsylvania Omnibus, hit number 19 earlier this month on Amazon’s best seller list. And Bunker’s first book — about living off the grid — was an instant online success.

“It went to 29 on all of Amazon.com on the very first day,” Bunker said. “And I got messages from agents and publishers. And I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no clue what I was doing.”

The first agent who reached him offered a $5000 advance and a guaranteed publishing deal.

“I made more than that yesterday,” Bunker said.

 

Damn interesting how things are dancing around in the publishing dance halls, huh?

 

Get this Publishing/Writing blog on your Kindle :)))

 

 

 

Source research article: http://www.nassaunewslive.com/unknown-authors-make-a-living-self-publishing/51515

Advertisements

05/17/2010

Publishing Past is Over. But Publishing Future is Under Construction


While the traditional publishing biz model is gasping and dying before our eyes, newborn biz models are struggling to hatch completely…Models that are being forged by many factors such as the internet (YouTube, blogs, social media, POD), and other technology and apps proliferating media gadgets to make the “written Word” more comfortable and accessable in digital…

Publishing past is over. But publishing future is under construction.


I borrowed that cool phrase from Steve Rosenbaum (pictured at left) in an interview he did with Debbie Stier (former Associate Publisher of HarperStudio) for The Huffington Post in which they discuss “the best of times and the worst of times” in publishing:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

A great sentence that could well have been written about 2010 and the world of book publishing. For Debbie Stier, a lifelong member of Publishing’s elite, it would be easy to see the glass as half empty.

She was working as an Associate Publisher for HarperStudio, a forward thinking HarperCollins imprint that offered lower advances and more profit sharing with authors. But when Publisher Bob Miller announced he was leaving, HarperCollins pulled the plug on the HarperStudio operation. Stier was left an Editor at Large, somewhat a minister without portfolio, watching the business she loves struggle with gut-wrenching change.

Still, she’s grinning, ear to ear.

“Books aren’t going away,” said Stier. “I read on a iPhone, I read on a Kindle, I have a Sony and I have books. And I recently have made a return to books. And I have decided there are different kinds of reading, and there’s certain kinds of reading that’s ephemeral. There’s always going to be a place for printed books”

“It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”

For a seasoned marketer like Stier, finding a title starts with the reader.

“I start with, ‘Who is the audience for this book,’ and then, ‘How am I going to reach that person,'” she said. “And I have worked with many literary authors back in the day, five years ago, and seeing if you can get that author on NPR and maybe the New York Times Book Review. And there still is that. But now it also means teaching that author how to connect with their audience online. And a lot of the literary authors, it’s very hard for them to do. But I try and find that place. I always say, ‘If you had a magazine, what would your magazine be? Make that magazine on WordPress.'”

Stier’s authors are on the cutting edge, and there’s no better example of a cross over author than Gary Vanderchuk, the peripatetic preacher of Wine gospel (see: Wine Library TV) and fast rising business coach.

“I saw him speak at the Web 2.0 conference,” she said. “I had been following him on Twitter. I’d seen Wine Library TV, I knew what a phenomenon he was. I loved him, I thought he was great. But, then when I saw him speak at the Web 2.0 conference two years ago, I said, this guy has a book.”

“It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”

Stier talks about authors in way that is personal, intimate and with a real sense that she gets them.

“I always knew, to be quite honest with you, that I was going to do a book with [Gary], from the second I saw him up there speaking, and I was like, that’s my guy,” she said. “The book was written here, out-loud, and I have a whole bunch of tape recording devices, and we start with an outline, and Gary just speaks it, and then we put it on paper, and we go from there.

And yet, getting books through the old system of publishing is a slow and painful process.

“It’s like a jar of peanut butter, and somebody says, ‘Okay, swim, swim through it.’ There are so many layers of why it’s difficult, you cant even believe,” she said. “So let’s say you have something that’s timely like Sarah Palin. And you can push it to the front of the publishing house, and get that done. Now you’ve got the stores to deal with. They’ve booked up their shelf space, six or eight months in advance. So that’s a layer of complication that you have to get through.”

But today publishers are embracing social media; they’re talking about Twitter, Facebook, blogs and webpages.

“I say that we’re down the rabbit hole,” said Stier, “and it feels to me, everyone gets what I’m talking about, and then I have these moments when I realize that it’s actually same 20 of us that are just bouncing ideas in the echo chamber off one another.”

“It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.”

While books are central to Stiers world, she admits that even her habits are changing.

“I hate to even admit this, but I just recently cancelled my subscription to The Times. I had cancelled my print version a year or two ago. And then I was getting it on the Kindle and I realized: I don’t even read it on the Kindle.”

Read more http://alturl.com/p8dx

http://curationnation.magnify.net/embed/player/BBQ36V15NRFVWPPH

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: