Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: making money as a writer

A Few Facts ( And, Speculations) About Indie Author Earnings

Much is being said about how much a writer can earn if they self-publish.

Author Earnings

Image courtesy of Thiago Felipe Festa ~

And, much is being discussed about the terms “Indie Author” vs. “Self-Published Author”.

Today, I want to focus on the Earnings for writers (whatever they’re called) if they Don’t use a Traditional Publisher

We have to start with considerations of how digital self-publishing is affecting traditional publishers.

And, it would also be advantageous to consider how writers can actually make a living

One other consideration, which I featured in the past post, Is The Success of Indie Authors Just A Bunch of Hype? (where I brought in the thoughts of Smashwords CEO, Mark Coker), is also an important topic.

One author who’s at the front line of exploring author earnings is Hugh Howey; and, Mark Coker explores the fuss Howey has created with his efforts to expose some facts about Indie Author Earnings in the article, Hugh Howey and the Indie Author Revolt.

By the way, if you don’t click-through on all the links I’ve already given you, and you want to clearly understand the issues of Indie vs Traditional, do make an effort to check out that last link :-)

Mr. Coker also has an article called, Indie Ebook Author Community to Earn More than Traditional Ebook Authors.

He admits that he’s in the realm of speculation but he is the CEO of “the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks”.

The article has charts and all that but I want to focus on just a few of his summary comments:

“My projections paint a picture of an indie author community poised to capture an ever-larger share of ebook profits if print continues to decline in importance.”

“But this does not mean that indie authorship is the road to riches.”

“The rise of self-published ebooks will lead to a glut of high-quality books that never go out of print.”

“These books, combined with the ebook releases of traditional publishers, will accumulate on ebook retailer shelves and lead to more high-quality ebooks competing for a limited number of reader eyeballs.”

“It means readers will become more discerning.”

“It means all authors – indie or otherwise – will face more intense competition than ever before.”

Let me add, “more intense competition” certainly, but digital publishing does give more writers the Chance to get into the game :-)

Now, I’d like your opinion

Can you agree with this last comment from Mark?

“Good books aren’t good enough anymore.  Readers want wow books. Indies will deliver.”
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Bad Advice for Writers = Most Advice for Writers

writers advice I have 34 past posts tagged “writing advice” and I encourage you to use the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar for all things Reading, Writing, and Publishing

And, “writing advice” needs those quotes around it these days—such a slew of “experts” out there—so much B.S.

And, along with all the “advice” about the act of writing, there’s a bigger slew of “experts” yelling about how to make your book sell, sell, sell

One particular previous post that any aspiring self-published author could benefit from is, What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

Here are a two quotes from that post:

“An extremely small percentage of writers sell more than 500 copies of a book

“Perhaps, no matter what an author does (or, a publishing company), most books will still sell not so many copies?”


Someone is a writer and writes a book—no, wait—wants to write a book.

That someone looks at the publishing landscape and realizes the intended years of effort to create the book could be followed by many more years of the book not selling, even if they self-publish, even if they spend every waking hour doing social media, even if they can afford to pay a publicist, even if they find a magician who specializes in spells woven ’round readers hearts

Perhaps, to salvage the self-esteem of aspiring writers, there need to be other options than sales and money to keep their artistic boat afloat?

There used to be an article on the site Electronic BinderyNot About The Money: 10 OTHER Indie Author Motivations—but; it seems to have disappeared… Good thing I saved its bullet points—I’ll just add my own comments :-)

1. It’s classless and egalitarian

Many writers shun class-consciousnesss and desire equality in their relations. Many more writers, these days, are working together on projects, not letting themselves fall into the AuthorWars that sometimes rage

2. Indie authors enjoy creative freedom

Naturally, creative freedom to produce your own unique work is a necessity—including the freedom to not care about money ( My books used to be available for purchase; but, now, I persist in giving them away ).

3. You’ve got an authority problem

I surely do And, gatekeepers for authors is so medieval.

4. You want a dog

Or, any other high maintenance pet that needs your attention and doesn’t want you to spend all day promoting some damn book.

5. You think you may think like an entrepreneur

I probably could be considered in that group but I prefer the term maverick—less accountability for generating cash.

5.5 You think you may NOT think like an entrepreneur

Authors as business people is all the rage these days—raging authors—creative types concerned with their bottom-line—really??

6. You like making stuff

Yep. Far too many folks don’t realize the joy of playing around with fonts and typefaces and cover art—crafting a book to your own idiosyncratic specifications.

7. You’re a control freak

Much better to be a control freak about books than attempting to control other people

8. You’re an introvert

I’m one—glad of it—wouldn’t ever want to live the life that demands I use the available world-scene as what I should consider the spur for my intentions and actions.

9. You don’t look good in a suit

Well, I kinda do look good in a suit but why the bother?

10. You stopped buying stuff

Stuff needs attention. Stuff needs caring for. Stuff costs money. Stuff accumulates. Stuff can cause one to stuff their sensitivity to stuff that goes way beyond mere stuff

O.K., my brazen opinions :-)

Do check out the explanations in the electronic bindery article.

And, do leave a comment with your ideas about all this
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Simple Question ~ Can Writers Make Money?

writers making money Answering the seemingly simple question, Can Writers Make Money, demands asking for an adjective—freelance? non-fictional? technical? poetic? fictional? Perhaps, even mainstream? or self-published?

Chris Brogan recently finished up a series of posts, all beginning with the words, Writing A Book. The first four posts appended Finding Time, Discipline, Structure, and Marketing And Promotion.

I’ve read quite of bit of Brogan and find him an intelligent and savvy fellow.

In the last post of his series, Writing A Book–Making Money, he summarizes, after a cogent explanation of his main points:

“You can make much more money faster if you sell your book as a course instead. You can make money if you sell speaking. You can make money by selling digitally instead of in paper form, and you can sell paper books, if you’re not scared off yet by my putting it dead last in the options of making money. Publishing in the mainstream doesn’t make the list exactly, because it becomes the bait in the larger game.”

OK, that works for many kinds of writers but I’m a self-published fiction author.

He does mention fiction and I’m very curious what my readers think of this statement:

“The money for fiction authors? Oh, I forgot that part. That doesn’t work. Fiction is about passion except for the very few percent of the herd who really can move books like no one’s business.”

Anyone out there feel like he might not be looking, closely enough, at the rapid flux in the book business?

Do you think the new opportunities in self-publishing will let more of the “herd” make some money??
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