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2012: The Peak of Independent Authors?

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

Back in October, when my sales weren’t really strong, I simply figured everyone was waiting until mid-November to get their early Holiday shopping in. Once December hit, I’d be off to t…

Robert Chazz Chute‘s insight:

Today’s disturbing observation comes from the King of Disturbing, zombie master Armand Rosamilia. Learn more and soak up Armand’s brutal honesty at the Scoopit! link below.

We can look at falling sales as a challenge to write more. (I do.) We can try to  find new and creative ways to market. I agree, though I’m not sure what that manna from heaven might look and taste like, if it arrives. We can write better books, though sadly, it’s actually debatable how important that really is. (See Fifty Shades of Gray…actually don’t! Buy a book from an author who could actually use the dough to eat.)

A while back, a fellow author confessed she saw no need to buy any books, ever again. Why buy when so much is free? I confess I’ve ridden the KDP Select free train and contributed to that problem. I can’t say Amazon’s  destination is riches with those magic five days of free. Last I checked, with Kobo, it’s free as much as you want (!). It shakes the foundations of the market when an author says she sees no reason to purchase a book.

To that, I say we must develop our voices so our reader base appreciates our unique, special snowflakeness. I don’t think authors are interchangeable, but with infinite choice, prices do fall toward zero. (I’m still betting on my unique voice and sticking with my prediction that all ebook prices are about to rise. Mine will, anyway. We’re going to be cheaper than big house ebooks, but compete on the new algorithm’s terms.)

It’s not that the Mayans were right and it’s not about a false sense of entitlement. It’s that if book sales are really bad across the board, we don’t care much if it’s the end of the world. Am I worried about the end of the world? No. That solves the VISA problem. Am I worried about the state of publishing? I’m writing this under my desk in the fetal position.

(Armand’s not alone scary observations about book sales. Author Derek Haines wrote Self-published Authors Get Ready, You’re being Dumped on his blog, The Vandal. Find that at this link: http://bit.ly/WQdWIu)

Mull both links and riddle me this, Batman: Are you hopeful that post-Christmas morning (after all those new tablets and e-readers are unwrapped) authors might then feel a sales deluge?

Sucking my thumb… ~ Chazz

See on armandrosamilia.com

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3 Responses

  1. I always thought the independent author had to be a little bit crazy.

    Kindle, smashwords, kobo even maybe Lulu revolutionized the way readers got their books and the way writers got their books to those readers. Traditional publishers still lend credibiltiy to an author that self-publishing just can’t.

    50 Shades didn’t really become a big deal until a traditional publisher picked it up. Of course, the traditional publisher didn’t pick it up until it had a large readership. And all of this makes me wonder if inddpendent authors aren’t barking up the wrong tree. Is online publishing more of a break-out strategy than a way of life?

    This is why I think you don’t see a bunch of new movies from Hollywood. Instead, it is always the same. How many Batman franchises have there been, Spiderman? How many James Bond films? Why was Total Recall remade?? I believe it is because people in publishing and/or Hollywood are afraid to take risks. They are afraid to loose money. That’s why E.L. James was such a safe bet.

    So the questions for me are: 1) How crazy do I have to be and for how long? and 2) How break-out do I have to be before a traditional publisher approaches me?

  2. Chazz says:

    On a scale of one to ten, how crazy? You’d have to be lotto odds blotto insane, but this is a compulsion rather than a calculation.

    To your second question, there is no single measure. One author, years ago, sold 75,000 books on his own before a traditional publisher came calling. (To put that in perspective, sell 5,000 books the traditional way in Canada and you’re in bestseller territory.) Scott Sigler had 100,000 fans before publishers would pay attention while John Locke sold a million books before trad publishing picked him up. The rule of thumb is that trad publishers will show up at just about the time you begin to wonder why on earth you’d need them.

    Since we may never be picked up by traditional publishers (and publishing can be so much heartbreaking work), would you write and publish even if no trad publisher ever asks you to the dance? By cold calculations, we’d be far more financially secure driving a cab or baking bread or…just about anything else. It has to be a labor of love, of love of writing and reading and self and others.

  3. […] 2012: The Peak of Independent Authors? (chazzwrites.com) […]

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