C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Writing: Where the money is

Everybody wonders what the next big thing will be in our expanding industry. In other words, “Where’s the money?”

As it relates to writing as an industry, money looks sparse at first glance. I mean, banking, drugs and guns is where the big money is. However, for our industry? The big money in writing is in the beams and braces. Infrastructure. The money will go to people who service our needs as indies. So ask yourself, what do we need?

1. Book apps. We don’t really understand book apps. Programmers do. Book apps with a subscription service could work, especially for certain authors who are in traditional publishing now but will soon make the leap to self-publishing.

2. Author cooperatives. Box sets may already be on the way out, but I think more authors will share resources and trade skills, either in small, structured groups or as part of a time bank organization, or both.

3. Organization provision: Many of us cringe at the idea of a union because it reeks of gatekeepers. I’d say that’s only because the writers unions that have been proposed for indies so far stink of more gatekeeping. Innovators out to advocate instead of control could do better than that, for us and for themselves.

4. An alternative to ACX that’s more generous to creators. ACX was awesome. Technically, it’s still awesome though the creator share is down. Have you noticed that, since ACX lowered the pay rate, we aren’t talking about ACX near so much anymore? We’re still using it because audiobooks are our future. For some, they’re our today! We’d like more choices and we’d like to get back to the bigger cut, though. (The obstacle is effective distribution, so that will have to be bankrolled.)

5. Selling direct from websites will become more popular. You can use Gumroad to sell digital products now. The problem is, no one wants to sideload their kindle with a pdf. Find a way around that problem and we’ll all be doing it to some degree. Fewer buttons, one click. That’s key.

6. Discoverability tools are more important than information. Make more discoverability tools (like you’ll find at Author Marketing Club, for instance.) Information is free everywhere, including here. Ways to help readers find us are harder to come by.

7. Services that promote indie authors will make money. Bookbub is at the top of the heap now, but BookGorilla is cheaper. The Fussy Librarian is very low cost. if I recall correctly, the latter was built partially in response to Bookbub’s fees. Bookbub has big lists of subscribers, sure, but they have competition and it’s growing because Bookbub is so hard to get into and can be so expensive.

8. The company that finds a way to make it easier for books to be printed and distributed (cheaper, faster and easier than it can be done at present) and get it to libraries and bookstores will make a lot of money. Be the new Lightning Source, for instance, but make it as easy to deal with as CreateSpace. (LS has improved in this regard, but I’ve checked it out and it still feels like a hassle.)

9. Translation houses. Everybody knows foreign language publishing is going to be huge. What we don’t know is whom to trust to translate our work and whom to ask to make sure the translations are any good. We’ll also need people (formerly known as agents) whose sole occupation is dealing in foreign rights sales. The markets are waiting, but most of us aren’t ready.

10. The next destination website for our readers. We need a destination website that operates as a cool magazine that curates our work to readers. We need to provide a way for readers to find us and vice versa. We don’t need another Writer’s Digest. We need a Reader’s Digest, if you will, for our work but catering to readers. If there aren’t click to buy and click to explore buttons at the end of each story or sample, it will still miss the mark.

You could, of course, simply write the next big thing.

We are writers, after all. We don’t want to think about all this tech stuff. That’s why someone with the skills to fulfill these needs will eventually appear and get paid.

If you’re still bent on writing to make money, the trouble is that no one knows what the next big thing really will be. No one saw Fifty Shades of Gray coming. It’s not like it was the first book of erotica to go on sale, but it went huge. Its imitators didn’t make near as much dough. Breaking out is not something you can chase, exactly. It happens to you and there are too many variables outside your control.

Just write the best book you can. When your book is ready, I really hope those trusty translation houses will be up and running and ready for business.

What are your ideas for the support structure our industry needs?

~ The good news. I’m now in the Top 100 Horror Authors on Amazon! The book launch bargains continue for This Plague of Days here. See what all the fuss is about, see the video and find the secret.


Filed under: author platform, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Writers’ Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers’ Union of Canada

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

Robert Chazz Chute‘s insight:

I doubted this would move forward (and it still has to pass by a two-thirds  majority of the membership.) However, things are looking up for recognition of self-published work and indie authors. Their caveats seem reasonable to me.

This is particularly important since I was just listening to the Book Fight podcast (BookFightPod.com) in which one host revealed that universities are very much behind the times. He was told that publication online (where many more people might actually discover and read his work) would count for little or nothing to his credit. It’s still publish or perish, but they would prefer you hide your light under that cliched bushel of paper, thanks very much.

Largely, it seems academia still prefers publication in prestigious literary journals. To put that in perspective, a middling blog has a much larger subscriber base and readership than most any literary journal you could name. Chasing journals kind of sounds ridiculous. You could be using that time and energy building a readership, a mailing list and relevance.

As technology and reality drag neo-Luddites into the 21st century, it’s exciting to see TWUC leading the way and acknowledging that the publishing industry, and the profession of writer, has changed drastically.  (Not will change or is changing. Has changed.) By admitting indies, they expand their revenue, their power in numbers and maintain their relevance.

Good luck, TWUC! I’ll definitely consider joining.

See the press release for details at the link below.

See on www.writersunion.ca

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 8 of the Author Blog Challenge: Indie Self-defence

English: Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock - &q...

English: Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock – “The Big Bang Theory”. Español: Un diagrama de la resolución del juego «Piedra, papel, tijera, lagarto, Spock.» (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When indie authors rock so hard they succeed after traditional publishers have turned them down, they sometimes get news coverage or, naturally, blog about it. Then some people accuse said authors of gloating. I recently read a complaint that the tone of those indie author success stories are always, “Neener! Neener! Neener!” Here’s…the truth? Well, here’s what no one else is saying anyway that I think needs to be said: 

1. When you’ve been turned down and kept down and toiled for little or no money and then you win, some gloating is in order! You get to be happy when you prove your doubters and detractors wrong. No need to name names or burn down anybody’s house, but we inspire others to aspire when we tell them the truth of our success stories, defy the status quo and flip the power differential from institutions to individuals. Some people get pissed at Konrath for his aggressive tone, for instance. I notice the people who get really angry at him often lack facts to back their complaints. It appears they are mad, not because he is wrong, but because he is right. You don’t have to be Mr. Spock to see that’s a bad reason to be angry.

2. Consider: Not everyone who is supposed to be an expert is; not everyone wants you to keep trying; not everyone acts professionally when they reject a writers’ work; and there are a lot of people who aren’t happy when you’re doing well. A friend began a pitch to a famous New York agent. Nearby diners were startled when, not one sentence into the pitch, the agent shouted, “Spare me!” That author found success with that same book elsewhere, and continues to, with his subsequent books. The big New York agent isn’t so big anymore. In fact, I don’t think he’s in the business anymore. What a loss.

3. What? We don’t get to celebrate our successes but you, in traditional publishing, do? There’s an appropriate two-word response to that assertion. The second word is “you”. The first word is not “thank”. Of course, not all of trad publishing hates indies. When I hear people in traditional publishing trash successful indies, I suspect that’s a vocal minority who are wary of change. It’s not even about the indies, per se. According to a recent survey, most traditionally published authors aren’t happy with their publishers and many plan to self-publish in the future. Only 37% of authors want the status quo of 2007. That’s okay. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and doing it all by yourself is often a drag. (You will figure out who is bitter or behind the times pretty quick when you hear the words “vanity press”, though.) Many indies would still take a traditional book deal if the terms were sane. It doesn’t have to be either/or. It can be both. I hope traditional publishing not only survives but perseveres. Book proliferation is good for the human race.

4. As a newspaper and magazine reporter, I looked for the interesting angle on any story. You have a new book coming out? So what? So do lots of people. You have a new book coming out that agents and editors all turned down several dozen times and now it’s a bestselling series? And an editor and an agent was abysmally rude to you along the way? Bonus! Now there’s a story people will read. The “Neener-neener!” tone may well have been determined long before the reporter called up the indie novelist for the interview. That’s not the novelist’s fault. (And if you turned down the bestselling book and were rude about it, that’s your fault.)

5. If you begrudge indies their success after you turned down their work, you didn’t just make one, forgivable error in judgment in a subjective business. Now you’re revealing yourself to be a petty person, as well. Doubters will note a defiant tone in this post, but I’m not pushing. I’m pushing back. I do value civil discourse and keeping exchanges classy (Caveat: Except in self-defence where humour disarms and on those occasions when mean is funny and the target deserves it.) What I’m reacting to is the flack indies get for choosing independence. Amazon changed the equation and we’ve all got to get used to the new math.

So here’s a link to a happy self-publishing story. If you are of a certain mindset, you’ll read it as a bitter tale of “Vengeance is mine!” If you’re of another mindset, you may well think, here’s an inspiring story of self-determination, self-reliance, perseverance and success. This is a test.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,388 other followers

Brain Spasms a la Twitter

%d bloggers like this: