It's not all that different for many writers. They read about million dollar book deals and want a piece of that action for themselves, but the truth of the matter is that those who are really getting rich in the publishing business are only a small percentage of writers. The rest of us are slogging away day by day, perhaps making a decent living, or perhaps just supplementing a partner's earnings, and we will never get rich.
Let me repeat that. Most of us will never get rich by writing.
However, in this era of e-publishing, there are many opportunities for writers to do much better than just making a decent living. Terry Odell already shared her recent success with putting one of her books in the Nook First program at Barnes & Noble here at The Blood Red Pencil, and other authors are going with the KDP Select program via Amazon.
Julie Ortolon is one of those authors. A romance writer with a number of best-selling books published, Julie had a nine year career with traditional publishers before sales of her books in paper started to drop. Not long after that, publishers started dropping her because of the sales record. Fast-forward a few years when Julie got the rights to those books back and published then as an independent author on Amazon.
In evaluating sales for 2011, Julie says that she may have sold more ebooks in 2011 than the total number of paperbacks sold over the nine years those books were in print. That was a startling revelation.
She is excited about building a bigger readership than she ever had before. "That feels so good after traditional publishers had me convinced that my books weren't selling because readers didn't want what I write. Now I know that's not true. My print books weren't selling because of the realities of print runs, distribution, and placement in the brick and mortar stores. Or lack thereof on all three counts. It's kind of hard for readers to buy your books when they never see them."
It is important to keep in mind that part of the success of authors like Terry and Julie is due to taking a professional approach to indie publishing. This includes paying for professional editing, cover design, and sometimes even formatting. They are also writers who take the craft very seriously and their books are well-written.
One Small Victory, and it sold a handful of copies a month for the rest of that year. In the spring of 2011, I participated in some promotional events with groups of authors, giving our books away for selected periods of time. In one week I had 30,000 downloads of my book and 1,100 sales. Since then, sales tend to fluctuate a lot. Some months I sell hundreds of books, and other months I'm lucky to sell a book a day, but it does keep selling.
I now have a number of other books and short stories published as e-books, and with the royalties from Amazon and my publishers, I have been making more money these past two years with my fiction than I did in previous years. While I am not getting rich, I am pleased that the increase of sales has been steady, and I anticipate that it will only get better.
|Maryann Miller is a novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent release is Boxes For Beds, an historical mystery available as an e-book. Stalking Season is the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series. The first book, Open Season, is available as an e-book for all devices. To check out her editing rates visit her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas. She believes in the value of a good walk.|