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All Things Writing & Publishing > Author opinions for a blog piece please

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric Klein (wheelguyeric102963) | 20 comments I'm an aspiring writer who is having trouble writing my first book

message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) in addition to the research you've already done, here's some more stats and background material that you might find helpful. crunches 1 million amazon titles every calendar quarter (they should be coming out with their latest one this month or next).

"On the one hand, it’s fantastic to be able to count over 2,500 authors who are currently earning at a living-wage run rate — $50,000/year or more — from just their Amazon sales. But once again, among the traditionally published contingent we see predominantly authors whose careers began decades ago, including all of traditional publishing’s longest tenured best sellers and most recognizable names.

Out of more than 10,000 Big Five author debuts in the last five years, fewer than 220 are currently earning $50K/year or more on Amazon. Despite all the countless small and medium publisher debuts over the past five years, the tally of those authors earning a living wage is even more discouraging: barely 100 non-Big Five traditionally published authors launched in the past 5 years now earn $50K/year or more from all of their books on Amazon."
Here's the October 2016 report:

Note: You can download their raw data into a spreadsheet (excel worked for me, but open did not) and run your own analyses.

Jane Friedman, former publisher of Writer's Digest, does a round-up of the 2016 publishing trends:

message 3: by Nik (last edited Jan 19, 2017 10:09AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 14941 comments Faith wrote: "the top 5% of professional authors receive over 42% of all author income, the bottom 50% earn less than £10,500 a year, that’s beneath the minimum wage, and the bottom 17% earn nothing or, through publishing services, pay to write..."

Alex is good in finding all different stats and he already pampered us with earnings breakdown. Professional authors, if that's what stats that you brought relate to, are probably only a fraction of all of them out there. If I remember correctly the top tier grabs even the much bigger chunk of the pie.
My advice to all aspiring authors: 'make money elsewhere and come enjoy being an author'. Many struggle to break even and cover launching costs of cover design, editing, etc...
However, it's not all grim, we have here also authors making decent moolah, Marie, Evan, for example.
We have authors, who offer all their work for free and enjoy many K downloads: Michel, for example.
But bottom line, it feels the chances to make a living off writing are maybe even lower than from football or becoming a Hollywood movie star and it's not bankable on top of that -:)

Faith wrote: "the writer/creator has become dangerously unappreciated in modern society..."

'Dangerously unappreciated' is already guiding an answer to a certain direction -:)
I'll tell you this much - there is a certain stigma about indie authors, however most readers don't even check whether the author is indie or trad. Some stats show that average American reads 12 books a year. With that number, very few have tolerance to really search and experiment with new, unknown stuff and usually go for books and authors with the name to hedge their risks.
Surely, a lot of good books get aired and then 'die' unnoticed. Don't know whether it's dangerously unappreciated. That's just how it is.
Don't know if it's a good example, but few years ago I used to pay for all inclusive cellular package 100 USD a month and now pay 10. I appreciate the reduction, the cell companies probably - don't -:)
We've been discussing here different motivations for becoming an author and some come for money while others come from a passion to write whether their stuff sells or doesn't.
So, another bottom line: there is a lot of fun in writing, however the commercial part of selling and marketing may be a little or a lot frustrating with some distant chances though that an effort will pay off. Faith no more -:)
Worthwhile? Not sure, but it's not a bad hobby -:)
Take into account that it's just my take on things, while most authors will probably be more optimistic and will likely tell that it's a long-run game, not a sprint...

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I'll have to finish this this evening as I'm off to an appointment but even the three paragraphs I've read so far are excellent! Fresh writing, honest perspectives - great job, Faith!

message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14941 comments Faith wrote: "I've put an article on here to get it underway before I've collated the responses. It's a ramble really so feel free to rip it apart of I'm talking nonsense. http://havingfaithbookblog.blogspot.c..."

I think you offer sound observations and a possible solution. Publishing biz is not about great literature, it's about making money from selling books. Largely they don't care whether they sell good or bad books (both subjective categories) - whatever sells is fine. They have no ability nor desire to sift through thousands/millions of MS in search for a pearl. They go with what they think they know how to sell.
Now, you offer a solution that is not business - based, but involving volunteers. Sure, if there are enough of them and with lasting enthusiasm that can be of value! Moreover, for something big and with decent agenda, you can probably bring sponsors, which sponsorship can be used for different things: from establishing literary or reviewing rewards to grants to some exceptional authors. I remember something about Zuckerberg encouraging reading books last year.
Concern, initiative, effort may do wonders -:)

message 6: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 13 comments Faith wrote: "I’d like to run an article on my blog about the difficult challenge authors are facing, both established writers and indie ones breaking through. If there are any published writers out there who ca..."

Because I view writing as a personally fulfilling hobby, I'm not particularly concerned with making money. I put what I can comfortably afford toward editors, cover designers, and marketing, but know I'll probably never see it again. That's also why I pursue libraries over bookstores—because my main goal is to share my work. Anything else is a bonus. And even though as an indie author my readership is small, I'm incredibly grateful for all the positive interactions I've had so far. Readers and writers are the best.

message 7: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 13 comments Faith wrote: "Lynn wrote: "That's also why I pursue libraries over bookstores—because my main goal is to share my work.."

Lynn, I have a few questions (and would be surprised if you are alone in sending books t..."

Thanks for asking, Faith!

So far I've only published one book. A few months before release date, I sent personalized emails to about 200 public library directors in my state and the surrounding states, asking for my book to be considered for purchase. From that, I got a fair number of responses saying they would either order the book, send it to their acquisitions commitee, or accept a donation.

I was also fortunate enough to get a starred review from BlueInk, which was included in an issue of Booklist. I bought ad space in that issue as well, so the combination of the two gave me a boost into dozens more libraries I didn't specifically contact.

I keep track of which libraries have the book by using WorldCat, but it's not 100% accurate as it doesn't include some of the smaller local libraries. If there's a system in the US that tracks how many times it was checked out, I'd love to know about it!

message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Worthwhile idea in your blog post to explore. Have you checked out netgalley? There are some similarities.

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