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message 2: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (theodorejeromecohen) | 1429 comments Great article...dead, as we know it today. It's going to have to evolve...or better, WE are going to have to evolve, which is why I'm repackaging my material (throwing more things at the wall!) AND moving into audiobooks with a vengeance (just signed another contract for my Martelli mystery/thriller series an hour ago).

Adapt or die! It think that's the underlying message, Carole.

Good work.


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments I dislike the bit where he suggests self-publishing will become nothing more than a means for people who aren't capable of earning money from their books to get their stories out there.

Outside of that I think he's right, those who are in it for a quick buck will move on to something else, and those who understand that making a living requires time, energy, effort and patience will continue to adapt to the business and figure out how to draw attention to their books.


message 4: by Carole (last edited Jul 27, 2018 01:52PM) (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4623 comments Mod
It said what I had been feeling for a while. I met with someone from Publisher's Weekly today and he pretty much confirmed it. That's why I have been holding back with self-publishing for a while.
He told me the market's been saturated with stuff and nothing is being bought or read. There are no more 'glory' stories of people like Andy Weir or Fifty Shades.
He said everybody (trad and indies) are complaining about what's going on. The indie bubble has burst. I think people who thought about publishing won't, many that published to mediocre results will fade away, and only the very committed will continue. I see a strong trend for people to go into hybrid publishers - sharing their expenses, risk, and royalties.
I think those authors who thought they'd be able to sit around at home and collect big paychecks are going to realize that is not the reality.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments Carole wrote: "It said what I had been feeling for a while. I met with someone from Publisher's Weekly today and he pretty much confirmed it. That's why I have been holding back with self-publishing for a while.
..."


I don't expect a big paycheck, but I remain mostly confident that with time I'll make a living (approx $2k/month for me) from it. I'm probably managing about 15+% of that at the moment, but the average is slowly creeping up, especially as I add more releases.

I think you're right, though, that some people who were considering publishing might not now, and the market is over-saturated, but success will always be possible for those willing to be patient and put in the time and effort, and invest.

You have to speculate to accumulate.


message 6: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4623 comments Mod
I agree and we have to accept realistic goals.


message 7: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Having been told that many people would be interested in reading my books, yet failing to find these people in the last few years, I have to say I agree with the article. Doesn’t mean I’ll give up. But I’m not expecting much.


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments Carole wrote: "I agree and we have to accept realistic goals."

So very true. My original goals were different to what I have now. After 18 months I was forced to accept that things weren't going as well as I had hoped and so I scaled back my goals and I now have a target where I expect to being earning a living by the end of 2021.

I just have to survive until then, lol.


message 9: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments But then again I’m part of a group on FB which I’m thinking of leaving where people keep posting screen shots of how many tens of thousands of dollars they are making. So some people are making money at it. (Naturally I find the group totally intimidating and that’s why I’m thinking of leaving.)


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments D.J. wrote: "But then again I’m part of a group on FB which I’m thinking of leaving where people keep posting screen shots of how many tens of thousands of dollars they are making. So some people are making mon..."

Sounds like they're a bunch of braggarts who are probably gaming the system in some way. I don't blame you for thinking of leaving the group, it would annoy me greatly to have to deal with that lot.


message 11: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments It’s probably fine. I’m just not a fan of the whole ‘anything is possible if you believe it is’ thing. I’ve had my self belief crushed a number of times so I prefer not to get my hopes up and celebrate the little wins with everything in life.


message 12: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1758 comments I don't follow trends that much, but I agree overall. My feeling about self-publishing has always been that it's a mixed blessing. The easy of self-publishing means that everyone and their cat can publish if they want, with the result that great masses of unreadable drivel has flooded the market, along with a respectable mass of promising material that is not ready for prime time, along with smaller conglomerations of good material, and a scattering of true gems.

I don't actually see that changing. What may change is the behavior of consumers, now that they're wise to what's happened. A certain number of people will always dream of publication and wealth, so the market will always be flooded with low-quality material. For those of us who are serious about it, the challenge is to (1) continually strive to produce high-quality work and (2) find ways to get people to read it and, when they see how good it is, share it with others.

But really, this has always been the challenge. It's just that there are so many more voices vying for attention.


message 13: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments They said similar things when pulp-fiction and mass market distribution came about, with people complaining that Sam Spade books and Raymond Chandler books etc were ruining publishing because they were low-quality drivel that pandered to the uneducated and that it would lead to the death of publishing, and certainly to the death of quality books.

I think there are different types of publishing, though, and to my mind it remains as true today as it did in the days of Sam Spade, below is how I view the different types of publishing (disclaimer, this is only my opinion, people may disagree)

1 - pulp-fiction, which is to say throwaway, formulaic books whose plot a reader forgets almost the moment they've finished the book (authors are likely to make money through publishing lots of books and selling them cheap)

2 - mid level books, these are better quality than pulp-fiction titles but are never going to feature on 'Greatest' lists. Books will sell at better prices than pulp-fiction but it may prove harder to get regular sales until an author becomes established (authors are most likely to make money after releasing a number of titles, probably in a series, and building up a readership of fans who are invested in their characters or their writing)

3 - breakaway hits. The quality of a breakaway hit can be variable, but the story is likely to be accessible to a wide audience. Nobody can predict what will become a breakaway, it could be anything from Harry Potter to 50 Shades or even anything else. Something about the book will capture imagination or get the attention of someone influential who encourages people around the world to buy it.

4 - High Literature. High literature is less likely to be a commercial success, but it is likely to be a critical success, winning prizes left right and centre. There are the books most likely to be remembered decades after being published.


message 14: by Alexis (last edited Jul 30, 2018 09:42AM) (new)

Alexis | 861 comments Damn it. I hate it when I miss a bubble.

But seriously, I think self publishing is indeed dead for those just getting started. I have a feeling it’s alive and kicking for those who have managed to cultivate a loyal fan base.


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments Alexis wrote: "Damn it. I hate when I miss a bubble."

I'm sure you can manage to create your own.


message 16: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4623 comments Mod
Alexis wrote: "Damn it. I hate it when I miss a bubble.

But seriously, I think self publishing is indeed dead for those just getting started. I have a feeling it’s alive and kicking for those who have managed to..."


lol. you always make me laugh, Alexis.


message 17: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments I agree with Alexis-I think I’ve missed the boat and will find it very difficult to find a following now compared to if I’d started 6 years ago.

Also agree with Alex’s description of types of books. Not sure if what I read growing up would be considered pulp. It certainly wasn’t at the other end of the spectrum.


message 18: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1172 comments You knew all this, didn't you, Carole? And you warned us ahead of this article for which I guess we owe you thanks.

I missed the bubble too, just got in on the end of it. My first was published in 2012 but I came across a first draft when turning 'stuff' out and it seems I'd started writing for real in 2007, I just took a long time to get anything finished!


message 19: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments D.J. wrote: "I agree with Alexis-I think I’ve missed the boat and will find it very difficult to find a following now compared to if I’d started 6 years ago.

Also agree with Alex’s description of types of boo..."


If I had started 6 years ago with the books I currently have, I feel sure I would be sitting on a lovely pile of cash right now, enough not to worry for the foreseeable.

Unfortunately, I did not start 6 years ago, like others here, I am not very good at spotting bubbles developing, but I shall soldier on nonetheless.


message 20: by Alexis (new)

Alexis | 861 comments Carole wrote: "Alexis wrote: "Damn it. I hate it when I miss a bubble.

But seriously, I think self publishing is indeed dead for those just getting started. I have a feeling it’s alive and kicking for those who ..."


It’s what I’m here for! :D


message 21: by Wolf (last edited Jul 30, 2018 05:47PM) (new)

Wolf DeVoon | 5 comments I sell no books, never have, after 20 years of writing, the past three years full time 7 days a week. My purpose in self publishing was to archive the work, since I've had several computers die. It would be nice to be read and reviewed, but I don't expect it. I remember Victor Hugo said that if he wrote merely for his own time, he would break his pen and throw it away.

Partners by Wolf DeVoon A Portrait of Valor by Wolf DeVoon Charity (The Case Files of Cable & Blount) by Wolf DeVoon


message 22: by Carole (last edited Jul 30, 2018 10:42PM) (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4623 comments Mod
Noble thoughts Wolf. I do like writing for the sake of creating and it's nice to have a legacy for the kids.


message 23: by P.D.R. (last edited Aug 13, 2018 02:23AM) (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) | 84 comments I keep thinking of all those 'crazes' that happen, from the get rich business bubbles to the ones I see here so clearly in New Zealand. Milk is a classic example as over the last ten years it has gone from steady seller in all its forms produced on family farms to agribusiness rushing in as China opened up as a huge market, science discovered new things to do with milk, and prices soared. More people rush in until there are too many people, prices crash and the people who only care about money get burnt and get out. What is left? Well, it will be different but good stories will always be needed by readers and most writers in my home and Australia have never expected to earn our keep writing fiction.

Things change and we just adapt. I can't afford to make audio books but they are a growing market. I also suspect that multimedia is something we must look at seriously, supplying sound, links to other sites, links to pictures, music and information in our ebooks. I wish I knew enough to do it. There are systems but I find tech stuff difficult and can't afford to buy help.


message 24: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1172 comments I wish I knew enough to do it

So do I, PDR!


message 25: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments I’ve just starting paying £50 a month for someone to do my Facebook for my other business. It’s a popular choice with my colleagues. It’ll only create decent posts. I’m unconvinced it’ll pull in business. However I would consider something similar for writing. What on Earth do people post on their author pages?


message 26: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4628 comments D.J. wrote: "I’ve just starting paying £50 a month for someone to do my Facebook for my other business. It’s a popular choice with my colleagues. It’ll only create decent posts. I’m unconvinced it’ll pull in bu..."

I hope the investment pays off for you.


message 27: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Thanks. In all honesty, I’m not expecting it to. But the sum of money is the same as I spent in 2016 on advertising for my other business and that didn’t pull any business in either. Apparently we have to keep trying. I’ve set a target of a year and if nothing happens with it, I’ll stop.


message 28: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4623 comments Mod
I did very well with Facebook ads when Julie ran them for me. I don’t do as much now. Good luck with it. Dj. I think it should help a lot. No pain no gain


message 29: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments I need to figure out FB ads for books. I’ve never got anything from it before. I’m never sure how long the posts should be. I don’t know if it’s enough to boost a particular post or if there’s something different I should do. Ugh. So much I don’t know.


message 30: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1172 comments Isn't there someone in our group who is setting up a business on helping indie writers. I thought I saw something on the Amazon Ads UK thread.


message 31: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments CL was kind enough to help with Amazon Ads. (I'm a lost cause-I do them, I don't understand them!)

Facebook annoys me because of their near constant 'your advert has been refused' policy colleagues are plagued with. It puts me off trying.


message 32: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1172 comments C.L. Are you out there? Were you setting up something to help with marketing or was I just wishing and dreaming?


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