Listen up, if you’re writing a book, or want to write one. Indie publishing makes sense FOR YOU. It isn’t merely the option for those authors “who couldn’t get a publishing contract anyway.”
It makes sense for every writer, because… it’s your hard work. No one else’s. Why would you want to make publishers and agents rich? Where were they when the page (or computer screen) was blank?
When I published this post, Indie Publishing: When You Publish And No One Cares, I got several messages from authors whose point was that it was better to opt for traditional publication rather than self-publish, because “the publisher does all that stuff.” By “stuff” they meant everything, not just book promotion.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I did neither. I simply replied: “You may be right.”
It’s not my job to educate authors who’ve never dealt with big publishers. They’ll learn. I just hope their experiences don’t kill their love of writing.
In the end, your publishing future depends on you. On whether you trust yourself.
Is a 13-book, $3.4 million, 10-year deal, a good offer?
Many authors would consider that it is. And in traditional publishing terms, maybe it is.
For indie publishers, however, as The Passive Voice points out:
“At 1,000 books per title per month, these sales would generate about $327,000 per year in indie royalties for Scalzi (no agent necessary). If we increased the sales of these 13 books to a more-healthy five-figure annual total based on 2,000 copies per title per month, Scalzi would be looking at $653,000 per year in royalties. And, unlike advances, which will cut off after the last book is published, that $600K+ per year won’t fall off a cliff after ten years.”
Indie publishing isn’t rocket science
It’s not hard to self-publish your books. You do need a little confidence in yourself, so maybe it isn’t for everyone. More and more traditionally published authors are making the switch to indie publishing however, because they have more control over what they publish and when, and they keep their hard-earned profits.
It all comes down to trust… who do you trust?
If you trust a publisher to “do all that stuff”, then by all means, go the traditional publishing route. See what results you get — but don’t give the publisher an option on your next book.
On the other hand, if you trust yourself, then go the indie publishing route. It’s a lot faster — and more fun. And it may just be more profitable too.
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