Good Day Everyone.
The buzz about eBooks is never ending and has recently grown to enormous proportions ever since one top indie writer and one traditional publishing guru switched their publishing strategy for the other’s.
But I see there’s still a mental division between the indie world and the traditional world, despite many authors having success in both camps. What I find really astonishing, is that a lot of the successful indie authors, started by publishing their traditional back list – a well-orchestrated movement on their part.
Many writers have a selection of books that have been edited, and perhaps reviewed. What better than to put them back into circulation as an eBook and target a new audience? Obviously not every title on authors’ back lists is good enough for publishing - but you get my point I’m sure.
An indie writer has total control of their book and manuscript, whereas the traditional writer has the distribution and visibility from a publishing house. So a writer established by a traditional house, already has a fan base that has read and loved their work.
An indie starting from scratch has to hand-sell their first hundred or so books. This is sheer hard work; talking about their book, and hoping for a purchase, through reviews, features on indie sites and blog tours.
Once your book is accepted for review, it can take at least a month before the book is looked at by the reviewer as more and more writers send their eBooks for consideration. Getting recognition is a long, hard process, and on average most indie writers say that it doesn’t really start to take off until after their sixth month. And, any advertising money spent before the indie writer has good solid reviews under their belt is really wasted.
However, many indie writers are writing full time and supporting their families. This suggests to me, that indie authorship is actually more similar to traditional publishing than one might think.
Some indie writers will get to the top, some will wallow on the bottom, and some will make a comfortable living doing what they love. The real difference between the two types of writer is when a book sees a spate of sales. In traditional publishing, the focus is on pre-selling to retailers in a big push and in launching the book as successfully as possible. This opening big push is going to determine what happens to the book for the rest of its shelf-life.
In indie publishing, most authors will see a totally different sales pattern – often in reverse. For example, an indie may sell over the months;
Month 1 – 10 books, Month 2 – 39 books, Month 3 – 105 books, Month 4 – 315 books,
Month 5 – 800 books.
The sales grow, and the jumps each month that a successful indie sees become larger and larger.
So, an indie author has to be popular to become successful; people have to be talking about your books when you’ve stopped hand selling.
Still, you’ll have seen that in five months, there have been less than 1,000 copies sold. A traditionally (successful) published author might sell 15,000 copies in that same timeframe. But as the indie author’s sales patterns look more like a bell curve, rather than that initial push and then a lower plateau, they have time to catch up.
But, get down to earth all of you budding writers…please consider, 800 books at the $0.99 price point that many indies start a series at, is $280 in royalties!
It’s a hard slog! Especially as the really successful ones each write in one or two genres, have at least one series, and are extremely prolific. Release dates are within weeks or months of each other, instead of about a year apart.
Indie authors have to be:
-- excellent writers and moderately good marketers
-- moderately good writers and excellent marketers
-- zombies who don’t ever sleep, and are both excellent writers and marketers.
If the book isn’t well written and well marketed, it will fall to the bottom and reinforce the stereotype that indie publishing is a bunch of authors with crappy books who were tired of being rejected by agents and publishers. But I believe this stigma will change over time, too.
Because in the future, I think we are going to see more and more authors using both traditional and indie publishing to build their careers. And I think this is good news for all publishing; traditional and indie.
Hot Aubergine Chutney….Warning – this is HOT!!!!
2 lb (1 kg) aubergines
3 tablespoons salt
6 oz (175 g) soft dark brown sugar
12 fl oz (350 ml) white wine vinegar
3 oz (75 g) seedless raisins or sultanas
1 tablespoon tomato puree
5 cloves of garlic
1 lb (500 g) onions
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 red chillies
Slice the aubergines, put into a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Leave for at least three hours, then rinse and dry.
Meanwhile, put the sugar, vinegar, raisins and tomato puree into a bowl, mix and leave to stand.
Finely chop the onions and red chillies and place with all of the other ingredients into a pan.
Heat gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer until thickened.
Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. The chutney is ready a month or two later and gets better the more it matures!
Makes about 3 lb (1.5 kg) of chutney.
Good reading and good eating everyone1