Sunday, April 01, 2012

I Take Everything Back

So it finally happened.

For years, I've been extolling the virtues of self-publishing ebooks, and raging against the supposed tyranny of the Big 6.

But my secret shame is that my agent has been consistently submitting my novels to them, which I only self-publish after they get rejected for being poorly written crap. Then, to mask my pain, I self-publish that garbage and criticize those editors who rightfully discarded it, because I'm petty and spiteful.

The truth is, I haven't made millions of dollars self-publishing.

Since 2009, on more than forty self-pubbed titles, I've only earned a combined total of $1782.

That's just $33 a month. Not even enough to buy a nice dinner.

But now I can finally speak the truth, because I recently signed a three book deal with a Big 6 publisher for more than 10 million dollars.

The Big 6 are the ONLY way to succeed in the publishing world. If you're self-pubbing, you're just deluding yourself. You CAN'T make it on your own. Don't be an IDIOT.

Now I'm really rich, and all you poor saps self-publishing can go find some other sucker to slavishly follow around. I'm meeting Scott Turow for drinks later, and we're going to brainstorm some ways to stop Amazon from ruining the industry.

All those screen shots showing my earnings? Photoshopped.

All that bragging about my fabulous sales? Lies.

All my carefully constructed arguments about the failings of the industry? Straw men and misdirection.

My conversations with Barry Eisler? Barry is actually a male model that I've paid to be my online sock puppet.

Blake Crouch? He's just another one of my pen names. The guy portraying him is really a surf bum in St. Pete.

This is my very last blog. See you on my nationwide bookstore tour, suckers!

Also, April Fool!

:)

89 comments:

Brina Courtney said...

Cruel cruel cruel.
But funny nonetheless.

Super Earthling said...

Damn you, Konrath--you had me going there for a while. LOL

Must find way to stop heart palpitations...

Norma Beishir said...

Oh, this is a good one! I almost fell for it.

But one thing gave you away, Joe. The bit about the poorly-written crap. As I have bought several of your books, I know for a fact that you DO NOT write crap.

Happy April Fool's Day!

Lara Martin said...

"sock puppet" made me snort :)

Adonis Marrero said...

And here I was, thinking that I was going to get through the day without getting April fooled.

Very well played, sir

F.M. Kahren said...

I knew Barry Eisler was a fictitous name on a passport in Bloody Mary.

Nebris said...

http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2012/04/margaret-atwood-launches-new-sf-magazine/

Brenda Wallace said...

Thank you for the smile, Joe. I always suspected that Barry was a male model.

Athena said...

Dude! Barry is a male model?
...is he single...?

Well done. I fell for the twitter post and came over right away. Doh! and I was so certain I wouldn't be fooled today.

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Yeah, I knew this was April Fool joke the moment I read the headline. Good one, though.

William Kendall said...

Joe, I offer you my compliments on one hell of a funny April Fool's joke! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

THIS: "Barry is actually a male model that I've paid to be my online sock puppet."

DW96 said...

You nearly brought on another raging coronary there.

Great fun.

The Cover Counts said...

HA! Not even for a second....



Book cover Designer:
thecovercounts.com

Susan said...

OMG! You almost had me. Beast :)

Suzan Harden said...

Best April Fool's ever, Joe! Just waiting for PW to print this tomorrow--Self-Pub Guru Recants!

Selena Blake said...

Thanks for the chuckle!

Christopher Wills said...

Hey that's funny and I'm a Brit so we don't always share the same sense of humour.

Jens Hildebrand said...

How could you, Joe. After all those demeaning years of trying to sell your books, I finally secure this 10 mil deal for you. Can you image how tough that was, when all you were making was a dollar a day? And we expressly said we'd keep it to ourselves. Hell, there's even a proviso in the contract. Couldn't you just be happy with taking the money and writing under the pseudonym of Emily Heathcliff?
Dammit, Joe. You blew it. You'll never work in this town again.

Your agent.

C R Myers said...

You are soooooooooooo bad! And should be ashamed.....or maybe spanked. :p You had me too. Thanks for the April Fools Blog!

Cat

Ellen O'Connell said...

If you had to choose today for confessions, why didn't you admit that you only lost 100 pounds in the first 30 days of the beer diet?

Jude Hardin said...

Cute. I thought this was one of your best blog posts, that you had finally made it in the REAL publishing world, until I saw it was a joke.

But the truth is most of us really haven't made any money self-publishing. The truth is, self-publishing is for losers who can't write their way out of a paper bag. I've explained why here.

Adam Pepper said...

Who's buying, you or Turow?

Eric said...

Happy April first to you also!

Stephen T. Harper said...

You had me until the title of the post. Then I knew it was BS. :)

Nikki Jefford said...

Nice try!

First thought: April Fool's! ;)

TK Kenyon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TK Kenyon said...

April Fool!

Did you see this thread at KB? Really funny.

Kindle Direct Government

"Jeff Bezos announced today that Amazon will be opening a new service in Washington D.C. called Kindle Direct Government (KDG), and the system promises to revolutionize the lobbying industry. Instead of lobbyists spending thousands of man hours and tens of millions of dollars courting and targeting senators and representatives in Congress, lobbyists will be able to directly influence government procedures via aggregate donations through the KDG from other lobbyists working for similar causes...."

Really funny.

TK Kenyon

Barry said...

Damn it, you had to tell them about the modeling thing? There are limits, Konrath...!

It was pretty kind of you to write April Fools at the end. I'm afraid there are some who otherwise might have commented, "I knew it!" Last year, Jeremy Scahill tweeted that he'd joined The National Review, and an amazing number of people were expressing their puzzlement but wishing him all the best.

:D

P.S. Speaking of Turow, I hadn't seen these earlier, but my God, Kevin McLaughlin just humiliates him in these two posts:

http://kevinomclaughlin.com/2012/03/09/authors-guild-latest-evidence-of-loss-of-a-clue/

http://kevinomclaughlin.com/2012/03/19/oops-he-did-it-again-turow-strikes-twice/

Selena Kitt said...

Jude - I clicked. I did. I'm so easy.

Or, I should say, gullible. ;)

I hate this day!

Sean Roney said...

This is a fantastic April Fool's post! I love how it's obvious, and because of that you basically reverse-bash the dead-tree advocates. You're the best!

Jude Hardin said...

Couldn't resist, Selena. ;)

Anonymous said...

Barry, this part of McLaughlin's argument worries me:

"The folks who will mourn the passing of agency pricing the most are not publishers – it’s the indie writers, the self publishers, who will miss it the most. Agency pricing has allowed self publishers to dominate ebook fiction in a manner which would never have been possible if Amazon and B&N had been able to discount books from major publishers. Once Amazon gets to discount the hit bestsellers (at their expense), indies will have a harder time of it. We can only hope enough writers will have won enough fanbase by the time that happens to make a difference in the long run."

Melanie Walsh said...

Hehehehe. You had us until the first word of the third paragraph, and we already knew about Barry Eisler modelling on the side :)

Mira said...

HA! You really had me, sinking heart and all, until the 10 million. I even clicked on the "$1782".

Funny.

And pointed.

Anon 7:43 - The way I see it, I wouldn't worry so much. Publishers can't compete with indie pricing, since indies can price under 5 bucks, or have free giveaways, which I doubt legacy publishers will do. Although - if publishers do discount selected e-books, that will strengthen the e-book market overall.

Robert Bidinotto said...

Hahahahahaha. Nice joke....

Hey, wait a minute, folks.

What if he keeps this post up AFTER April Fool's Day?

Emergency Laughter said...

Ah the tumultuous highs and lows of a good April Fools Day prank..."Holy cow how could he...no way...that brilliant son of a...he's full of crap...that makes sense tho...there's no way...Oh my God he did...no..no..what? April...oh yea..what a dork, I knew it all along.

Mary Stella said...

Barry must be devastated that there are no more Mr. Romance Pageants at the RT Conventions.

Mari Stroud said...

The sound I made on reading that headline was akin to a cat running into a glass door.

Happy April 1st, Joe!

Walter Knight said...

And I voted for Obama in the last election . . . twice.

Patrice Fitzgerald said...

You didn't get me - maybe if I'd read it earlier in the day?

Let's have some beefcake shots of your sock puppet, though, eh? No, not THAT sock puppet!

Robert Gregory Browne said...

"Once Amazon gets to discount the hit bestsellers (at their expense), indies will have a harder time of it. We can only hope enough writers will have won enough fanbase by the time that happens to make a difference in the long run."

The Big 6 have big overhead. There's no way they'll ever be able to compete with indie pricing unless they take a major loss. Or unless they get rid of the Manhattan digs and their large staffs.

For the Big 6, books are not cheap to produce, and a certain price has to be set in order to pay for all that overhead. Indies, on the other hand, invest mostly their time and talent into the work, and can publish for a very low price and still make a good living.

Klawzie said...

Not even for a second, I'm afraid. ;3 But I knew it'd be hilarious. xD I snorted laughing over the link to your "real" earnings, and giggled over your sockpuppets.

D. Nathan Hilliard said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually bought into that for a moment. I should have known...

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Outstanding!

T. Roger Thomas said...

Any other day of the year and this would have thrown me for more of a loop.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I was more upset with you or Barry while reading that Joe, hahaha. Thanks for the April fools day gag!

Ryan Sullivan said...

Hahahaha!
First thing I did was read the date. ;)

Anonymous said...

Had to scroll down to the end of this first. Was a bit worried ;)

Jude Hardin said...

The Big 6 have big overhead. There's no way they'll ever be able to compete with indie pricing unless they take a major loss.

I think maybe you're misunderstanding the situation, Rob. Once the agency model disappears, retailers like Amazon and B&N will be able to sell ebooks at a loss if they want to. The publishers will still get their wholesale price tag, and will actually end up making more money on ebooks than they're making now through the agency model. The publishers don't like this, however, because it's going to hasten the demise of paper books, and paper books are where the publishers still have a major distribution advantage.

So, if retailers start selling ebooks from all those bestsellers you see on the grocery store stands at heavily discounted prices, it might make it harder for many self-published authors to maintain the only marketplace advantage they have now, which is low price.

Gordon Kessler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon Kessler said...

After reading the first few lines, I fell out of my chair. I'm really glad my heart started again, and I was able to climb back up and finish your April Fools post.

You are a cruel but funny man, Joe Konrath!

Loved it!

Incy Black said...

Oh bollocks - I fell for it.

Spent yesterday in a filthy temper.

Madison Johns said...

While reading I kept waiting for the punchline. :)

Kat said...

I should not have read this while barely awake! Nice one. :)

Emily said...

Oh. My. F**King God! YOU are sooo funny!

I've been a devotee of yours for two years and my first reaction was "Damn it! How will Eisler take THIS news? How ironic!"

It wasn't until I was mid-click on the Twitter link to come over to your blog that the APRIL FOOL'S Lightbulb illuminated!

Good for You!

Alan Spade said...

[i]I think maybe you're misunderstanding the situation, Rob. Once the agency model disappears, retailers like Amazon and B&N will be able to sell ebooks at a loss if they want to. The publishers will still get their wholesale price tag, and will actually end up making more money on ebooks than they're making now through the agency model.[/i]

In France, we don't have the agency model. We have a big publisher, Bragelonne, who has discounted 100 ebooks at 0,99 € on April, 1. Result : we have scores of this publisher ebooks who have made it in the general top 100 Kindle store.

It is very fresh news, and maybe it's too early to discuss this matter, but they have titles which seem to stay in top 100, even with their prices back as they were.

For me who is self published, it means less visibility (my ebooks are no longer on the top 20 of the fantasy ranking), but it has also increased a little bit my sales, because there is also the : "if you have liked this, you may like that" factor.

So, I'm cautious for what may the future hold, but I'm pretty confident publishers cannot compete with self-published prices.

And ultimately, for me, this discount of a big publisher is good news, because it will make the ebook more popular, which is most needed here in France.

Jon Olson said...

You had me till "I take everything back."

Jon O.
The Petoskey Stone

Todd Trumpet said...

This is why I stopped reading your blog years ago...

...you talentless hack.

Not only are your "eBooks" humorless slop, but your "advice" is passionless swill not worth the pixels it's imprinted on.

If only pigs could read!

Finally, this:

Beards went out YEARS ago!

Also, please back-date this reply one day.

Thank you,

Todd
www.ToddTrumpet.com

P.S. Premium beer sucks!

Brian said...

I got that same contract. See you for lunch with Scott

olga100104 said...

Almost had a coronary. I just started reading you and feeling super inspired and then... Very, very funny. Almost as good as the NPR thing on DNA testing for prestigious preschool. Brilliant.

Alan Cramer said...

You're a funny dude. LOL

Anonymous said...

So, no 10 mil???

Bummer, I'd think with a payday like that you'd at least take a portion and start your own publishing company.

Anonymous said...

u had me going for a minute. and i cussed u out. (please forgive) :)

u are tooooo funny

jon said...

Yeah, hey what is the deal with you getting published by Hatchet for AFRAID? If you can make more money from self publishing why are going the route of publishing? ( and yes i know this post was a aprils fools but this is a genuine question, why are you going traditional publishing route? )

Lynn Swayze said...

My mouth was agape until the very end. Well done. :D

Zia Black said...

The first April Fool joke to get me since...I don't know when. Good one!

Anonymous said...

Funny joke, relieved at the end.

Seriously, J. A. Konrath thanks for being an inspiration and an ecouragement to unpublished writers.

I hope self publishing is the wave of the future.

Super Earthling said...
"Must find way to stop heart palpitations..."

That was funny too, Super Earthling. I'd love to read a book full of humorous lines like that.

vickiejohnstone said...

hahahahahhahahahaha!
You had me going for the first bit!
Phew!
Vickie

Jon Olson said...

Read this again today, and it still cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

The Hilarious part about your books is not all of them are full novels they are only around 250 pages, heck I even found one that was around 50 pages LOL. that pissed a few people off as they felt jipped. Sure there were some refunds on that. Overall though its awesome to see what is possible now days.

I just hope people dont start putting up 10 pages and expecting 99 cents LOL

Cecelia Lansing said...

I knew within the first couple of sentences that this was an april fools. Knew. But I checked the date above the post just the same. ;)

Anonymous said...

Lol, too many books on the Amazon Bestseller 'paid' list. I can't be fooled so easily, mwah ha ha.

You could be buying them yourself though... oh, the self doubt gremlins are a comin'.

Anonymous said...

"I just hope people dont start putting up 10 pages and expecting 99 cents LOL"

Actually, I charge $2.99 for that (about 15-20 pages).

I make consistent increases of around 5% per week in income. (decent ones) ;)

# From the master of short stories. Wink. Wink.

Anonymous said...

Barry and Blake are clearly sock puppets. That's a known fact.

However...

What if JA is a sock puppet of someone else?

Could it be that George Bush is JA? Damn, that man can write...

Anonymous said...

Barry and Blake are clearly sock puppets. That's a known fact.

However...

What if JA is a sock puppet of someone else?

Could it be that George Bush is JA? Damn, that man can write...

Ozma said...

I almost peed my pants

But it is true about about Barry Eisler and Blake Crouch, isn't it ;)

Best post Joe, you rock!!

PsycicOzma from Twitter~

Cyn Bagley said...

Hey Joe,
Didn't believe a word of it except April's fool. BTW I am starting to see an upwards swing to my sales, which makes me happy. However, no joke it is about 33 dollars a month. lol

Thanks for the laugh,

Cyn

DonJon Vonavich said...

You scared me shitless... Was just getting my first project self-published and had used this blog as a resource. When I read the first line, I thought, "holy fuck, what a jerk off." Thanks for the laugh.

Summer said...

Well done as usual Joe.

Did anyone see this today?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/03/jodi-picoult-on-writing-publishing-and-what-she-s-reading.html

I might have ranted a little about it.

http://sexysassysummer.blogspot.com/2012/04/defending-sinking-ship.html

Kelly Nomad said...

Scared me for a paragraph or two, then I remembered what day it was. Very funny!! Kelly
www.kellynomad.com

Darley said...

I'll admit... had me going for a minute.

Michael Ward said...

This was great Joe - as a new self-publisher you actually had me thinking Oh my God what have I done.

Tracy Sharp said...

Oh. My. God. My abs hurt from laughing. AWESOME!

ghulam sarwar said...

thank you for sharing

http://designs-article.blogspot.com/

Alan Spade said...

An update for the situation here in the french Kindle Store : the discount of 100 titles by Bragelonne (a french publisher)at 0,99 € had permitted this publisher to make most of his titles jump to the top 100 kindle store, and to stay there a few days even with the prices back as they were (between 4,99 and 9,99 €).

A week later, though, the titles are no more on the top 100. One of my own fantasy title has regained the top 20 of Fantasy titles on the Kindle Store.

I have had no loss in my sales, but a little loss in visibility for a week. But I do happily exchange this loss with the attention this operation has brought on the Kindle and on ebooks in general.

Haitian Creole Classes + Haitian Creole Books said...

Wow! You almost got me! Well done!

Haitian Creole Classes + Haitian Creole Books said...

Well done! You almost made me believe you! How sorry I would be!

Esther Cotton said...

I'm new to your blog and, needless to say, I almost fell into the trap... lol.

- Esther
http://roseywinterrose.blogspot.com