Tuesday, July 20, 2010

J.A. Konrath live at 12pm CST July 21, on C.J. West's show, talking ebooks with Boyd Morrison and Jason Pinter.

Listen to internet radio with Author Cj West on Blog Talk RaIf you'd like to call in, here's the direct link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/author-cj-west/2010/07/21/thriller-30-special-skipping-new-york


Karen Carr said...

Thought you might be interested in this news from wired (or you might already know) Amazon e-books are outselling hardcovers:

"Kindle e-books are outselling hardcover books by almost 50%, according to Amazon. For the past three months, Amazon has sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 dead-tree books"



Stacey Cochran said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely tune in.


Stacey Cochran
Bestselling author of
and The Colorado Sequence

Anonymous said...

I hope someone calls and asks why the "Newbie's Guide to Publishing" author is now reluctant to advise other people to do what he's currently doing (posting entire books on the web, self-publishing Kindle and POD versions). Is it the New Way to be published or not?

JA Konrath said...

I've never told people what to do on this blog. I've shown what I've done, and then told writers to set their own goals.

We all have our own paths to follow, and we need to come upon those paths ourselves, not because a yahoo with a blog tells them "do this" or "don't do that."

Anonymous said...

"I've never told people what to do on this blog. I've shown what I've done, and then told writers to set their own goals.

We all have our own paths to follow, and we need to come upon those paths ourselves, not because a yahoo with a blog tells them "do this" or "don't do that.""

Agreed. But I sense a new reluctancy. Not long ago (last year) you were saying that only bad writers and amateurs would consider going to lulu or iuniverse or whatever. So you were sure to tell people don't do it, that if you had a worthwhile book it was worth getting NY to take it on. Now all of a sudden that's changed and you don't want to tell people how to get published the right way. You don't even advise people to post their novels on their sites like you do. So I don't get the sudden change. Is it because you're still figuring out the "new" way yourself and don't want to tell someone else how until you have it worked out? Or is it that you only know what worked for you? If the latter, this isn't much of a "guide" then. More like an account of how one person's path worked out.

Anonymous said...

Must get wearisome sometimes, Joe, getting accusatory attitudes from uninformed people who don't follow your blog closely enough to realize the accusations made are false and the questions already answered. Your evolving thinking is well documented concerning the issues raised by anon 1.

Freud's id roams free in cyberspace, and the id is so often ugly. Signing off for now. Got a hankering for the civility of meatspace ...

Anonymous said...

"Your evolving thinking is well documented concerning the issues raised by anon 1."

Please show it, "anon" 2.

I am just saying that Joe was against POD until he started doing it now. (I remain against POD but have an interest in this Kindle stuff.) And Joe is author of a "Newbie's Guide" which implies that he tells newbies what to do to get happily published. I have a copy. It DEFINTELY tells you what to do, tells you what works and what doesn't, tells you how to operate. He advises to not included SASEs in queries and submissions ... I have NEVER seen that advice given anywhere and it has been refuted in many places (however I think Joe is right about it and I have updated my submission process accordingly).

But my point is that now (UNLIKE before) Joe does not want to tell anyone how to do it, how to get published. This blog can't really be called a "newbie's guide" then, can it?

No accusatory attitude, either. You're just paranoid. (Why I don't know.) I'm just curious about this one thing and that post on the other thread really caught my eye, because I thought that person had a great question. Should aspiring authors post their entire books online, self-publish with Kindle and POD or should they not? After all, there's a lot of newbies out there who want to know and are looking for a guide!

JA Konrath said...

What don't you understand here?

In the past, self-pubbing could hurt your career. It was an overpriced, unreturnable, inferior product that cost the author money. Plus, once you have an ISBN, the numbers follow you, and make it unlikely for you to get a big book deal with a big publisher.

Recently, ebooks took away all of those concerns.

In my case, I'm making enough on ebooks that I'm willing to try POD, because I no longer care about any of the above.

Now I'm supposed to tell authors, "Go ahead and stop looking for a publisher, and instead go the ebook/POD route." No way. But if you want advice, here it is:

If you're making over $10k a month on ebooks, go ahead and release those in print as well using Createspace, as long as you're planning to never sell those books to a big publisher.

To everyone else: set your own goals and follow your own path.

Anonymous said...

Christ, the anons are all up early and frisky as hell today, eh?

Anyway, Joe's said a lot of things on this blog that seem to contradict, but the reality is that his beliefs are changing. At least that's what I've seen.

Look, I made $45,000 working as an accountant for the State of CA. It was a really good job, and my boss was great. After tax, benefit costs, flex plan, etc, my take-home pay was exactly 2008.00 per month.

I make that in 7 days publishing with POD. And now I've set up a C Corp so I can run all my own benefit costs through it (legally).

I'm basically still an accountant. I just write about it, rather than actually do it 40 hours per week. It's basically the same thing, but I'm making more money and working from home. When my son gets sick, I get to stay home with him, and it's a non-issue. Writing is a very family-friendly activity.

So my argument is-- if you can do what you love, make more money, and work from home, why wouldn't you at least TRY to self-publish? Do it under a pen name... just try it. You might like it.

Unknown said...

For what it's worth, Joe, your blogs have inspired me to keep writing.

And whether ebooks are the wave of the future and you're the prophet, or the opposite, you antichrist, You can still write a damn good book, and your blogs are just as entertaining.

Check in to the ROUS Motel!

Aaron Patterson said...

Well... you make them mad or glad. Great news and audio. I for one love the E-book world, it is now paying all my bills and to be a unknown author in the scheme of things and be able to make a living and support 3 kids and a wife is something in my book. What authors can do that with E-books? Find what works for you and go with it, and who care what the rest of the world thinks.

I am a independent publisher and because of my own sales i have some "big guys" wanting to take my series from me, and I say... "Make a offer, and it better be big or why would I give up my sales for a loss... just saying.

Phillip Thomas Duck said...

Wonderful show. Very insightful comments from all of the authors involved. Just goes to show that the decision to e-publish or not isn't a cookie-cutter option. What works for some may not work for others. But, at the end of the day, it is a great option for writers. And this is what the industry should have always been about...writers.

Moses Siregar III said...

That was good. I liked that it was discussion between all four of you.

PJ Alderman, author said...


Great radio conversation! I didn't get the chance to ask my question, so I'm hoping we can discuss it here on your blog:

What role do you think the online book review sites play in helping to establish a self-published author? I'm hearing that 80% of all book buyers peruse these sites and read the book reviews. For those of you already self-publishing, do you find sending review copies to these sites has helped you? Have you encountered any negative attitudes toward self-published ebooks? Do you recommend trying to get these sites to review your ebooks?

Thanks! PJ

Anonymous said...

Great show, Joe. Good to finally put a voice to the name/face. Lots of info to chew on.

Victorine said...

Great discussion. I love where the publishing evolution is headed.

Rex Kusler said...

12 p.m. is noon? I thought it was at midnight. I was wondering why you were having it so late. goddammit! I can never keep that straight.

PJ Alderman, author said...


The discussion was recorded, and you will be able to listen to it after the fact. Joe should have a link for you soon.


CJ West said...


Thanks for coming on the show today. Great discussion. I'm getting lots of feedback about how informative the conversation was.

Sorry I'm so slow to get over here - crazy day.

I hope to have you on again soon.


CJ West said...


The link for the recorded show is the same as the live show. Click the link that Joe posted above.

You can also link to the show from my listings:

I hope you enjoy the show.


Daneil Fletcher said...

<a href="http://booklover1020.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/why-the-erkin-bekbolotov-or-book-lovers-of-the-world-should-rejoice/>Erkin Bekbolotov</a> and all book lovers should rejoice!

Rex Kusler said...

Alright! Thanks, CJ. This is my lucky day. Just noticed that Amazon is spelling my name right finally (after two weeks). I had resigned myself to the misspelling, but was in a quandary as to how I would spell it for future books, and had considered using the pen name: Eat Shit.

Fortunately I can continue to use my real name, and not confuse anyone.

Jude Hardin said...

Great discussion!

I think this should be required listening for anyone even thinking about writing and publishing a novel.

Author Scott Nicholson said...

PJ, I sent out 10 paper copies when I moved to Createspace and Kindle. I think I got ONE review--cost me $100 to send. Now I don't even waste my time, because that's not even my audience.

there's a serious shortage of blogs willing to try indie ebooks. Right now the lure of cases of ARCs keeps most bloggers happily pimping the same bestsellers at the same time, but that will surely change as the landscape changes. Red Adept, Kindle Obsessed, and others are taking up the baton.

I am doing a 90-day blog tour starting in September (I'll be here at Joe's on Sept. 3) and focusing on blogs that highlight indie or ebooks, or at least consider them. While I am giving away a paper book at each stop, I also have a cool digital giveaway going.

For ANON up there, all I have to say is, those who don't change their opinions based on new information will be the ones still trying to get a major publishing deal in five years because it's the only "real" publishing. I change my mind daily on this stuff because it's changing so rapidly I want to be a five years ahead.

Scott Nicholson

Stacey Cochran said...

Writers, Editors, Literary Agents, Book Publicists, Humans of Earth... read this blog post. Your life may depend on it one day:


Anonymous said...


Was hoping I'd see you'd commented on Wylie and Amazon and the impact of this...

PJ Alderman, author said...

Thanks, Scott! Helpful information, and I'll check out the sites you mentioned. I'll make a note of your blog appearance and be sure to stop by.


JA Konrath said...

Wylie is definitely crossing over into an ethical breach. If he's publishing his own clients and taking a cut, what is his incentive to try to sell their rights anymore?

An agent who publishes his own clients no longer has their best interests at heart.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

there's a serious shortage of blogs willing to try indie ebooks.

FYI, I maintain a long list of book reviewers who have agreed to review indie and self-published books. You can see it here:

Indie Reviewer list

Hopefully the link shows up. I'm not really good at doing HTML.

If not, here's the URL


PJ Alderman, author said...

Thanks, Christy! VERY helpful!!


Chris Bates said...

Joe, I think your comment about time management in relation to speaking, tours etc is worthy of note for authors in the current landscape.

The power of publicity and promotion has now shifted onto the web so fully that it may be counter-productive to pursue any other medium to gain exposure.

When I look at the power of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Groupon it simply defies logic to venture away from the net to capture eyeballs.

We live in amazing times. And as authors I believe we will experience a new age of self-advancement.

If we stay focused.

...says the man reading a blog instead of writing his stupid friggin book.

Chris Stedman said...

If you're making over $10k a month on ebooks, go ahead and release those in print as well using Createspace, as long as you're planning to never sell those books to a big publisher.

Why? Will the big publisher not touch a book that is POD.

JA Konrath said...

Why? Will the big publisher not touch a book that is POD.

Once you POD you have an ISBn. Sales can be tracked with Bookscan. Unless you're book is a huge hit, publishers won't want it, and it will be an impossible sell to the chains.

Rex Kusler said...

Probably be impossible to sell anything to the chains if they aren't there.

Anonymous said...

Unless you're book is a huge hit, publishers won't want it, and it will be an impossible sell to the chains.

This is true, although there have been some rare exceptions, like The Christmas Box, and Christopher Paolini's books.

Once you self-publish a book, it's published. That's it. It's very difficult to backpedal from that, although I suspect that Joe will end up with a few previously self-pubbed books that will eventually get sold to big publishers. This happens when the books are such a huge hit that they are impossible to ignore, or once he gets a movie deal. Sometimes the money is just too good to pass up (I assume).

Dave said...

Joe, 2 questions re Wylie:(Asking, not arguing.)

1- Isn't Wylie simply cutting out the middle-man (the publisher), thus getting his clients a much bigger cut of ebook sales? (Assuming these clients don't want to digitally self-pub).

2- Any thoughts on the publisher backlash (Refusing to publish any future Wylie clients)?

Dave said...

Links re the Wylie situation and backlash:



Jared Sandman said...

I worked for a small-press publisher in the past, and several of our books were later picked up by Tor, Random House, et al. So I don't believe having an ISBN precludes an author from "reselling" the book to one of the Big 6. It is true your sales will be tracked by BookScan, but if you can convince an editor your project has the potential of pulling in much larger sales, I'd say you have a shot.

Anonymous said...

Forget the Wiley fiasco-- I just got an e-mail yesterday that Bowker is going to start accepting manuscripts. Maybe this doesn't sound like a big deal, but I think it's bizarre.

I blogged about this news the last two days and I even signed up as a publisher. I have no idea why they are doing this and I'm very curious to find out what Bowker's real intentions are here.

Here's the link to the blog post with a copy of Bowker's e-mail "announcing" their new manuscript submission service:

Bowker Accepting Manuscripts

JA Konrath said...

Just blogged about the Wylie thing, since a bunch of different folks have asked me about it. Who woulda thought I'd become a pundit?

Dave said...

I imagine they'll make money either direct from the writer by selling 'services' to "polish and refine" the, or through referral fees for such services. The idea of putting manuscripts in a central place is not a new one. Seems like Writer Beware did something on it recently. The general consensus is, it's a waste of time because publishers already receive all the agented manuscripts they can handle, so there's no way they're going to invest any time sorting through a database of unagented manuscripts. I agree it's odd for Bowker to associate themselves with that sort of program.

John Kurt said...

Keep up the great work, Konrath!! As a new author (whose a technology-driven engineer and consultant)... I'm fascinated by the whiplash responses by some in the industry to the technology changes that are occurring.

My favorite quote was this one: "It went further, threatening that "on a worldwide basis", it "will not be entering into any new English-language business agreements with the Wylie Agency until this situation is resolved"

--Nice... :)