Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Gentle Reminder

This post goes out to no one in particular for no particular reason. Maybe it will motivate some. Maybe it will make others think a little bit. Maybe it will irritate you. But it's good, tested advice, and worth repeating.

1. Nobody owes you a living. I'm old school, and I busted my ass to get where I am. But I don't feel any sense of entitlement. Yeah, I worked hard. Maybe I've got talent. But I don't deserve readers, and neither do you.

2. Success is mostly due to luck. You can do everything right, and still not be satisfied with the state of your career. That's life. No one ever said this would be fair, fun, or easy.

3. Stop whining. The internet is forever. No one likes a person who constantly complains. Even if you feel that bemoaning (insert whatever here) is justified, it will always be linked to you if someone Googles your name.

4. Don't Google your name. What people think of you is their business, not yours. Remember, one of life's greatest journeys is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit.

5. Never respond to criticism. It will make things worse. And if you apologize, it will get even more worser. Keep out of any discussion about you and your work. You may think you know better, but you don't.

6. Remember your Serenity Prayer. Fix what you can change, accept what you can't fix, and learn to know the difference between the two. If it is beyond your control, drink a beer, do yoga, go for a run, or bitch to a close friend where it can't be seen online. And if you can't stop dwelling on your bad fortune;

7. Quit. The world will keep turning without your work. If writing and publishing is so traumatic, go use your time doing something else you can derive some pleasure from. Life is too short.


Tim Tresslar said...

Great advice and definitely worth repeating.

Louis Shalako said...

It might be possible to accept that I'm doing everything wrong. I will not believe in luck, sir.

AnonymousWriter said...

JAK....you complain all the time....just saying.

JA Konrath said...

JAK....you complain all the time....just saying.

Don't confuse pointing out problems and posing solutions with complaining. Please point out a "woe is me" moment since I do it all the time.

Barb said...

I believe in good timing.

w. adam mandelbaum esq. said...

While your advice is usually top shelf, i.e. "have a beer," I am shocked you would advocate yoga or running! These activities have been proven to seriously impair one's ability to drink beer while being practiced. For shame!

w. adam mandelbaum esq. said...

Sorry for the misquote...should be "drink a beer."

John Barlow said...

Could I just clarify: it was drink "a" beer, right?

Anonymous said...

1. Nobody owes you a living. "

They do if they haven't paid what they agreed to pay you.

Louis Shalako said...

...the world does owe me a living.

JA Konrath said...

They do if they haven't paid what they agreed to pay you.

No, then they owe you what they are contractually obligated to deliver.

If you've signed a contract that says, "We'll give this author a living" I'd love to see it.

Mark Asher said...

Don't confuse pointing out problems and posing solutions with complaining. Please point out a "woe is me" moment since I do it all the time.

Whatever you want to call it, the carping and fisking does come across as complaining. It's not "woe is me" but it is complaining. I'd love to see this blog not even mention traditional publishing for two months and just post positive stuff about indie publishing.

Be positive. Indie publishing is empowering. Pump it up! Who cares what Harper-Collins is doing. Let's hear it for the little guys!

Iain Rob Wright said...

I see it more as a duty. Knowledge is power and if all of this Big Publishing Shills are able to spout their nonsense unchecked then things swing unfairly in their favour. Joe burdens himself by articulating what needs to be said in response and on our behalf.

Mark Asher said...

Most of us are not really deciding between a Big Publishing contract and indie publishing. If Joe is writing for those writers who publish with the big publishers, that excludes 99% of the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

6. It's supposed to be "fix what you CAN change". :)

7. There's a school of thought that says "do what you love", but there's another school of thought that says "get really good at something, and then you you will like it once you start winning."

Liz/moth said...

That was a terrific post. I just got back from a weekend spent with fellow writers where I did a short 'presentation' about writing and publishing, drawing heavily on your advice on this blog and linking them to it for their future edification. I think my talk consisted mainly of what you said here, and then I get back to find you saying it all over again and beautifully concisely, as usual!! Thank you.

Steve Vernon said...

I'll add a comment to this just as soon as I get done Googling my name and checking my Amazon ratings - which is almost as bad as self-Google-gratification, if taken to obsessive extremes...

Great post, Joe.

JA Konrath said...

Most of us are not really deciding between a Big Publishing contract and indie publishing.

You know this blog is called A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, right?

Fisking the nonsense spouted by those in power isn't complaining. It's activism.

Blogging about how mad you are that Nook platform is dying, or about KU, or about how you can't get out of your legacy contract, is complaining.

I hold the powerful accountable and offers solutions. Many authors are still looking for agents and publishers, not even considering self-pubbing because of all the bullshit out there. I was one of those authors. So were many thousands who then read my blog and changed their goals because of it.

Be positive. Indie publishing is empowering. Pump it up! Who cares what Harper-Collins is doing. Let's hear it for the little guys!

Again, I don't write The Self-Pubbed Author's Guide to Feeling Awesome. I write about publishing, geared at newbies. That means explaining the state of the industry, debunking nonsense, and occasional posts like this one.

JA Konrath said...

"fix what you CAN change"


There's a school of thought that says "do what you love", but there's another school of thought that says "get really good at something, and then you will like it once you start winning."

Hmm. I know an artist who is amazing, but hates doing it. I always wanted to play an instrument, but I suck. I'm sure I'd love knowing how to do it, but I hate the practice part too much to ever reach that point.

AnonymousWriter said...

JAK....by responding to my criticism you also break rule 5 ie. never respond to criticism.

You have gone mad whenever I have criticised your grand experiment with your intellectual property being a free for all.

Just saying. ;)

Unknown said...

Great list. Thanks for sharing it!

JA Konrath said...

JAK....by responding to my criticism you also break rule 5 ie. never respond to criticism.


You have gone mad

Perhaps we have different definitions of "gone mad". Debating your nonsense isn't complaining. It's making things clear for those reading the comments.

BTW, August was my best KDP month all year. So much for Kindle Worlds hurting my brand. Makes sense why you're anonymous. Who would want to have to own up to being wrong all the time? Be damn embarrassing.

BassmanCO said...

Mr. Konrath, great advice and succinctly put.


Troll much? Consume those sour grapes right before responding?


Let's not forget the credo: Always listen to Joe. He's the Nostradamus for all self publishing. Hugh Howey and I are convinced that Joe comes from the future LOL!

Anonymous said...

So what you're saying is...stay away from the Kboards Writer's Cafe?

Scott Gordon said...

Fisking the nonsense spouted by those in power isn't complaining. It's activism.

But the constant fisking does detract from your overall message.

JA Konrath said...

But the constant fisking does detract from your overall message.

I'd really love to stop fisking. That would mean industry leaders have stopped doing harm.

Unfortunately, stuff like the latest PW article about AG's author survery continue to perpetuate myths that can influence writers into making bad career choices.

Luckily, Barry Eisler and Nate Hoffelder wrote on that issue, so I didn't feel the need to. There are a lot of activists out there who fight the good fight--Hugh Howey, Data Guy, Kris Rusch, Bob Mayer, Courtney Milan, Dean Wesley Smith, Joanna Penn, Passive Guy, David Gaughran, Paul Biba, et al. But not everyone can opine on everything, and the legacy pinheads get all the press. So it takes an ongoing, concentrated effort to stop the stupid.

All evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

Eden Sharp said...

All evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

Amen to that. Keep fighting the good fight.


Amen brother!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I know an artist who is amazing, but hates doing it.

I wonder if that artist consistently sells their works at a price they feel they deserve. If so, I would be surprised if they actually hate it or just enjoy complaining.

(I brought this up after seeing this post and video:
Sethi talks about how "finding your passion" is a deeply embedded and often harmful message in society.)

I always wanted to play an instrument, but I suck. I'm sure I'd love knowing how to do it, but I hate the practice part too much to ever reach that point.

That reminds me of a guy who decided to push through dance class for 30 days no matter what in order to see if he hated dancing or just the discomfort and feeling of ineptitude of the beginner experience.

Anonymous said...

I always wanted to play an instrument, but I suck. I'm sure I'd love knowing how to do it, but I hate the practice part too much to ever reach that point.

The teaching method could be blamed too. We all have limited willpower and thrive on quick wins, so an effective music program should take these facts into consideration.

AnonymousWriter said...

JAK....ok i will bake a great humble pie and admit that if it was your best month ever for Kindle sales you may well be onto a winner. I hope it doesn't turn sour in the long term and cause damage down the road. But maybe you were right if its your best month so far.

What did you get in royalties by title last month?

See, I admit when I may be wrong...and remember I only challenge your spiel cos I am on your side.

Blood Brothers man...

Scott Gordon said...

All evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

Big publishing can't stop the juggernaut that is self-publishing, no matter how the media spins it.

Amazon isn't going anywhere.

Authors are more empowered than ever.

I don't see that changing no matter how much mud is slung.

The most powerful effect you had on me came in the form of sales data, which you shared most graciously. Back in January 2010, I had no idea that one could make a decent living writing and selling e-books. And though it wasn't until October 2011 that I published my first novelette, your advice propelled me to sell thousands of e-books.

I also told my mother, a traditionally published author, about your blog. She dragged her feet at first, but eventually republished all of her romance novels in e-book format (she was fortunate enough to get all of her rights back by 2005). With the aid of KU/KDP Select, she made $7,500 last July, the same as her advance for A Slip in Time.

Yes, the fisking of certain industry leaders may be a necessary evil, but your other posts change lives.


I said it before and I'll say it again. Joe has been beneficial in enlightening me to self publishing. KDP and Createspace have been a great avenue to distribute my work. I stumble at first but have finally hit my stride, after almost two years through KDP and Createspace. The most important thing is loving what you do and making it the most professional and accessible as you can.

ABEhrhardt said...

I point every Newbie here, to the fountainhead.

And I know you worked tremendously hard for a lot of your 'luck,' or, if you prefer, to be ready for the luck/opportunity when it hit.

I'm trying to do that same thing: work hard, so that when luck comes around, she doesn't have to knock twice.

The guy who would like to be a pianist is the same as the guy who would like to have written - they don't enjoy the 'endless practice' - whereas true pianists and writers LOVE that practice, because its substance is what they depend on when they perform.


BINGO! Alicia, you hit the nail on the head to use the old cliche. That's exactly the way it is for any writer who eventually makes it as their living. Love and obsession plays a lot into being a writer and the success that follows.

Liz/moth said...

Seconding Bryan. Alicia, that's a brilliant way to explain it - and like you, I point Newbies at Joe's blog with almost missionary zeal.

Derek Murphy said...

I feel like bloggers are getting more and more fed up with whiny people, and that there are more whiny people than there used to be. People want fast and quick answers and expect free help, and learning to do things online is so hard and frustrating, and nobody will take the time to help them out or market their books for them for free. And so they get a little stressed out, and defensive, and bad-tempered. Prompting strong rebuttals, like this post. I've written several long posts about all the people who can't do anything online and want help, but I usually take them down again. Brutal honesty would probably alienate 75% of my audience. It's the other 25%, the ones that will do the work and figure things out, that I should be helping. But the 75% is loud.

Ryan Schow said...

Love it.

Barry Eisler said...

Mark Asher said:

"Whatever you want to call it, the carping and fisking does come across as complaining. It's not "woe is me" but it is complaining. I'd love to see this blog not even mention traditional publishing for two months and just post positive stuff about indie publishing."

Hmmm, I hope no one ever suggests to me regarding my blog The Heart of the Matter, "I'd love to see this blog not even mention presidents, senators, or our intelligence agencies for two months and just post positive stuff about non-governmental organizations..." :)

I think you might be conflating complaining with criticizing. For me, complaining is more limited. It tends to focus on the fact that something is bad, without further discussion about why that thing is bad or about how that thing might be improved.

Criticism, by contrast, doesn't limit itself to "this thing is bad." It discusses why the thing is bad and then attempts to fix or improve it.

With that contrast in mind, I don't think I've ever seen Joe complaining about anything. Maybe you can find a couple of isolated examples (this blog must be millions of words long at this point), but I've been reading A Newbie's Guide almost from the beginning and overall the focus is always on how to make things better. Critical? Hell yes, and that's exactly the point. But complaining? I don't think so.

Liz/moth said...

Hear, hear.


Well said Barry. Great books by the way.

Kirk Alex said...


Have tremendous respect for you, Barry & Hugh. Heroes to many, myself included.
I do agree with most of what you say, but I must admit #5 is a bit tricky. Here's why:

What if a reviewer accused you of being racist? Even though you know you're not. Even
though yours is a mixed race family. What then?
I'm caucasian, not that this makes me one bit special. I have a cousin married to an
African-American woman, another married to a guy from Pakistan, a widowed sister
whose husband was Hispanic; my late wife raised two mixed-race kids by herself.
Mentioning all this to make my point.

Over at Zon I have a thriller entitled Lustmord: Anatomy of a Serial Butcher, about a
mixed-race, twisted individual who kills men & women, young & old; white, black, hispanic,
you name it––he does not care, he'll waste you, do as he pleases to get his rocks. I did say he was
twisted/mixed up, a serial killer.

As far as being slammed, so long as it's the book/writing they don't care for, that's fine with me; but when someone, a so-called reviewer reads a couple of pages (of a two thousand page horror novel), comes across a passage whereby the said killer defiles and kills a female, this (automatically) in the reviewer's book makes the author misogynist; this reviewer reads another passage, comes across a mixed-race punk who speaks in a type of ignorant street-thug way (because he does not know any better, as he was raised by a crack-addicted prostitute), you are automatically labeled a racist writer.

What would you or Barry or Hugh do? Let it go? Even though it can harm your reputation, or respond by sending Amazon a letter & request that they remove the offending "review?"

This slanderous review of me (not the book), had been posted about three weeks ago. This is my first and only response to it anywhere. Am undecided as to what to do about it. Feedback greatly appreciated.

Also, Joe, as far as all the neglect/suffering/mistreatment at the hands of trad-pub you experienced, all I can say is that I can relate & back you one hundred percent. I never, ever had a chance to get anywhere with my writing/books...until Jeff Bezos and Amazon came along and leveled the playing field, and gave all of us a fair shot at this thing.

Thanks for posting & all that you & Barry & Hugh do to help indies stay clear of trad-pub traps & indentured servitude.


Kirk Alex,
Author, Lustmord: Anatomy of a Serial Butcher

JA Konrath said...

What would you or Barry or Hugh do? Let it go?

Yes. Let it go. I've had reviewers call me all sorts of nasty things, and outright lie in reviews about books of mine that they've never read.

Consider what might happen: you respond, saying you aren't racist. The reviewer replies, getting nastier, and goes on Goodreads and gets fifty other readers to add their 1-star reviews, parroting the racist comment and also blaming you for engaging a reviewer. I've seen this happen so many times it has become its own meme. Don't respond to negative reviews, ever. The potential for disaster is huge. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Let them spout their incorrect info, and leave it alone. Let some other reviewer respond to it.

I have responded before. I self-pubbed a book too soon and it was riddled with typos. When I uploaded the error-free version, I thanked every reviewer who mentioned typos, explained they were gone now, and offered to send them a clean copy. In that case, I acknowledge my mistake, apologized, and tried to fix it, while also letting new readers know it was fixed.

I wouldn't tell a reader they're wrong. You can always try reporting the review to Amazon, and getting some of your peeps to do the same. Say it is attacking the author, not the book.

Beyond that, ignore it. You have enough reviews that one flake won't matter.


Had the same issue with one of my first novels. I published before a thorough copy edit was done and a reviewer who had done like 1,000 reviews gave it a two star review. He said he liked the story and the writing but the story was filled with a lot of typos and it detracted from the story. I paid for a thorough copy edited, republished, apologized and that reviewer changed his review to four stars. Its all in how you approach the reviewers. I do agree though that battling for truth in other peoples perceptions is tricky because everyone has their own perceptions. Who's to say yours is any more valid than anyone else? Just stay true to yourself and don't lose focus.

Kirk Alex said...

Thank you, Joe. Good stuff.
It always seems to me that you speak from the heart; I'd say that all three of you guys do.
That probably means more to many of us than anything else. You hung in when the attacks by the trad-pub shills were not only vicious and full of misinformation about indie publishing, but deliberately misleading. You, Barry and Hugh kept coming back & kept coming back, refusing to let them beat you down with their outrageous claims.

Indies are here to stay! We ain't goin' away. :-)

One last thing, Joe: are you still accepting donations/guest blog posts with regards to Tess Gerritsen's War on Alzheimer's?
I know it's been since June 2013 when the drive was initiated... I'd like to participate with a donation & a brief post, if at all possible.


Kirk Alex

Kathryn Meyer Griffith said...

Joe about #3 Stop Whining?
That really stopped me today and now I need some good advice.
I am still with a publisher (13 books) and that publisher is refusing to return (by taking it down from sales venues) a book that the 5 year (miserable...made but pennies on all 14 books every year when my self-published do really well) contract has positively run out on...2 weeks ago. The publisher won't even return my emails or phone calls the last month and I still have 13 more books with them that will return to me one by one every few months for the next 17. I've been a published writer for a very long time and had many awful publishers...but this is a first. Is it whining to want everyone to know how bad the publisher is? To warn potential authors of what they're going to get if they go with this publisher? I read your post today and decided to take things into my own hands instead of wringing them...I self-published the book today with Amazon (and others) and alerted Amazon to the "copyright infringement" problem. I asked them to publish my version and kick that publisher's version off...or at least I can hope they will. I have a signed contract as proof. So...is it whining to want to right a wrong? You or anyone else can email me off this blog at rdgriff@htc.net

JA Konrath said...

So...is it whining to want to right a wrong?

That's not whining. That's enforcing your copyright.

Kathryn Meyer Griffith said...

Whew. Thanks Joe. I was hoping you'd say that.
Then I will fight, fight, fight to get my 13 books back when they're legally mine. I just hope Amazon sees that it is right to kick off that publisher's expired version and replace it with the legal one...mine. Grin. As always thank you for changing my career. Since I've started self-publishing in 2012 I am making real money for the first time in 44 years and I LOVE the control. I do it all now (I was once a graphic artist and am not afraid to format and stuff...though I have a fantastic professional cover artist I use) and I have found having complete control is amazing. See ya in the libraries.

Alan Spade said...

Hey, Joe, nothing to do with your blog post, but did you hear about PJ boox? http://www.pjboox.com/#!about/fgxkr

It's a bookstore in Florida selling only indie books! The one linked will open in the first of October. Apparently, another bookstore like that had already opened in april, and because of its success, this new bookstore will very soon open.

Perhaps an interview on your blog of the author Patti Brassard Jefferson, who created the concept, would be a good idea? Just saying...

JA Konrath said...

Hey, Joe, nothing to do with your blog post, but did you hear about PJ boox?

Interesting. The problem I predict is shipping. Mailing books isn't cheap. $98 to rent a shelf for 4 months, plus shipping, plus POD costs--well, it'll be tough for even known authors to make a profit.

The idea I came up with years ago was for bookstores to use an Expresso Book Machine to print indie books at their store, and indies get paid a royalty for each one sold. No shipping, no returns, no waste, more profits for everyone.


Alan Spade said...

I think it would be doable with Lightning Source, because even if you print just 10 paperback, you already have a nice scaling saving.

As an author, though, I wouldn't do it if I hadn't the possibility of coming to this bookstore in order to sign my books. That's what I do to make a living now, so I'm used to it.

It means that I would have to live near said bookstore.

Regarding the Expresso Book Machine, did you know that a bookstore has opened in Las Vegas? The last place in the world where one was likely to open!

And that bookstore, The Writer's Block, is equipped with an Espresso Book Machine.


But I agree that the two concepts would be great for writers if they were mingled... although it's always hard to rentabilize an Espresso Book Machine.

Stephen Leather said...

Wise words, Joe. Wise words.

Unknown said...

Once again, Joe, you've done it. Brought reality to the page. Where would authors be without your clarity, honesty, willingness to share your hard work, personal experiences and revenue generation? We'd still be fighting to find an agent and then kissing up to find a publisher and the lucky few accepted, then resigning to paltry royalties and giving up their intellectual creations. The Indie path is now more than a viable path, it's dominant for budding authors and becoming so for many traditionally published who want control and more revenue. Kudos to Barry, Hugh and others for their contributions. Timing and luck contributed with Amazon and others creating a pragmatic vehicle for product delivery and vastly improved royalties.
I send people here at every FB opportunity so they may have a better understanding of the publishing world today, historically and politically. Newbies Guide supports them in making more informed decisions about their writing future.
Bravo! Bravo!

Kirk Alex said...


RE: Zon attack on the author, and not the book.
You were spot on! A Zon rep got back to me within a day with a promise to take down
the "review."
This is just one reason why we love Amazon: fairness & support.

RE: Expresso Book Machine.

They've had them in France for quite some time now. Here's an article I saved from a few years

***Voila! Vending machines serve up good reading*** by Jenny Barchfield - The Associated Press

PARIS –– Readers craving Homer, Baudelaire or Lewis Carroll in the middle of the night can get a quick fix at one of the French capital's five newly installed book vending machines.

"We have customers who know exactly what they want and come at all hours to get it." said Xavier Chambon, president of Maxi-Livres, a low-cost publisher and bookstore chain that debuted the vending machines in June. "It's as if our stores were open 24 hours a day."

When the bookstores close, Parisians can still satisfy their craving for a good read at five new vending machines around the city.

The article goes on, but you get the idea. And since this was from about two years ago, they must have a lot more than the five stores (mentioned) out there by now, etc.


Kirk Alex,
Author, Ziggy Popper at Large

Alan Spade said...

@Kirk: there are only six Espresso Book Machine in France and 150 in the United States.


If you want to think about a country were Hachette Book Publishing rules and that is desperately attached to traditional publishing, think France.

An example? One of the ebook manufacturer, Bookeen, exists since 2003. Its founders had already built an ebook device since 1998, with another company. They have tried to sell their product to publishers and bookstores for years.

No one wanted their product. And what happened when Amazon finally succeeded in making the Kindle viable and started the indie revolution? The founders of Bookeen clung to the traditional publishers, and even now in 2015, an indie publisher cannot sell her books through their portal.

So, I guess that even if they were far more Espresso Book Machines in France than in the US, which is not the case, the indie french authors would be the last ones to benefit.

Kirk Alex said...

Hi Alan,

I wasn't aware of the history behind this stuff. Merely saw the article (w/photo), & thought: Wow! Great.
Vending machines for books. Who actually owns the Espresso Book Machines in the U.S.? Is Zon in on any of this?
They gotta be. And if so, some of the titles will most certainly be Indie titles, right? Let's hope
for the best.


Kirk Alex
Author: Ziggy Popper at Large

Alan Spade said...

Hi Kirk,

I don't think Zon to be on this. The print they use for Createspace is not an Espresso Book Machine (EBM). If they use it, it will be indirectly, I think, through parners like Ingram.

I did a quick search and found this list: http://ondemandbooks.com/ebm_locations_list.php

One of the EBM in the US is owned by a library, two others by Barnes & Noble.

I think most of the EBM must be owned by large booksellers, libraries or universities in the US. That seems to make sense.

Alan Spade said...

In the list I provided ( http://ondemandbooks.com/ebm_locations_list.php ), p.3 and 4, there are bookstores listed as independent ones. If I were living near one of these towns (Las Vegas, Denver, Portland, Cambridge, Grand Rapids, Seattle, Saint Johnsbury...), I think I would try to establish contact with the bookseller owner to establish if they would be opened to a signing session with an indie.

It's especially valuable if you have a series, because if you sell book 1 during a session, a reader can later ask for book 2 to be printed by the EBM... I don't know if these booksellers have made possible for their readers to order a printing through their home via the bookseller's website, in order to allow them to retrieve the physical book a little later. Maybe it would cause storage issues.

Alan Spade said...

The mapview of the EBM in the world: http://ondemandbooks.com/ebm_locations.php

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Joe.

Kirk Alex said...

Rumor has it, Joe is back on the beer diet. :-)
He ain't got time for us.

Hey, Joe, how are the Belinda Duchamp books doin'?
I went in with one of Summer Daniels' KU 10 volume boxed sets recently.
Just for the hell of it.

In case anyone's wondering, the umbrella title is What To Read
After Fifty Shades. Now, I don't read stuff like Fifty Shades, but
will, and have, written erotica––just for kicks.

Meanwhile, all my horror fans are going: WTF, Dude? You go from
blood & guts to...T & A ???

Hey, I'm a genre hopper. Not unlike the Energizer Bunny: I bounce around.
Else I get bored.

Hey, Joe, ever consider joining up with Summer for one of her MULTI-VOLUME
Boxed Sets? Thought I'd ask.


Walter Knight said...

I attribute some success to publishing Kindle books in 2010 and 2011 when new authors had the Kindle catalog to themselves. Now we're getting crowded out by the backlists of established authors. Fortunately for me many publishers shun science fiction, so I still have less competition.

AnonymousWriter said...

Once the 'Big Five' get their act together they will be able to buy space on Amazon, spend money on marketing and advertising, introduce low prices for certain titles of famous writers to get people hooked and lower prices all round they should be able to dominate.

Unknown said...

"Once the 'Big Five' get their act together", C'mon AnonymousWriter, in whose lifetime? You don't mention vastly improved royalties they will offer for the new creative product producers. Hah! ROFLOL! We "Indies" will still be writing great stories, collecting great royalties, CONTROLLING our product, with the publishing pathway improving every day. Most readers don't give a damn who published the book as long as it's entertaining, acceptable quality, priced right, and delivered on time. Indie has all that and more. Ever heard of a reader saying, "I would have bought the book but it wasn't published by XYZ of the Big Five." NOT.

AnonymousWriter said...

Jeff...you misunderstand...re-read what I wrote.

It's about the advantages they can implement for themselves once they do play the e-book game at an optimum level.

- Money to buy exposure on Amazon
- Big name authors
- Money to market and advertise
- Massive back catalogues
- Low pricing to bring readers to their stable of authors

If they were wise they could crowd out many indie authors.

Not completely. Not the big name Indie authors. But they could crowd them out as a whole. Luckily they are failing to do this at the moment as they don't want to devalue their printed product. So make hay while the sun shines.

Unknown said...

AnonymouseWriter said, "It's about the advantages they can implement for themselves..."

I understood. Appreciate your add-on detail. Operative word is "Themselves". There are too many old and new, really good story tellers that the Big Five still wish to abuse regarding favorable royalties, ownership, and control. Readers become loyal to the creators, not publishers. Don't think BF "could crowd them out as a whole..." As long as we Indies have Joe, Barry, Howie and others speaking out with the truth, and creating new pathways, we'll be successful for a long time to come.

AnonymousWriter said...


I suppose we'll find out in the coming years...maybe a mix of the two....but maybe it will be just like Twitter and Facebook where celebrities and politicians can now bypass the established media (big publishers) and go direct with their message/product.

Incidentally, I think the rise of twitter, facebook and you tube has led to the rise of more alternative and 'outside the system' politicians as their message can now go unfiltered directly to the electorate - whereas the media would have crucified these alternative politicians a few years back.

Maybe it will be the same for authors.

Good luck with your writing Jeff.

John Maberry said...

All good, except I don't believe in luck. It's all cause and effect. We may not always get what we want when we want it but if we keep putting in earnest effort (in a sensible way) the rewards will come.