By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: self publishing (Page 1 of 2)

The Quandary of the Indie Author

Write with a timer

by Robert Barry

 

The art of writing is oftentimes misunderstood and the writer’s ability understated. The craft of writing requires skill, clarity and persistence. It is commonly agreed among aspiring and established authors that the greatest hurdle in a writer’s journey is writer’s block which is caused when clarity becomes temporarily obscured. Although this may be true regarding the art of writing, when a self-published author has completed his manuscript he has to embark on an entirely new journey requiring a completely different skill set.


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I am a first time self-published author. After having finished my manuscript I didn’t know where to turn and I found myself in quite a quandary. Naturally, it was a daunting time for me and would be for any first time author. I had so many hurdles to overcome – where would I find an editor, a designer, a marketing agent and someone to negotiate the often times complex procedure of uploading text and design to Amazon and Ingram Spark. I had so many questions but I didn’t know where to turn for the answers. I approached a number of publishers, many of whom didn’t return to me and those that did had taken so long that I had forgotten I had approached them in the first place. After all the time I had spent writing, it occurred to me on occasion that my dream of publishing my first book was never going to be realised. Despite the feeling of dread that this thought instilled in me, I persisted to seek the help I needed.


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I am a firm believer in the concept that if you can imagine it, it either already exists or will in the near future. Given the ever expanding size of the self-publishing market, I imagined that there must exist publishing services specifically designed for the indie author. With this in mind I began searching the internet for such services. During my searches I came across many helpful sites for indie authors. The best among these was https://www.writing.ie/ which answered all my questions and provided exactly what I was looking for – someone who provided the full array of self-publishing services. This allowed me to embark on this entirely new journey without having to acquire a completely new skill set!


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About the Author: Robert Barry was born and raised in Kilkenny City, in the south east of Ireland. He has spent over two decades working in both the engineering and legal fields. Robert’s first published book documents his stories of working and living in London, when he found the Holy Grail, the most sought after artifact of the last two millennia. More about his experiences and life can be found on his website. His book “The Truth” can be found on amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

Self Published Authors – Don’t Ignore Print Books

In a study released this week by Pew Research Center, it’s clear that print books remain the dominant medium for readers.

Despite the increased interest in ebooks from 2007 to now, and the increased interest in audio books over the last handful of years, Pew’s recent study shows that print books clearly rule the market. Just look that the results of their study.

 

Self Publish Print Books

 

While the percentage of readers that read print books has dropped from 71% to 65% over the last 5 years (a 6% drop), this is identical to the 6% drop of people that read a book in any format during that same time period (from 79% to 73%). I think this drop is more indicative of a decrease in individuals reading books and focusing their reading attention on mobile content, rather than an isolated drop in print book readership.

The good news is that the percentage of individuals that read ebooks has increase by over 60% since 2011, which means that more people are likely branching out to reading both print books and ebooks. Getting a Kindle from my wife last Christmas, you can count me in the list of those individuals that now read both print and ebook content.

With 65% of Americans reporting they’ve read a print book in the last year and only 28% reporting they’ve read an ebook, however, one thing is clear. Self published authors cannot simply rely on the ebook format if they’re hoping to reach a full audience. Self published authors need to continue to focus on print book sales.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Rearrange the Furniture

furniture-removals1

Why Authors Should Never Be Afraid to Write Something Different

 

My parents came to town last weekend to visit my wife and me and our 2-year-old daughter. Ok, you’re right. They flew out to visit their grand-daughter and I just happened to be there, but that’s beside the point.

We had friends and family over for Easter brunch last Sunday. To accommodate the need for more space, we moved the furniture in the living room so it was more open for our guests. Ultimately, this really just involved moving a couch back against a wall so the room opened up.

Later that day after the guests had left I commented, “I’m not sure whether I like this new set up or not.”

To which my mother quipped, “I like it. And you can always just move it back.”

She is a brilliant woman my mother. I could always just move it back. My mind quickly wandered from how easy it will be to move the furniture back to other times in life I’m afraid to try something, particularly in my writing, when really I can always just move things back.

As writers, we always seem to be afraid of trying something. We’re always fearful of moving the furniture.

 

As writers, we always seem afraid of trying something. We're always fearful of moving the furniture.Click To Tweet

 

It starts at the beginning, the very beginning. That first day we have that dream of writing a book. How long did it take you to put the proverbial pen to paper? And why? Fear of failure? So what. You can always go back to what you’re doing. You can always move the furniture back.

Then it happens as we start creating our first work. We’re afraid to throw in an action sequence. We’re worried about pontificating too much in our self-help book. We’re wary of including a sex scene in our novel. Why? Try it out. Write. If you don’t like it, you can always move the furniture back.

Soon we’re unwilling to write that second book because the first didn’t sell well. Or we’re nervous about trying a different genre altogether. But you can always move the furniture back.

Those of you that follow my Sticky Books know that Daring Greatly by Brene Brown is a book I recommend. (For those of you new here, Sticky Books are those books that just stick with me. Long after I’ve finished reading them, they are still turning over and over in my head.) The title of the book is inspired by an excellent Teddy Roosevelt quote, one that has long been one of my father’s favorites:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and create something, whether that’s a book, artwork, a company, a family… It takes a lot of courage to dare greatly. As a writer, you have taken a lot of courageous risks and it is commendable.

 

It takes courage to be vulnerable and create something. Writers take a lot of courageous risks. Click To Tweet

 

But moving furniture is about trying minor adjustments, not major adjustments. Despite having already taken the risk of writing, we’re still afraid to move the furniture, even though we can always move it back.

So next time you’re wondering if you should take that risk with your writing, go ahead and do it. Try it on for size. Who cares what others think. If you are basing the success and failure of your writing on whether you receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from others, most of us will unfortunately be disappointed.

Tina Fey has a a great quote about trying: “Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions…Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

Just go for it. Do it because you’re curious. Do it because you love to create. Do it because you’re passionate.

Go ahead. Rearrange the furniture. You can always move it back.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

Only 40 Self-Published Authors Make Money

indie author

Image Courtesy of Tree City Media

I’m sure you’ve seen this news already. We’re not breaking a story here. The goal at Nothing Any Good is not to break news. Not in the least. The goal is to support indie authors. So since we’re not breaking news, let’s instead break down what does this news actually means. What does it mean when Amazon says that only 40 self-published authors are making money.

Well first, let’s go over what was revealed last week. In a New York Times article about Meredith Wild and the 1.4 million ebook copies she has sold of her self-published erotic novels, the article revealed that only 40 authors have managed to sell more than one million ebook copies in the last five years on Amazon.

So the first thing that we should note is that Amazon never actually said “only 40 self-published authors make money.” If they did say that, now that would be news. Amazon earns $5.25 billion (with a B) a year in book sales. At any given point, roughly 30% of that can be allocated to to ebooks. Why in the world would Amazon want to dissuade more and more authors from self-publishing on their platform? They wouldn’t.

Still, for some reason this news of 40 authors has sent some minor shock waves through the world of indie publishing, and I’m not entirely sure why.

It should be no secret to anyone that self-publishing is hard. As revealed by a study by New Guild from the end of last year, the majority of authors earn below the poverty line. For years authors have been struggling to make ends meet, even well before ebooks became a thing. Starving artist doesn’t just apply to painters and photographers.

So then the question in my mind becomes is self-publishing worth it knowing full well that it is difficult and that only 40 self-published authors sold over one million ebook copies in the last five years.

Let’s unpack that some more. The first thing to notice is that this number is strictly limited to ebook sales. This data doesn’t include print numbers at all. Despite projections a few years back that ebook sales would surpass print by 2015, ebook sales still only make up about 20% of the book market.

The second thing to notice is that this number of over “a million” copies is limited to those sold on Amazon. Yes, Amazon is a behemoth in the book market, but a not-so-miniscule number of sales are attained through a lot of other sales channels.

support indie authorsProbably most importantly, however, is that a million copies is A LOT OF COPIES. Yes, it would be wonderful if you sold a million copies of your book, but I’m not sure about your current financial status in life, but for most people that’s get rich money. Let’s say that I sell a million ebook copies of my book Pieces Like Pottery. (From my lips to God’s ears, right?) That would generate $4.99M in earnings. After Amazon takes its cut, I’m sitting with an estimated $3.49M in revenue from ebook sales.

Like I said, I’m not sure what you make each year, but that’s get rich money.

So the fact that only 40 authors have sold over a million ebook copies on Amazon in the last 5 years is not as significant as some have made it sound. Even if your goal is to be an author to make a good living, there is a lot of room to do that with less than a million copies sold.

But this brings us back full circle. Making a good living as an author is rare. The majority of authors earn less that $10,000 a year from their books. I’m not going to lie, making a lot of money from my writing would be great, but it’s not why I do it. I always have to remember why I write in the first place. And you should too. Don’t lose sight of why you wrote that book. Always remember why you started working on that series. If it was purely to make money, I wish you the best of luck, but the statistics are not in your favor.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

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