Last week, buried in the middle of my blog post were these lines.
Yesterday Icelandic author Baldur Bjarnason wrote a great piece on ethics in publishing. This is a great observation on what a lot of commentators are seeing as the great divide between the two different publishing communities.
Hands up those people who can tell me what the two communities are....hmmmm.
Today, in a breaking news bombshell, those communities just got wider with a new website launched and funded by Hugh Howey looking specifically at crunching the data on publishing stats and earnings for Self Publishing and Hybrid authors.
For those of you who don’t understand what this means...
If you have a Traditional publishing contract. Your book gets published...you may get an advance. You may get up to 10% net of print price or up to 25% ebook price. You may get a quarterly statement on how sales are going but no other information. The marketing window for your book is usually 6 months...that’s 2 months before publication and 4 months after. After that the publisher is onto the next book and any blip in sales comes from author promotion. In the fine print of your book contract there may be a non-compete clause, you can’t publish with anyone else or anything else except the publisher. Your rights may be held in perpetuity (US law is the lifetime of the author plus 70 years) with no rights reversal clauses.
If you choose to self publish you may get up to 70% of ebook price with Amazon and whatever you set the profit of the book, after your costs have been taken out, on print. You do all the marketing work for as long as you want to.
In both models the author doesn’t really know what they are doing right or wrong with marketing. Data on what works and how different publishing models are successful is very thin on the ground.
From time to time surveys come out with data that says how well self publishing is doing against traditional publishing. I have linked to a few over the last few years in my blog.
The ebook market where most authors self publish has been on the up.
Today Hugh Howey’s report was released looking at raw data that crunched the numbers of the biggest selling genres (romance, sci-fi/fantasy and thriller/suspense) on Amazon on one day. 92% of the top 100 genre bestsellers were ebooks. Indie authors were outselling Traditional Big 5 authors in these categories.
There are many bombs in this report. Porter Anderson does a good job of looking at them and extrapolating ideas but you should read the report for yourself. Hugh is the leading voice in the Indie author community at the moment. He is advocating a change to fairer contracts for authors and a partnership model with publishers. Below is his mission statement for the AuthorEarnings website.
Welcome to AuthorEarnings, where our purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.
Two weeks ago he made it very clear just exactly what he thinks author contracts should consist of and what he thinks author societies should be advocating.
So after a few hours digesting The Report, Digital BookWorld weighed in with their analysis and they took issue with the one day data and the extrapolation thereof... however they also agreed that there was something rotten in the state of ....
Now Hugh is the first to say that this is one day...on Amazon... in January... and he is keen to have that dialogue from other authors on their experiences (see the website for ways to contribute to the discussion.) Steve Moseby takes up the challenge, he looks at the figures from The Report and wonders whether they are true based on his UK print figures and annual income after only one days data.
In Other News
Passive Guy sends out a warning over a contractual clause where any future law changes in any territory in the world will be the problem of the author. This, after an author was accused of blasphemy, following the passing of a law in India after her book was published. It all hinges on the word ‘will.’ He follows that up with another post on contracts. (As he is a lawyer he doth know what he speaks of.)
Cassandra Clare is tired of the constant carping of some who keep asking why she is still writing her book series ... she notes that male authors don’t get asked this. A thoughtful restrained response from a YA author.
In the Craft Section,
5 big screenwriting mistakes and 5 fixes...(this is a bookmark post!)
In the Marketing Section,
K M Weiland - Story Cartel...how she got 50 + positive reviews (great review site)
Julie Musil - On connecting charities with books...this is a great post!
Hugh Howey again... He responds to a writer who has decided not to be tainted with self publishing because the goal is to emulate his heroes and publish the same way. A very interesting read and response by Hugh.
Pic is from Passive Voices new range of tee shirts...check them out and chuckle... and maybe buy one or two.