The publishing industry is going through turmoil, to put it politely. Some might prefer to call it a death spasm instead. Regardless, authors no longer spend their nights dreaming of securing an agent, snaring the attention of a big publisher and landing a fat advance. Sure, we all still wish it would play out that way but the growing body of evidence suggests that it makes more sense to go the self-publishing POD and ebook route. Here are four reasons we believe this bit of advice to be true.
1. Playing the odds: According to sources in the business, big money advances for novels have become almost non-existent in the traditional publishing industry. Unless you are big name celebrity or author with a lucrative track record, a publisher simply isn’t going to put their neck on the line for a rookie with no name recognition.
2. Subject Matter: Maybe your story is a zombie/vampire romance novel set in the old west. Not a lot of demand for that, according to traditional publishers. You can prove that assessment wrong by keeping all the rights and building your own fan base. If one person likes it, more will follow.
3. Royalty Rate: The royalty percentage paid to a traditionally published writer is about 25%. From that you have to subtract advances paid and your agent’s cut. This doesn’t leave much for the writer. This model is seriously skewed towards the publisher. Contrast this to the ebook model where a writer can earn 70% to 85% of the cover price in royalty. No brainer.
4. Sales Cycle: In the old-fashioned publishing industry, the vast majority of sales occur quickly in a book’s life cycle. After the first few months, numbers begin to slide, boosted by a paperback release a few months later. Outside of really huge name writers, the book will likely be out of print in a year, with no chance of making additional sales. Contrast that, once again, with the ebook/POD process where your book is available forever! Traditionally published writers turned self-publishers have shown that a book will continue to sell, to some extent, as long as it is available. Once a reader discovers a writer he likes, there’s a good chance he’ll run right out, or surf over to Amazon, and buy the entire back catalog.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
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