There’s a Revolution going on and it will touch every one of you, it probably already has. It’s in the books you read.
Before, agents and the big 5 publishing houses controlled 90% of the books in book stores. (Big five= Random/Penguin, Simon & Schuster, McMillan, Harper Collins, & Hatchett) They made the rules and let everyone know what was hot and what was on its way out. Agents had to bend to their wishes or they didn’t sell any books. Together they had a strangle hold on writers and plenty of amazing books never saw the bookshelf.
Then in 2009 Amazon said, “Publish with us,” and doors opened. Writers took control of their own futures and success. The Indie Author was born. Like independent musicians and filmmakers, writers could now let their creativity loose on the world. The world of books has opened for both writers and readers. No longer is your reading material censored by 5 companies. Readers too, have found the freedom to read whatever they like and for a price that won’t break the bank. Indie Authors set reasonable prices and work hard to bring their stories to the world.
The Publishing industry is forever changed. TeleRead, a website that reports on the publishing industry states, “if you’re a debuting writer, it’s a lot better to debut in self-publishing than in the Big Five. While the Big Five’s numbers are flat, the number of indie authors who can earn a living at it increases year over year.”
Like the Indie Filmmakers and Indie Musicians, Indie Authors have a growing presence on web. Just type “Indie Author” into a web browser and see what pops up. You will find writers advocating for the Independent Author way of life. They are posting earnings & instructions on how to edit and publish. Indie Authors have shown up in the news. The New York Times, Forbes, and Tech Dirt have all covered the Independent Author Revolution.
The earnings for Indie vs Traditionally published writers? That would be 15% for those authors published by the big 5 vs. 70% for the Indie Author.
J.A. Konrath, one of the first to step up and publish his earnings, in 3 weeks in 2012 made $100,000. He talks about his 500 rejections from agents and publishers. He had one deal with Hyperion in 2003, he sold his book, Whiskey Sour, in a 3 book deal for $200,000. Then, after doing everything he could to promote his books and make the numbers, they dropped him. He’s now making more as Indie. In 2012 he reported $791,000. You can check it out on his website.
The Guardian reported that Amanda Hocking, another writer who started as an Indie Author made $2.5 million in one year. In April 2010 she wanted to go see Muppets in Chicago and needed $300. for the trip. She put a couple of Vampire love stories up on Amazon for $2.99. By August she made $6000 one month and quit her day job. By October she had $20,000 for Muppets.
Writer’s Digest reported that Hugh Howey another Indie Author, made $150,000 a month from e-book sales. When the big five came knocking, he made publishing history when he made the deal and kept his digital rights. He now has a new book deal and sold the movie rights.
There’s an old saying, “Everyone has a book in them,” and now it’s possible for writers to make their dreams come true. However, to be a successful Indie Author there are a few requirements.
- Learn the rules of writing
- Edit, edit, edit
- Multiple books = $$$
- Publish Regularly
- Know Cover Art
- Market your work