"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: Five Facts Writers Don't Want To Hear

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Five Facts Writers Don't Want To Hear

Dear Fellow Writer,


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Five Facts Writers Don't Want to Hear

There's been quite a few articles appearing in the media recently - off line and on - about the plight of the publishing industry and the state of play for writers in particular.

It's generally sobering news.

Here's a round up of the thrust of what these news reports are saying - and I believe you should read them, even if you don't want to be reminded of the reality of writing books for a living!

1. Traditional Publishers Finally Reveal the Facts

Just because you're signed to a traditional publisher, there's no guarantee whatsoever that you'll make enough money to live on.

Apparently less than one in a hundred authors with publishing deals make over $100K. 99% of published authors make less than $2000 a year.

Writers have believed the myth that 'getting published' was the answer to their dreams for far too long. The reality is different.

Even with the so-called advantages of distribution to retailers worldwide, third-party promotion and the kudos of being signed to a publishing house, most writers rarely make enough in royalties to quit their day jobs.

Plus, publishers still only publish a fraction of the books pitched to them by their in-house authors. So it's more than possible for you to get a publishing deal and then not be able to release your books.

2. The Net Has Come of Age

According to a recent survey of over 9000 writers, you're between five to ten times more likely to be making a living writing if you self-publish your work online.

The figures don't lie. Online authors who self-publish make, on average five to ten times the royalties per book than your average 'published' author.

Selling books online may be hard - but actually no harder that it is for a publisher to sell books in shops. But when you self-publish, you reap the rewards and don't have to give away up to 90% of your hard earned royalties.

3. It's All in the Definition

Many people call themselves writers - but are probably not.

By most government and welfare agency definitions, you can't be a writer unless you have a qualification of some sort. Absurd.

But for the purposes of statistical analysis, the following is the most common definition: "A person currently engaged in writing commercial fiction or nonfiction who is actively working on a manuscript intended for publication soon."

Is this you? Or is this just what you aspire to do? Chances are, if the above definition does not describe exactly what you're doing RIGHT NOW, you shouldn't class yourself as a writer.

4. Amazon Rocks

The average successful author on Amazon Kindle makes five to ten times more money than the average author with a publishing deal.

Now that's a real eye-opener that completely flies in the face of those writers who consider self-publishing to be a cop out - or not real success.

As the saying goes, Kindle authors are laughing all the way to the bank.

5. Keep Dreaming

What's clear from the above is that the dream of becoming a published author and then becoming successful is just that: a dream. It doesn't square with reality.

Having a book on the shelf of a bookstore doesn't carry any particular weight in your pursuit of success - or even help you get by as a writer.

The odds are completely stacked against you UNLESS you self-publish.

Now that's what most new authors don't want to hear!

But why?

You would think that authors would love to sell books - and the way to do that, clearly, is to sell them yourself online.

Think about it.

If you can't sell your own books when you self-publish, you're not going to appeal to a traditional publisher. And even if you do all the right things to impress a publisher and one signs you, you're still most likely going to end up with the 99% of published authors who make less than $2000 a year!

You'll have noticed a trend.

Publishers have been clamoring to sign bestselling Kindle authors recently. The reason is obvious. These authors are writing books that sell - which is the ONLY thing publishers want.

So clearly, the best way to get a publishing deal - if you still want one - is to write commercial books and PROVE they're commercial by selling them YOURSELF through Amazon Kindle (which you can do for free by the way.)

The fact is, if you don't think you're ready to self publish, then you're really not ready to send a book manuscript to an agent or publisher.

You need to be absolutely convinced that you've written a huge bestseller before you should even consider sending it to a publisher.

And if you think you have written a bestseller, what better way to prove it than by self-publishing.

Too many writers send their MSS to publishers because they're really not ready - or good enough - to self publish.

There, I've said it.

That's the new reality that most writers don't want to accept.

Anyone can send in manuscripts to publishers with the vague hope they may get signed and get famous.

But publishers only want authors who can sell lots of books!

The thing is, you're at your most attractive to a publisher when you don't need them. All the time you're desperate for a deal, publishers won't want you.

Listen up.

In this digital age, self-publishing is key to a writer's success.

And self-publishers can rest easy knowing that whatever their 'published' friends say, independent authors are far more likely to make enough money to kick their day jobs than their snobby friends with publishing contracts will ever be!

Now that's progress.

Keep Writing!
Your Success is My Concern
Rob Parnell's Easy Way to Write

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