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The Sad Truth about Self Publishing
We keep hearing about them, don't we? These authors who are making a mint out of self publishing, sticking two fingers up to the publishing houses that rejected them and going it alone and winning. The truth is, we love a David and Goliath story, but like the story of David and Goliath, it is not as common as one would hope; if it was then it wouldn't be all that special, would it? There are some, authors like John Locke (who shares his name with the character from Lost) that are making a fortune selling on Kindle. The sad truth is though, for a lot of people who publish on Kindle this is not, nor will it ever be the case. When you send your book out there, there are another million books published that year, some screaming much louder than yours to be brought. No, the majority of people, 75% publishing on Kindle today are making less than five hundred dollars a year. Sorry to shatter the illusion, but that is the world we live in, even that figure seems over inflated if you ask me.
And the best sellers, aren't crime novels as one would expect, nor thrillers, but erotica. The previously mentioned John Locke specialises in the genre. His latest offering 'Bad Doctor' certainly doesn't conjure up images of a chainsaw wielding doctor; especially as the cover has a scantily clad lady on it. It seems that if your book involves vampires and love making, you are well in, for those of us with our feet on the ground, as apposed to knocking boots on the bed, or in this case in the examination chair, we face an uphill struggle to make anything significant from self publishing. There are exceptions like Amanda Hocking http://amandahocking.blogspot.co.uk/, but what we have to realise is that if we really want to be taken seriously as writers, we need to be serious readers. What I mean by that is, the majority of authors enjoying success on Kindle today, were lucky or were superb at marketing their writing. Some worked for years without success, reading other authors work, whilst quietly working on their own novels in the hope of sowing enough seeds that when the time came, that the authors of other works would want to read their e-books. John Locke used to buy scores of E-books and promote them on Twitter. Ultimately if you want people to read your work, then read theirs. If nothing else it will make you a better writer and editor. It is quite a pleasurable activity, and you may get ideas from other author's work, like how to write in first person. For me though, and I am sure there are many others that will say the same thing, writing isn't about making a fortune. I am not making novels to join the kindle million list (though it would be nice), I am doing it because it is my passion.