Thursday, September 27, 2012

Numbers Game

For anyone interested in a writing career, a couple of must-read posts.

First, the book-selling numbers of Joe Konrath:

He's the guy who's the thumb in the eye of traditional publishers, who has made a ton of money-- selling books that traditional publishing wouldn't touch, because they couldn't sell enough of them quickly. Their world is about hitting big, fast. But that's not how most books do, they sell over time.

Konrath doesn't seem to mind, though, not having best sellers, just lots of some sellers, enough to make a living from. A writer making a living is not in the agenda of the Big Pub houses- they want to make a killing for themselves.

Konrath says that a lot of writers could do well his way, and it sends the New York Old Guard into a But-lather.
Merely mention his name, and they start going-  But-But-But

He includes the frightening statistic that close to 7 out of 10 books shipped get returned. If that's even remotely near the truth, what an incredible waste!

And cogent comment with her own numbers, from long-time professional writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

She says:
"Joe’s numbers are good, given all that, but they’re small for a lifetime average. Of course, he hasn’t been publishing for ten years yet, so he’s still—by the career standards I mentioned above—a new writer."

A "new writer" making thousands a month outside the Big Pub world, appealing to readers directly.

So tell me again why writers should play that traditional publishing lottery?

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