A Tale of Two Tales – Day 159

A funny thing happened on my Google page. Two completely opposing thoughts on self-publishing appeared side by side.

One, by Larry Brooks, is called A Self-Publishing Reality Check. Essentially, Larry says that the problem with self-publishing in general is that it is now too easy to get published. I’m paraphrasing (or maybe even inferring), but essentially the goal is not just to get published, but to write a book that people enjoy.

His advice in a nutshell: Write like you are still trying to impress someone at Random House.

The other post by Lee Goldberg called The Fall of the Paper Curtain describes how USA Today started including self-published totals in their bestseller lists. One author, Amanda Hocking, has six books in the top 150. Reportedly she sold 450,000 copies of her nine ebooks total in January alone. (To put that in perspective, if all of those books were sold at $2.99 on Kindle, she’d have made roughly $900,000 US in that month alone.) Not bad for an author that started publishing last spring.

But for every Amanda, there are thousands of people making, well, a little bit of money. I’ve already mentioned Derek Canyon, who is selling about 240 ebooks per month (and growing) – enough to crack the top 10,000. If he plateaued at that level, that would work out to about $6,000 US per year. Not enough to live on, but enough to call yourself a professional writer.

One thing’s for certain — things are starting to get ugly out there in publishing land. Lines are being drawn, trenches being dug. And like all armies, both have Truth on their side.

These are the best of times, and the worst of times. But it’s always interesting.

In my own writing today, I’ve already broken my “no re-reading” rule. I’m actually dabbling in all three initial scenes, maybe like a painter adding slight hues or shades here and there to give a painting more drama. (I’ve never painted before — did that passage make any sense?)

In any case, I’m going to go with it for now. Allow my finger to wiggle, and let landscapes emerge. I feel I am improving the writing and the story. No use fighting creativity if it’s working for you.

More finger wiggling tomorrow morning.

~Graham

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