Friday, April 15, 2011

Are You Dense?

What the hell is wrong with you?

I'm talking to you. The writers who are still thoughtlessly defending legacy publishing.

Unless you're making over a million dollars a year with the Big 6, continuing down the legacy path is a crazy bad idea.

I see the same tired, lame arguments, over and over again. They include:

It's hard to make decent money self-pubbing.

Guess what? It's even harder to make decent money by legacy publishing. Legacy publishing requires a lot of waiting, and a lot of luck. If you're lucky enough to get an agent AND lucky enough to sell the book AND lucky enough that the publisher doesn't screw it up, you'll have a 1 out of 10 chance at earning out your advance. Maybe.

With self-pubbing, you WILL earn money. It may not be a lot at first, but ebooks are forever, and forever is a long time to accrue sales.

Only Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking make good money self-pubbing.

First of all, anyone who spouts this nonsense is a lazy researcher, because it's a simple Google search to find dozens of authors making good money.

Second of all, this statement could just as well be: Only Stephen King and James Patterson make good money legacy publishing.

If you had to take a shot to try to emulate my career, or try to emulate Stephen King's career, you have a much higher likelihood of success by doing it my way.

The majority of self-pubbed books don't sell many copies.

Neither do the majority of legacy published books.

Here's the simple math. If your book sucks, you'll never get a legacy deal, but you'll sell at least a few copies by self-pubbing.

If your book is awesome, you'll be giving up 70% royalties for 14.9% royalties.

Either way, you make more going indie.

Publishers are essential.

No, they're not. Editing and good covers are essential, and these can be procured for set costs. They aren't worth the 52.5% a publisher takes, forever.

Print is still dominant.

And the T-Rex was still the apex predator for a short time after the meteor hit. Then they all died.

While ebooks may not be an extinction level event, they will become the most popular way to read books.

The gatekeepers are necessary.

I agree. But I don't call these gatekeepers "agents" or "publishers."

I call them "readers."

With all the self-published crap out there, it will be impossible to find anything good.

There are billions of websites on the internet, the majority of them crap. Yet somehow you managed to find my blog.

We live in a world where it is easy to find things that are interesting to us. That won't ever change.

Publishers know quality. They know what sells.

Sure they do. Which is why Snooki got a big push and bombed, and Trapped was rejected by my publisher and is currently in the Top 100. Which means I owe First Book another $500.

If it gets into the top 20, I'll add another $500 on top of that.

The only way I can be validated as a writer is if I'm accepted by the legacy industry.

This is called Stockholm Syndrome. Sales are a much better, and more realistic, form of validation.

If I self-publish, then agents or editors won't want me.

Lazy research again. Agents and editors are actively looking at self-pub success stories, then snapping those authors and books up.

I'll only try to self-publish once I'm guaranteed it is a better move than legacy publishing.

Thanks for making me laugh by using "guarantee" and "publishing" in the same sentence. When you come back to reality, I hope you figure out that each day you don't self-publish is a day you could have earned money but didn't.

That's the bottom line, gang. Every minute of every day, there are new writers jumping on the self-pub bandwagon, beginning to make money.

Every minute you waste is a minute gone forever.

And forever is a long time.