I had a conversation with my brother and sister-in-law during our recent trip to Illinois about writing and making money as an author (or as a musician, for that matter). They seemed to think that it is harder today for an author or a musician to make a living off their writing or music. We have nephews who are musicians and we know how hard it is for them. But I was trying to explain about the financial realities of publishing today and how e-publishing is helping authors.
So when I read Bob Mayer’s post Going Indie, I was excited. Bob explains his thinking:
It’s a difficult decision to part ways with traditional publishing especially after twenty years and over forty books and relying on my writing for my livelihood. However, the reality is, if you aren’t a ‘brand’ author that the publisher backs, your career is almost guaranteed to be doomed. I believe the days of surviving with multiple midlist titles is coming to an end.
If it is hard for a mid-list author with multiple titles, what would it be like for someone just starting out? Nearly impossible, I would guess. Well, no, that isn’t true, but it would be difficult.
As I contemplate publishing my first book, though, there seems little reason not to jump on the e-publishing bandwagon.
But Bob goes on to say:
With with Amanda Hocking success, there seems to a “gold rush” of writers throwing their books up on Amazon and other sites.
This “gold rush” is part of what concerned my brother and what concerns many people: the ability to publish your book regardless of how good it is — or isn’t. I have read plenty of poorly written books that were published by publishing houses, though, so I already don’t expect every book out there to be a masterpiece.
What interested me most about the post was the last couple sentences:
Succeeding at self-publishing is as hard as succeeding in traditional publishing, the difference is, more of the control is with the writer rather than the vagaries of others.
The same traits for success are required in both areas: well-written books, author platform, author promotion, and most of all, perseverance.
Do I have what it takes to be successful? Is my book good enough? I hope to find out soon!