When I began writing in 2009 and released my first independent book, self-publishing was frowned upon. Only losers went that route – rejects from publishers – would be authors with VANITY written across their foreheads, with an “L” for losers. The prejudice was great, and as an individual, I suffered the pangs myself of scathing reviews, trolls, and one-stars.
Now it’s 2018, nearly ten years later, and the collective landscape has changed dramatically. Independent authors have hit the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Some writers are making six figures a year (“Over a thousand independent authors surpassed $100,000 in royalties in 2017 through Kindle Direct Publishing”), while new writers flood the market with 99 cent books and crowd Kindle Unlimited. As a result, the expensive ebook prices from large publishing houses are beginning to suffer. Why pay $9.99 for an ebook when for $10 a month you can get plenty more?
Each year, the CEO of Smashwords (a distributor of eBooks for authors), writes his predictions for the coming year. Most of the time, so I’ve read, he’s pretty well spot-on right.
This year’s predictions for authors (and readers who wish to be in the know) is well worth the read. Though readers enjoy a proliferation of great deals and more books than they can possibly read, the market is becoming bleaker for publishers and independent authors alike because of the growing monopolization of Amazon in the marketplace.
I encourage you to take a moment and read Mark’s post. Be informed of how everything works besides the dashing duke you’ve fallen in love with between the pages. Each time you flip a page in Kindle Unlimited, the author’s work you read is being paid at less than a penny a page.
All my best, your HR Admin.
Smashwords’ CEO and founder Mark Coker has once again unveiled his annual predictions for the publishing industry, and to say this year’s edition is dark would be an understatement. Coker continues his longtime tradition of decrying all things Amazon, but this year…things are different. For too long, it was easy to dismiss Coker’s predictions as…
So who are these women (and occasional males) that write historical romance novels? As a reader, if you haven’t been following the ever-changing landscape in the publishing world, authors come in a variety pack. From young to old, these are the people who pen your stories that you rate from one to five stars. We all have favorite sub-genres. We all have favorite eras. We all have the likable type of hero and heroine. However, with such a variety of authors, it may be hard to weed through the inundated market of romance these days.
These are the ones who have chosen the traditional publishing world. They traveled the rough trail of submissions and rejections and paid their dues. They were proficient in writing great query letters to hook agents. Others were persistent, knocking on doors of publishers that accept direct submissions. Whatever gateway they have been fortunate enough to open, it has provided them support from big-named publishers and smaller publishing houses on the road to release. These authors have a unique experience with their publishers who do it all – editing, cover design, distribution, in addition to bearing the majority of costs associated with publishing a book.
Once coined the vanity writers, self-published authors or “indies” as many call them, are an entirely different breed. At first, they came out of the gate with a less than warm welcome or reputation, often coined as the slush pile rejects or wood-be, mediocre writers. However, as the years have passed, the indies have taken over a large portion of the market, including reaching the USA Today and NYT best-seller lists. They have gained great strides in gaining respect and earnings. Supposedly, indies are control freaks. They enjoy full engagement in their artistic endeavors. The smart ones seek out good editors to tone their content and talented graphic artists to do their covers. It’s a learning experience in ISBN’s, eBook formatting, printing, distribution, marketing, etc., because they immerse themselves in the publishing world in order to succeed. They are the independent ones who bear the cost of getting their books into print.
What in the world is a hybrid? No, it’s not a new dinosaur about to hatch that will grow up to eat you or your book. It’s an author who enjoys both worlds – the traditional and the self-published. It’s a path that some individuals pursue in a variety of ways. It’s not unusual for a traditionally published author to take a book when the rights have reverted back to her or him and self-published it afterward. Frankly, it’s a sweet spot for many because they are well known as traditional authors who already have a fan base. However, this route may take negotiation because some publishers insist on a non-compete clause that prevents authors from self-publishing while under contract.
In the end, I like to think that all three author varieties have one common goal — to spread the romance together. At Historical Romance Books, whatever path to print you have chosen, you are welcome on our pages.