When Words No Longer Pay; An Author’s Alternative Income

broke writer trouser-pockets-1439412_960_720As the industry fluctuates, there will be times when your books aren’t earning what they used to. So what do you do? If you’re like me, you appreciate some income each month. But here’s the kicker: you need to have some skills.

Skills, you ask? Yes, skills. If you’re vaguely computer savvy (like me) you can turn what you love into another business. Did you format your own manuscript for publication? For print and eBook? Did you get pretty good at CreateSpace’s print book cover creator? If you answered yes to more than one of those questions, there’s hope for you. Continue reading “When Words No Longer Pay; An Author’s Alternative Income”

Desperate Author Seeks Employment

will write for foodDear Benevolent and All-Powerful Person in Charge of Hiring Writers:

I am responding to your advertisement for a versatile wordsmith. I do believe I am a good fit for this position since I write suspense, chicklit, satirical, and action-adventure novels; educational children’s books; and non-fiction instructionals. You can find me, and my thirty some-odd titles (yeah, I lost count. I didn’t say I was good at math), on Amazon and other online bookstores. I have been lucky enough to have won a couple of awards for my writing, and I have enjoyed the thrill of seeing some of my books hit the tops of certain Amazon bestseller lists. I’ll be honest, not all my books are awesome – my first novel that was published back in 2001 is awful, so I suggest you don’t waste your money on it. My newer works are much, much better. Unfortunately, even as “bestsellers,” royalties of thirty-five cents per book don’t make for a great living. Yes, I’m proud to say I am a starving author. Things are so bad right now that I recently considered taking a position as an executive envelope-stuffer, but I discovered I have a debilitating fear of paper cuts. Continue reading “Desperate Author Seeks Employment”

LynneQuisition: Hugh Howey and AuthorEarnings.com

Interviews by Lynne CantwellUnless you’ve been off-planet for the past couple of weeks, you have probably heard about bestselling author Hugh Howey’s new website, authorearnings.com. Hugh and an unnamed number cruncher have been studying the bestseller lists at Amazon, and they’ve come up with some pretty amazing numbers. For instance, according to their numbers, indies who write genre fiction are taking home nearly half the author revenue generated by eBook sales on Amazon.

Of course, the blogosphere has blown up since the release of the initial report Feb. 12th. Trad publishing industry apologists like Mike Shatzkin have been loudly dismissive of Hugh and Data Guy’s numbers and methodology, while Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler (among others) have been busy picking apart the critics’ arguments.

In the meantime, Hugh is continuing to work on the project, with the aim of convincing traditional publishers to provide, among other things, more author-friendly contract terms. He has consented to sit in the comfy chair under the hot LynneQuisition lights and tell us a little more about his new venture.

Hugh, thanks very much for stopping by Indies Unlimited. What prompted you to start authorearnings.com? Continue reading “LynneQuisition: Hugh Howey and AuthorEarnings.com”

I Get By With a Little Help From My …

You’re up at 5:30 in the morning. The glow from your cave-like writing space provides a small level of companionship—that, and the voices in your head. If you’re like me, getting up early is not fun. There’s something wrong about being up before the sun. It doesn’t matter though, because you’ve found your passion and this is the only time you have to write. After pounding out a quick 1,000 words, you shift gears and get the kids ready for school or pack up and head to the office for your “real” job.

It’s a scenario that thousands, if not millions, of writers struggle through each day. How do you balance the dream of writing and publishing with the reality of putting food on the table?

We here at Indies Unlimited believe that self-publishing is the way to go. That being said, it’s still good to review what happens on the other side. A recent Author’s Guild Survey reported that the average author earns about $10,000 per year. If you break it down into categories; First time authors make between $4,000 and $10,000 per year, midlist authors range between $20,000 and $40,000 a year and the A-list can make between $60,000 to $100,000 per year. This is not taking into consideration the outliers like a Stephen Hise King or J.K. Rowling. Continue reading “I Get By With a Little Help From My …”