books, fantasy, fiction, news, published stories, publishing, writing

Musings 6/17/17

I really should stop reading publishing news.

Seriously it hovers between annoying and depressing. Am I the only one who is beginning — no have always thought — that to be a successful author you must have lots of money to begin?  I discovered yet another article where someone who self-published, now has a TV deal and is making six figures.  The article, “Show me the
money!  The self-published authors being snapped up by Hollywood”
by Danuta Kean, references self-published author Mark Dawson and the aforementioned deal.  There is the following paragraph:

“Sales of his first self-published novel, 2012’s Black Mile, only trickled in – until he took
Amazon’s advice and offered it to readers for free. In one weekend, his novel
was downloaded 50,000 times. Dawson built his audience from there, spending
hundreds of pounds a day on Facebook advertising and writing on his
commute.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/15/self-published-authors-hollywood-andy-weir-the-martian-el-james

 Hundreds of pounds a day?!

If we use the exchange rate for today (0.79 pound to every $1) as of today 100 pounds equals $126.64.  Now when I see the word hundreds I think over $200.00 dollars.  I also read it’s usually about $500.  I’ll split the difference and use $300 (£237.02).  So, if he is spending that much every day, and say he did this for a month that is $8400 or £6636.56!

Wow.

 Where did he get that much?  I can only assume he has a darn good 9 to 5 with phenomenal pay, is independently wealthy or has super-rich parents.  I don’t believe I’ve ever had that much money at one time in my whole life.  Sure, I could spend that much money, but my mortgage company likes that big fat direct deposit I send them every month.

Yes, I know I did a detailed blog post about the cost of self-publishing before.  I promise not to get into it too far.  But if you’d like to see it, it’s here:

https://authorcjblackblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/writing-and-publishing-the-way-i-see-it/ 

So, here’s an opportunity that is completely out of the reach of a large majority of authors because we may not have the money to spare.  This is just my example, imagine my fellow authors who have families?  Or the ones that are on disability?  The old-fashioned way is the only way we have.  I just wish that when these opportunities are presented that there was some way we semi-starving artists could take advantage.  It’s too risky an investment.  Yes, there are places where you can offer your works for free but it doesn’t mean you’re going to have the ability to parlay that into a big movie or
TV deal by spending thousands of dollars on ads.  The articles make it seem like it’s so
easy and that self-publishing is the answer to all a writer’s woes.

But there are other writer’s out there who aren’t too wild about the thought of self-publishing either.  I figure if you can make it work, go for it.  But as least
be as honest and upfront as you can about it. At least say, “You have a very difficult decision to make.  You’ll likely be spending a lot of money and a lot of time promoting it, and not much time writing and there’s still no guarantee you’ll get where I am today.  For most working people with or without families it’s simply not
doable.”

That doesn’t mean we give up though.  I just sent Tinderbox to the digital publishing arm of one of The Big Five.  I’m terrified beyond belief but I knew it was the right decision for
me.

Peace~

CJ

 

 

 

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