Tag archive: Amazon

Another Anti-Self-Publishing Hit Piece

BullOnly 40 authors “make money” on Amazon! The horror! All the rest don’t make any money says author Claude Forthomme on her blog. This startling claim came to my attention because it’s been making the rounds on Facebook, and my bull-sh*t detectors went off immediately.

It’s all about math. The actual announcement from Amazon was that close to 40 independent authors had sold more than a million copies of their e-books. Let’s assume an average sale price of $3.99, of which the author gets 70 percent, so we’re talking about $2.80/e-book. That means that if an author sold the minimum of one million in five years, they were netting $560,000/year. Awesome! But surely they’re not the only authors making money. What about the ones making $10,000/year or $50,000/year?

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Amazon Caught Me Gaming the System

A funny thing happened to my royalties from Amazon after I put a few of my short stories on KDP Select. They went up. I didn’t pay much attention at first, but I always seemed to be making more than I expected each month. I knew people were borrowing my short stories through Kindle Unlimited, but it wasn’t until I scrutinized the royalty statements that I understood what was going on.

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The Satisfaction of Print

Since I’m a big e-book guy who believes in sparing the trees and making electrons race instead, many will be surprised by the headline. Hey, so am I, but I had to do it. I had to go print.

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Not All Authors Hate Amazon

Author James Patterson thinks he hates e-books and that they’re destroying libraries and bookstores, but in my humble opinion what he really hates is that the new technology allows upstarts like me to sell books that are way cheaper than his novels.

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What I Learned from Hugh Howey

In October of 2011, Hugh Howey noticed something odd when he looked up his sales reports in his Amazon account: a short story he’d uploaded, Wool, had sold twelve copies in the first week of the month. He was pleased and surprised that people would read a short story. By the end of the month, it had sold 1,018 copies. Hugh can be forgiven for thinking this was the pinnacle of his writing career. Who could imagine that it would go on to be a million copy, New York Times bestseller? Wool is now just part of the whole series that he wrote in frantic response to all the positive feedback.

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Giving It Away for Free

Authors should be paid for their writing, just like musicians should be paid for their songs, but it’s a crazy competitive market out there, and newbies need to get noticed. Musicians do it by playing crappy clubs for next to nothing, sending demos to record producers, and a few high-tech pioneers even build websites that allow free downloads.

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How I Know the Novel is Finished

It’s a weird thing because music and my writing are very closely bound. When I write a story, I need the music playing in my head, and when I’m done the story, I know because the two meld. With short stories, this wasn’t particularly challenging, but with novels and their huge scope, it’s intensely sweeping. With novels, I know I’m done when I’ve got the movie trailer in my head.

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James Patterson’s Attempt to Stop Change

I don’t necessarily believe that all change is good even though that’s the fashion these days. We’re all supposed to embrace change and love change, as if everything that already exists is inferior, but sometimes change isn’t for the better, or is sideways. Our school board changed how they taught math, and that’s resulted in lower scores on standardized tests for kids in grades three to six, not exactly a good change.

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