It’s not often in the real world that business people give away their secrets – but it is in the indie publishing world. Because theoretically, all other writers could be considered ‘the competition.’
If you buy one writer’s thriller, will you not skip buying another writer’s thrillers?
Well, no – that’s not the way it works. Ask the romance writers: people who like romances gobble them up like unfattening candy. People who like vampire stories buy MORE vampire stories. And if there aren’t any new vampire stories coming out of their favorite writers’ computers, they will try someone else’s vampire stories.
I’ve always known that writers are relatively slow – readers are incredibly faster. I can read in twelve hours what took a writer a year to write (or in my case, what is taking 13 years and counting).
It’s the nature of the beast: growing wheat takes all season, you wolf down a sandwich in ten minutes. Consuming is faster than producing. Especially now that we have modern production and distribution systems (in the West).
The final barrier to consuming as many romances as you want was price: and with good indies publishing good quality books at $2.99-9.99 (few in the upper ranges), that barrier has long crashed. Writers have found that they can make a living producing books that sell for $2.99 – and give them a $2.00 ‘royalty.’ Because they have to sell far fewer of them. I don’t know what the royalty rate (6% – 15%?) is, average, over that particular niche, but it isn’t producing $2.00 per book.
And now, today, good news from an very canny writer/businessperson (I read her every Thursday without fail): Kris Rusch: for PAPER books, “The playing field has just leveled.”
Meaning (go read the article; heck, read ALL her and husband Dean Wesley Smith’s business articles) that an indie writer CAN get books competitively into the paper distribution system, because, while publishers have been very slow to change, apparently BOOKSELLERS – and book distributors – have not.
What this means for mainstream novelists who have yet no ‘name’ isn’t clear IN DETAIL. But it surely means we are on the edge of a cliff – and the glide down is going to be awesome.
As one of those new novelists, I can’t wait.
[Skip here all the part about competition, and writing the best book you can, and actually finding you ‘tribe’: all things that I have no problem considering my job. The barriers are down! Now it’s ONLY up to me.]
Now all I have to do is finish the dratted thing, to MY standards (which will include whatever I deem necessary in editing and cover and layout), and get out there and do my due diligence to find readers who like what I write, and the potential is both unlimited AND timeless.
Like having people find out they can buy your wonderful, best recipe, triple-chocolate homemade (really) fudge brownies on the internet.
This is heady stuff. Now excuse me while I go WRITE.