J Carson Black former traditionally published thriller author turns to self-publishing and joins Joe Ellis, the author of Spoilt and Simon Swift, the author of Black shadows on this week’s, Creating a Buzz.
In only the third month on Kindle, J Carson Black has sold over 10,000 eBooks in April, after selling only 137 in Feb and 1280 in March. The achievement is staggering and testament to the success that can be achieved. J Carson Black is following the trend in publishing of authors having their rights returned, or realizing they still enjoy the electronic rights to their published books and turning to self-publishing to boost their sales and careers.
With the financial crisis, many publishers have been reducing both the output of publishing new authors and clearing their stable of mid-list authors. Whilst it may seem sensible from a short-term business point of view, one wonders whether they are shooting themselves in the foot, by their short-term objectives and failing to keep their eye on the future.
For readers this is a bonus, as the major publishers continue to put their eBooks out at prices not too different from the printed book, leaving readers outraged on the kindle community boards. Many post comments, wondering why they bought their kindles, when there are no savings to be made from buying publishers books. Authors going in the opposite direction such as J Carson Black, are able to set a low price for their well-edited and former published books on the various electronic platforms and to provide those disaffected readers with quality product at an affordable price, that will give kindle readers a return on their investment.
Of course, it is not all one-way traffic, with the likes of Amanda Hocking accepting a three book publishing deal for a million dollars, but then she continues to make millions from her self- published eBooks. There are also many stories of Publishers and Literary agents trawling the eBook rankings looking for books to fill gaps in their catalogue. So where does all this leave the new authors?
I would say to new authors, that traditional publishing is still the way to go and to continue submitting to literary agents. Paper books are not dying. (See my archive for article) and self- publishing will not get you on the bookstore shelf. Literary Agents, love them or hate them, provide a filter for quality along the path to publishing. However, bear in mind, they are only looking for what they know publishers have a need for and many quality books slip through the net.
For those who have trodden the query, rejection path, but know they have the full toolbox for their craft and a damned good story to tell, then there has never been a better time to self-publish. All I would ask is that you consider the long game. It takes a long time to build a reader base, which many of the former published authors enjoy and have built up over many years. If you look at the eBook success of former Authonomite, Ruth Francesco and her book, Amsterdam 2012, you will note that she was a former published author. J. A. Konrath, the American thriller Author and his counterpart in the UK, the English author, S Leather, as ex published authors, they seem to dominate the charts in their respective territories.
There are exceptions, if you look at Jake Barton as an example, another former Authonomite, his book, the thriller, Burn Baby, Burn, was reported to be downloaded at the rate of 100 per day after a slow start and it is still high in the charts in the UK, together with other books he has since released.
For the average author, as a first time self-published effort, it is just the start of a career. Not everyone will enjoy overnight success. As an example of this, another Authonomite, Sharlow, went twelve months selling 50 to 100 books per month, when his sales suddenly took off to the extent that it would give most people a full time income. As for my own meager efforts … Lunch Break Thrillers one of my own books, made it straight into the UK charts for its category in February and has stayed there ever since, but as short stories seem to be a niche, I have not experience the sort of numbers quoted above.
These are exciting times for those in the self-publishing arena and for those with a quality product and determination, the future is bright … the future is Orange, eBooks.
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