That photo represents me in 2010 and 2011, obsessively checking my Amazon rank and blogging incessantly and with the intention of sharing my experiences as an indie author.
As I have stated here and elsewhere, I’ve spent the past few years losing money. I can’t begin to make enough to cover book production and other expenses, let alone live on what I make from selling fiction, at this point.
As for what we do or don’t know about how well or badly other indie authors are doing financially, I’ll only say there’s a shitload of conflicting information out there. A lot of it is permeated with rhetoric championing one side or the other. Like we have to take sides here? Please.
Here are a couple of links I provide by way of example as to how very differently authors are talking about Amazon now.
Here’s a portion I particularly like [with a few
snarky comments in brackets]:
Amazon was kind to the people in the Periodicals Program. They have some months to work their way out of the program and find other sources of revenue.
Most corporations announce cuts and implement them within a week or two. Amazon is currently giving six months or more on various programs.
Whether that will extend to other programs remains to be seen. If Amazon finds itself in more financial hot water, then they’ll revert to standard corporate behavior.
Right now, they’re cutting tens of thousands of jobs. They’re closing programs left and right. They’re not making any real promises to anyone. [And what are their promises worth?]
This is a company dedicated to cutting what it considers to be things that do not add to the corporate bottom line. [Oddly enough, I’m doing the same thing. Without the corporate part. Or billions in the bank.]
Books rarely have the profit margins or the following that, say, TV shows have. [I ain’t touching the subject of the economics of streaming entertainment.] Books don’t make a retailer a lot of money, especially at 30% of cover. Amazon would need a lot of volume to make money on books, and they might get that volume if they behave toward writers the way they just treated musicians. [I’ll say this once more and be done with it. Amazon makes money off cloud computing services. Why should it give a rat’s ass about books? Well, that’s how they got started, for one thing. For another, you think they’ll just walk away from content they can license and adapt into different media? Hell, no. Besides, they have traditional publishing by the proverbial balls. Whatever. Believe what you want.]
Let me be clear here. I’m not saying it’s time to leave Amazon. I’m saying it’s time to go wide. To make Amazon part of your publishing portfolio, not all of your publishing portfolio.
So many thoughts come to mind! But I will shut up about that, because I’m seriously way past giving a shit about the whole damn Amazon thing.
I’ve only been going wide since Amazon first announced Amazon Select and exclusivity and all that crap back in 2011. Hasn’t helped my income at all—quite the reverse, in fact—but then I don’t write multiple books a year. And I’ve admittedly failed to pivot with the speed required to actually make a profit, probably because I’ve been so focused on learning the craft of screenwriting—slowly
and painfully—while working on my latest book. Not to mention reviewing books and producing a podcast. With dystonia.
Okay, now square what’s written in that article with this one.
According to this guy, everything’s coming up fucking roses! Yeah, right.
PLUS MY SUNDAY READING:
Opinion: Banning noncompete clauses would be an economic game changer. (gift link!) Know what would be an even bigger game changer? Remember this? Never mind, just ignore me!
Once again, I’m looking for an article about Norman Mailer’s 100th birthday and coming up with lots of other stuff about the guy, who frankly was an asshole. So, why am I bothering? ‘Nuff said.
There was also an article about Disney World shutting down rides. But I just saw The Florida Project, so fuck
I hope the Post is keeping an archive of these. (gift link!)
Yep. Short and sweet.
The Writer’s Legal GPS and other resources for writers. Well worth a look!
The only catch is that to sustain that profit, I’ll need to pivot fast and soon! 🙂