Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Tale of Success

USAToday has an article about one author’s success with e-books that is an interesting read. The article starts with the main reason why authors move from the “old” way of publishing to self-publishing:
Money. (Isn't it always about money?) Instead of earning an 8% royalty on a $7.99 paperback, about 65 cents, the author can earn 70% on a $2.99 book, about $2.09 (this depends on the royalty structure, which can get boringly complicated). The important thing: I bet you noticed the reader benefits, too. Who wouldn't rather get the same book for $3 instead of $8?
The article focuses on author Marie Force, whom Joyce Lamb, the writer of the article, calls a best-selling author. Lamb asked why Force self-published. To which she answered:
Well, I wasn't a best-selling author until I self-published. My self-published books propelled me to the Kindle top 100 on Amazon and the Nook top 100 on Barnes & Noble.
Force pushes herself to get her work out to the public:
 Between my own books and books I had coming from two publishers, I had a new book out every month from November 2010 to August 2011. I believe the regular releases built momentum and excitement for my two series.
She doesn’t just depend on her quantity of books to draw in readers:
Another thing that has made self-publishing such a viable option for authors is the daily contact we now have with our readers through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-mail, etc. We are able to foster those relationships in ways we never could before social media became a part of everyday life. It's a different experience for a reader who feels she is buying her friend's book, rather than an author she doesn't know personally. I've tried to be very accessible to my readers, and have been blessed with many new friends and a loyal following.
Her sales figures keep accumulating.

These kinds of success stories motivate more writers to turn to self-publishing and e-publishing. Do any of you have your own tale of success?


  1. This was very interesting. You hear so much from both sides of the self-publishing issue. I wonder how difficult it would be for someone who dies n't have a big following (on twitter/facebook/etc) to market a self-pubbed ebook.

  2. Damn, I can't even produce a book a year!

  3. I'm working on being as prolific as Force!

  4. I've heard quite a few authors who have self-epubbed say they had books they had written in the past sitting around and they quickly edited and got them ready to be pubbed, so they built up their number of books fairly quickly.

  5. Always enjoy hearing another success story when it comes to indie publishing. I have had modest success with my one indie title. It has been in the top 100 in mystery and thriller and suspense on Kindle, and it seems to propel my other e-books that are with small publishers. Among my writer friends who have had greater financial success, the key seems to be lots of books out there.

  6. Very interesting! I'm still trying to make a decision on this one. I think e-pubbing is becoming more and more of a viable option, but I worry that even though the percentage per book is higher, I won't be able to sell a fraction of the number of books. Tough decision. Maybe I'll end up with a mix of both :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  7. Thanks Maryann.

    Sarah, it is a difficult decision to make, isn't it? Either I'm getting way too old or things just get harder and harder to figure out. So many different avenues opening and closing.

  8. I'm just getting started and I'm hopeful.

  9. Wow, I have five books coming out over the next year and thought I was crazy. :) I found you via Laura Eno's blog and the 'Pay It Forward' blogfest. I'm a new follower. Nice to meet you.

  10. All about perception too, the more you have the more people will take you seriously, so it does help to pump out one a month, but the quality has to be good too, blog hopped here as well.

  11. Wow - now that's prolific! It's funny how the perspective on self-publishing has changed so much in such a short amount of time.

    New follower, btw. :)

  12. Hello Ciara! Hi Pat! Welcome. Come back soon. The comments section usually turns into a give and take conversation.

    Hi Nicole. It is amazing to me how acceptable self-publishing has become and so quickly. You still have to make sure your writing is good and that eBooks are formatted with no or very few errors, but more and more readers seem to be as happy to read self-pubbed books as those put out by big publishers. Readers are becoming the gate-keepers as to what is good and what is not, rather than the big house publishers.

  13. I love it when people share their publishing journey. Thanks to both of you!

  14. Wow. Her productivity has me very jealous.

    I recently started publishing, but am not yet successful. I'll keep working at it. I think a key is to have a body of work out. I'll get there.

    This here will help keep me motivated. Popped over from Laura Eno's blog. :)

  15. Hello to all of Laura's friends. She's a sweetie!

    Publishing a lot of books AND promoting them. Those are two important keys. Along with good writing and good editing and having a number of books and...on and on.


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