This could probably have gone into the "sel-promotion" thread IJ started now that the convesation has gone to JA Konrath and selling e-books, but I thought maybe it couuld be its own thread.

Like JA Konrath, Cory Doctorow has been doing a lot of alternatives to big publishers to sell books, and now like JA, he's going to start giving up some numbes on what he's making.

It's worth a read here.

It's interesting, he's never worried about piracy, he gives away the e-books for free and sees that as simply advertising or spreading the word. He puts them out as .pdf or .txt files and lets people convert them to whatever they want.

Now, instead of relying on a publisher to sell 'hard copies' he's going to do that himself through

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I'm cautiously interested in all of these alternative models, but I haven't seen any yet on which I'd be willing to bet the proverbial farm. What's the ancient Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times?
Is this kid any relation to E. L. Doctorow? Just curious...

What? Someone paid $ 10,000 to "commission" a story? A short story? If I get $ 1000,00 from AHMM, I dance a jig. Maybe he means a novel. Even that is not to be sneezed at when most midlist advances are $ 5,000. Maybe I'm not getting this.
He says something about it being good to have a "geeky readership."

What these guys are after is bottom-line. Doctorow (I don't think he's any relation to E.L., Cory is from Toronto) talks about all the other things he does for money - speaking engagements, writing for magazines, etc..

What it looks like is an alternative to teaching for midlist authors, the usual way to supplement writing income. If by taking complete control of selling your writing you could make more from the same or even fewer sales, that should justify the time invested.

But like Jon says, it's a big gamble and there's no tenure. these guys would probably consider themselves pioneers, outliers is the trendy word these day, I think.

Taking this along with Jon's thread aout Minatour's, "throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks," you get the feeling that someday publishers will ask that writers "test market" their own books and see what "sticks" from there. Not many more steps than what they're asking writers to do now, really.
John, what do you mean by 'test market?'
Just that publishers may start to ask how many copies you sold yourself.

Publishers now expect authors to maintain their own websites and to do all kinds of publicity on their own. Authors are asked to get blurbs themselves and so on.

I can see a time when a new author trying to sell a book tells the publisher, "My short stories have been published in ____ magazines, my website/blog gets _____ hits a month and my novel has been downloaded _____ times.
I have a question/observation or two.

Having not published a book, I'm unsure of what I'm talking about, so bear with me.

First, if you sell 500 e-books at $1.99 each, that's just shy of $1,000. However, what is your investment in that e-book?

Similarly, if you sell 500 paperbacks and regular price, how much do you normally make?

I am curious, as MOST of the e-book sales figures I've seen from individual authors do not come close to 500 sales. Also, as e-publishing explodes, how will you sort your book from the plethora of garbage that is sure to flood the e-book market?

An addendum...when you sell for $1.99, is that what you truly pocket? Are there other fees associated, including marketing, etc., that may reduce your profit per piece?
Amazon takes 65%.

If you pay for digital formatting, expect to pay a minimum of $100 per format. (I slowly learned that scanned material cannot be plugged into something like Smashwords for formatting. It absolutely has to be hand-coded.)

My cost to reissue a backlist title was $225.00

Scanning: 100 (done by relative. I was quoted 250 by professionals)
formatting: 100 (that's a deal)
image resizing and table of contents: 25.00

I designed my own cover

I'm publishing an anthology next year and I figure it will cost me a minimum of 500. I will edit the stories, but I'll pay for a copy editor on top of other expenses. Could be closer to 700. I don't expect to make a cent, and it's just a test. I'm doing it for fun. :O I also want to get a handle on cost, time, etc. I'd originally planned to publish through Kindle and CreateSpace ( both Amazon), but I'm rethinking that strategy since Amazon is so inept. 1000 copies from a local printer = 1.80 each.
Anne, I'm curious. Do authors these days get electronic copies of the final proof?
no, they don't. well, i never have. (although I think indie pubs tend to work from digital files?) and ALL editing (for my books anyway) was done on hard copy. Which is why I chose to scan, but what happens with scanning is that the original format remains even when you can't see it. (You probably know this.) So you can't just dump a Word file into Smashwords to get a clean epub or MOBI format. Has to be hand coded. If I were starting from a clean Word file, I would try Smashwords. You can create a MOBI file that you can then take to Kindle.
I've also never got electronic copies of galleys or any preceding revisions. However, I have always transferred all changes from the hard copy to my computer before returning the ms. I was actually just being tidy, but it looks as though that may have been a good move.
Yikes on the 65 %!


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