I ran up the stairs yesterday with a smug feeling: no idea why, but I was feeling pretty happy with myself. My slipper caught the top of the step. I didn’t fall, but I was quite literally taken down a peg. Slightly more cautiously, I rounded the entrance to the kitchen. My shoulder caught the wall. Again, I steadied myself and spun slowly around a couple of times… reflective. Positivity; not allowed? Optimism; too bold? Smile and confidence banished.
It occurred to me that those few moments were a good representation of my writing journey. The ups and downs can be confoundingly extreme. On a good day, I hear from people around the world, my book sales are good, I will wake up and have messages from real editors (does that make me a real writer?) and the words pour out of me. Then there are the bad days. I see me as people who don’t know me, see me…and oftentimes, that is judgemental. I get it.
Part of the internal debate comes from this gnarly question: as a self-published author, am I a real writer? Way back when I had no idea of what I was doing, I didn’t have a choice. I also know that I presumed, incorrectly, that knocking once at a few doors was all that anyone did. Most days, I assume my decision, but love falling on articles like this one, Facts and Figures about Self Publishing: The Impact and Influence of Indie Authors
Whichever way you look at the math, indie authors earn more per sale than those who work exclusively with trade publishers. The average trade-published author earns approximately 7.5% of their’s books cover price, and those with agents lose a further 15% of that. Self-publishing platforms like Amazon, Apple Books, Ingram Spark and Kobo pay up to 70% of each book sold to authors. Those indie authors who sell direct to readers from their own websites take in up to 96% of the value of the book. Of course, publishing costs have to be deducted from this income but there’s no question that over the life of a book, indie authors earn more.
Then, the judgement is so much more tolerable.
Little by little, I am figuring things out. It is quite the journey.
To read my contribution to this world of Indies, click here for your copy of ‘But you are in France, Madame’ or send me a message email@example.com. A bientôt.