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Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

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Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: The self-published authors I want to hear from.  (Read 123582 times)  

Offline Hugh Howey

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The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« on: November 28, 2012, 05:49:12 AM »
Are you paying some bills with your writing? Have you quit your day job altogether? I know this is happening, and I suspect the trend is growing, but we spend too much time paying attention to outliers to hear the real story behind indie publishing.

The problem is rounding everyone up in one place. I have a journalist getting in touch to discuss the viability of writing fiction for a living, and my response is that the outliers aren't as fascinating to me as the self-published version of mid-listers (a name that makes no sense, since we don't put out catalogs to be in the middle of).

I think a lot of the people I'd want to hear from are scarce these days (busy writing or promoting). Is there any way we can round up a list of people making, let's say, $500 a month on average for an entire year from their work? That's $6,000 a year. That pays a few bills.

My fear is that these journalists are burying the lead, which is that there is a greater chance of earning a respectable amount as a self-published author than there is by going the traditional route. That seems like the story to me.
 
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Offline swolf

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 05:52:59 AM »
I'm making more than $500 a month, but then again, I write erotica, so mine may be a story a journalist wouldn't want to tell.

Offline Lisa Grace

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 05:53:19 AM »
My book sales are definitely mid-list level, well over the $6,000 for the year. I'm hoping I'll break out as an outlier in the next year or two, but it hasn't happened yet. Yes, I make enough to pay some of the bills on a monthly basis.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 08:06:59 AM by LisaGraceBooks »
 
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Offline MegHarris

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 05:56:33 AM »
I am making a reasonable income from writing, considerably over the amount you listed, but I am still dependent on other income sources (it doesn't help that I am paying my own health insurance every month, and that I have a large mortgage and a kid in college). I pay some bills with my writing, though, and am making far more than I did writing for small presses. Most of my income is from erotic romance, and I do have a fairly substantial list of titles-- 34 of them right now.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 05:59:15 AM by EllenFisher »

Offline M T McGuire

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 05:57:37 AM »
I think it's a bit Catch 22. If you have the time to market your books, you'll earn a living but in order to earn that living, you have to give up work. I'm a stay at home mum so it'll never be more than a hobby for me because I'll never have the time to make a go of it. That said, I make about $30 a month and I think off KB I'm slap bang average. You lot are all very good at this and I am regularly gobsmacked by the figures people on here earn!

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Offline JTCochrane

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 05:59:02 AM »
I make enough money to pay some bills.  I write YA and even have schools pay me to come present in front of the students.  Most of may sales still come from students at schools, but with the help of you wonderful people, I have made great strides in ebook sales.  My first book is on the Accelerated Readers list.  I still keep a day job :(  That darn money I make as a computer programmer keeps me shackled.
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Offline sibelhodge

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 06:00:51 AM »
I'm also honoured to be making a very nice income at the moment, which is a lot higher than your benchmark figure. Who knows if it will last? So I'm enjoying it while I can :)

 
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Offline WilliamEsmont

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 06:02:12 AM »
I regularly make about $600-$1000/month after setting aside 40% for taxes. It pays the mortgage and funds editing, covers, and other writing-related activities.
                       

Offline valeriec80

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 06:08:57 AM »
I made (grossed) about $29K in 2012 self-publishing (my actual taxable income will be less, once I figure out my expenses and whatnot), and I'm living on that, but it's tight.

I may have to get a job in the spring, but I'm really hoping to have another awesome post-Christmas year in 2013. Fingers crossed.
   

Offline Satchya

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 06:10:50 AM »
PM'd you Hugh.
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Offline TessOliver

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 06:12:58 AM »
I've been at this since summer of 2010. My book Camille was a bestseller for a long time and my book A Little Less Girl was sitting at number 20 on BN last Christmas. Right now sales are terribly slow so it is not a steady income but it has been nice. I'm a teacher and I've been making half my teaching salary in book sales the past two years. I live in expensive California so I can't afford to quit the day job . . . yet, but I've been paying my kids' college tuitions and I no longer worry about no paychecks in summer. After bills are paid there is actually money for extra stuff which is really nice.

Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 06:14:15 AM »
I'm making more than $500 a month, but then again, I write erotica, so mine may be a story a journalist wouldn't want to tell.

I think these are the ones they WOULD want to write about! You don't give people hope by pointing at someone who won the lottery. You give them hope by showing them someone who just landed the job of their dreams. Think of all the people who wish they could have an artistic outlet that gave them a little back.
 
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Offline elsaxx

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 06:15:24 AM »
I'm making more than $500 a month, but then again, I write erotica, so mine may be a story a journalist wouldn't want to tell.

Same boat...nearly full-time work/income for me but I do some part-time stuff on the side just in case.

Offline glutton

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 06:16:21 AM »
Nope, just have 2 short stories put out this month so nowhere near, we'll see if the marketing plan works out in the next 6 months or so though so hopefully...

Offline Cherise

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 06:18:20 AM »
Heck, even the $50 a month I make so far from self-publishing on Amazon, PubIt, and Smashwords is more than I would be making querying agents.

I have a BA in English, so I self edit, but I do get friends to beta read and proofread. My highest expenditure is covers, and I make that back the first month.

The $50 a month I get pays some bills, and of course I hope that amount will grow over time. Hope is a nice thing to have in times like these.

Offline Christy

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 06:19:50 AM »
I'm definitely making $500 on average this year.

Offline Bilinda N Siodacan

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 06:20:11 AM »
Making far and above the $500 a month and I've given up my job to do this full time, but my success is far too new to gauge anything by it.
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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 06:24:52 AM »
I grossed about 32k in the last year. In fact, I just took a big plunge and went part-time at my day job. :-\ I'm completely terrified that I won't do as well next year even though I just published my fourth book last month so the majority of my income was from three books, not four. Last year, Select helped push sales, but I'm not sure it will have as big an impact in the upcoming year. Otoh, other outlets I used before going with Select produced next to no sales, so I don't think pulling out of Select and using them will be the answer either. I just need to keep writing, I guess.  ;D

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Offline Danielle Kazemi

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 06:28:03 AM »
If I added in what I make from Smashwords I'd be almost there. lol

But I do want to read about the people who are making around $500 a month. It's nice to hear what they do and if I can steal borrow any of their marketing guides. I'm assuming Dalya is probably one making around that and maybe even your minion too. Trying to think of names but I'm horrible with them. I can do avatars. Kay and Brian likely make high figures too - maybe too high.
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Offline Melisse

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2012, 06:30:42 AM »
I make more than $500 a month but have only been doing so since May. I have been paying bills and getting our shattered savings rebuilt. Plus I've bought software etc for my writing business. Every month I try to put some money straight back into the writing and not use it all for the family budget!

I still work my day job and don't expect that to change at this point because I carry health insurance for the family. If my writing business continues to grow and a decent work around for employer health insurance becomes available, then in a couple years I may quit the day job, since hubby and I are thinking about a move around that time anyway.

I do think there are a lot of indie authors who make $6k--12k a year but I have no actual data, just from chit chat w/ other authors.

Offline jnfr

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2012, 06:36:34 AM »
Have you seen this web page, Hugh? It started out in this thread here in the Cafe. It's a list of self-published writers who have sold more than 50,000 books.

How that translates into cash is harder to say due to different book prices, and of course some of those folks have sold a LOT more than 50k books, but it's still a remarkably long list so it presents an argument that 50k books is not really an outlier any more.

Offline Joe_Nobody

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2012, 06:38:23 AM »
Sent a PM. I agree with your premise that there is a story concerning this topic.

Offline Jan Strnad

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2012, 06:46:07 AM »
PM'd you!

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Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2012, 06:52:06 AM »
Man, this is awesome. Thanks for the PMs, people. I've XXXX'ed out the titles and your names in a few of these stories so there's no identification and passed them along to a journalist. I'm trying to see if he would be interested in writing about this. If so, I would put him in contact with people and see if any of you would be interested.

Now, absolutely nothing could come of this. He might say, "Yeah, fine, fine, but tell us about Ridley Scott. Is Harrison Ford going to reprise his role in Blade Runner?" or something like that.

But I'm trying.
 
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Offline H. S. St. Ours

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Re: The self-published authors I want to hear from.
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2012, 06:56:01 AM »
But I'm trying.

Which is why we not only respect you, Hugh, but even like you (maybe just a little). ;)

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