Kindle Forum banner

21 - 40 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,213 Posts
On most websites and newspapers, the article writer doesn't write the headline. You always have to take headlines with a grain of salt. They usually skew black and white.

No One Will Read Your Book is a lot catchier than It's Unlikely A Lot of People Will Read Your Book.

It's not ideal for accuracy, but it's what people click on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Crystal_ said:
On most websites and newspapers, the article writer doesn't write the headline. You always have to take headlines with a grain of salt. They usually skew black and white.

No One Will Read Your Book is a lot catchier than It's Unlikely A Lot of People Will Read Your Book.

It's not ideal for accuracy, but it's what people click on.
Also a fair point. Gotta get dem clicks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
Usedtoposthere said:
I think authors would be better served if the article said something more like, "You'll probably never be a NYT bestseller." Authors DO make it, whether that's making $50K a year or six figures. Reading stuff like this article very nearly discouraged me from publishing at all. It's just not true that there's no chance. Don't believe it.
Haha, right? Writing/publishing is definitely one of those jobs where sometimes it feels like there are more people telling you NOT to do it than to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
It's a much needed reality check with an (appropriately, but admittedly) hyperbolic title. No major issues with the article.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
And the moral of this article is what? If at first you don't succeed.... forget it?

I prefer it to be, if at first you don't succeed... try, then try again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
kyokominamino said:
So. I was merrily doomscrolling on Twitter when I came across the following article Publishers Weekly tweeted: https://writingcooperative.com/why-no-one-will-read-your-book-caa0e77ed5aa

Thoughts?
there are millions of self-published books, and we don't need more

if this article discourages a potential competitor from joining the fray, i'm all for it

i especially prefer "get rich quick" mindsets to be discouraged, instead of sticking around & dreaming up scams that result in Amazon making life more difficult for ALL of us
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,050 Posts
This feels dated, but yeah, only 1% will end up as the top 1%. Kind of the definition. There's no such place as Lake Wobegon where everyone is above average.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
Decon said:
And the moral of this article is what? If at first you don't succeed.... forget it?
Not at all. It's more like--don't expect to be a unicorn or it's a marathon, not a sprint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,089 Posts
Supply and demand. It's the most basic rule of economics. Any starting author needs to remember that. Heck, any author of any stripe needs to remember that.

The statistic that the average American reads four book a year was enlightening, if true.

I don't begrudge those who want to join the fray. One extra book in a sea of millions of them isn't going to harm me any more than the present sea of millions.

Also, I can't find the author's book on the Zon. She must have published under a different pen name. One would think that if she decided to write an article, the book would searchable on Amazon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
There's some truth here, but it has a very negative spin, that isn't warranted.

I still feel like the opportunity is wide open if you have a good book that resonates with people and you either advertise well or are prolific and release often in KU which is its own form of marketing.

She's right in that New York Times probably won't happen--as of late 2019 they stopped allowing indies on the fiction list. They used to let .99 boxed sets hit, then they stopped that (which I don't disagree with), but then they dropped the ebook only list--which indies used to regularly hit and now just have the combined print and ebook list--but they don't allow indies on it. Ask me how I know? I should have hit multiple times this year---in prior years I would have. But not any longer....and it's irritating to see people below you on USA today that make NYTimes instead. But that list is 'curated' meaning they can randomly put anyone they want on it--and they give the slots to trad pubs. So, a better indicator of sales now are USA Today and Wall Street Journal.

For actual money earned, I think you can do better self-publishing in many cases--as the advances most authors get from trad publishing are in the 5-20k range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Justawriter said:
There's some truth here, but it has a very negative spin, that isn't warranted.

I still feel like the opportunity is wide open if you have a good book that resonates with people and you either advertise well or are prolific and release often in KU which is its own form of marketing.

She's right in that New York Times probably won't happen--as of late 2019 they stopped allowing indies on the fiction list. They used to let .99 boxed sets hit, then they stopped that (which I don't disagree with), but then they dropped the ebook only list--which indies used to regularly hit and now just have the combined print and ebook list--but they don't allow indies on it. Ask me how I know? I should have hit multiple times this year---in prior years I would have. But not any longer....and it's irritating to see people below you on USA today that make NYTimes instead. But that list is 'curated' meaning they can randomly put anyone they want on it--and they give the slots to trad pubs. So, a better indicator of sales now are USA Today and Wall Street Journal.

For actual money earned, I think you can do better self-publishing in many cases--as the advances most authors get from trad publishing are in the 5-20k range.
Yeah, I agree that the title should probably be "you will never be a NYT bestseller" because that's pretty damn accurate. The odds are seriously stacked against you to ever get there. And don't get me started on how certain authors are luring those who want to get on the list into these embezzlement schemes promising they can put together a boxed set that will get the participating authors NYT status with incredibly steep buy-in prices. Agreed that USA Today's a better bet. The article is pretty good for warning people that it's unlikely you'll ever be able to use publishing as a get rich quick scheme, at least, but that's about it, imo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
If the headline read - Not enough people will read your book - I'd say yeah, okay, for most of us, that's about right.

When Jeff Bezos set up Amazon, he did so on the basis that there were 3 million books in print at ony one time, but ony the biggest store could hold 150,000 titles. That's why he chose books. His idea was to have every book available in a virtual store, and now he has that,  which straight away reduces the number of individual book reads but not the amount of books sold and read.

Add self-published books to that figure at the time he thought of tht idea, and the fact that eBooks are published forever and POD print books never need go out of print and that 3 million figure goes right out of the window. I wouldn't like to guess what the figure is now. So yeah, it's difficult to get people to read your books, but not impossible.



 

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
As the author of the article in question, I would be happy to elaborate on some of your comments here.

First, despite the sentiment expressed on this forum, I am actually not "sour grapes" about the publishing industry. I simply got to the end of writing my first novel and wondered how I should publish it. Unfortunately, the industry is rather opaque and I wanted to understand which avenues would give my book its best chance of success (both in terms of readership and in terms of financial compensation).

As a journalist, I thought I'd look into it. And I was able to get my hands on some truly interesting data about the industry at large, and yes the ebook industry in particular (thanks, in large part, to Paul Abassi who gave me inside access into Amazon and their stats). I don't mean to be discouraging in pointing out these facts. I, myself wasn't discouraged. In fact, I was empowered. I learned, with absolute conviction, that traditional publishing is still the best option for an author who hopes to gain readers and be financially compensated for their work. Which I do. I still want to at least try for the dream!

That is why I have since submitted my novel to more than 100 agents (and counting). And it is why I wrote this article for a Medium publication that has more than 200,000 followers in the publishing industry. Because what I have learned in the course of writing it is that the best thing I can do for myself is build up my platform for my next round of pitching. And then keep pitching!

As to those who don't like the title, I don't know what to tell you. I love it! Writer's choice, I suppose!

And @CassieL, yes it is true that some hardback books run $28. But most fiction, hardback books are sold on Amazon, and on Amazon, the average is $15. Hence the number I chose to use.

Lastly, I should mention that I cut a paragraph (and have since put it back) that may better explain my personal conclusion. It reads:

"It is in this reality that I find my answer. For it is comforting to me in the way that existentialism is: if there is no meaning in life, then I needn't concern myself with finding it. If, in all likelihood, no one will read my book, then I needn't concern myself with whether anyone will ever like it. In the end, I wrote my novel because I wanted to write it - and doing so was the most beautiful thing I've ever done."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Ellegriffin ... I'm glad you re-installed that last paragraph, it almost makes everything written on this post irrelevant in the grand scheme of fiction. I believe, myself included, fiction authors write because we [they] love it.

I'm a journalist as well, and a fiction author. I don't care how many books I sell, I write for the pure joy of writing, and inventing characters, and stories. The fact readers buy my fiction is just whipped topping on the bowl of ice cream, usually something like Rocky Road. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,318 Posts
Ellegriffin, thank you for the interesting post. (I read your article as well.) I suspect from what you say that you write literary fiction, and that you write at a relatively slower pace. (With one novel.) I agree that traditional publishing is the best avenue for that. I do not know anybody, in fact, who would disagree.

The difference is in genre fiction. In many genres, indie publishing is probably a better way to reach readers, and certainly to make enough money to support yourself (or do much better than that). I think most of the five thousand??? [edit: 2,000? Cannot remember] or so writers who currently make day-job money at writing do write genre fiction. The two paths are really almost two different experiences altogether. (Same with higher-level nonfiction. You are not going to be taken seriously with that without a publisher.)

For the record, I am a hybrid (have been published both ways). I have been interviewed by PW, interestingly, at the beginning of indie audio publishing (ACX). Another area where an author can make a choice to go it herself or look for a publishing deal. Lots of choice out there. While I enjoy everything I write and primarily choose projects based on whether I want to write them, I very much write with a view toward being read by my audience. I am also influenced by the fact that since I started writing novels, that has been my day job. (Nine years now. Gosh!)

Best of luck with the book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,391 Posts
ellegriffin said:
As the author of the article in question, I would be happy to elaborate on some of your comments here.

First, despite the sentiment expressed on this forum, I am actually not "sour grapes" about the publishing industry. I simply got to the end of writing my first novel and wondered how I should publish it. Unfortunately, the industry is rather opaque and I wanted to understand which avenues would give my book its best chance of success (both in terms of readership and in terms of financial compensation).

As a journalist, I thought I'd look into it. And I was able to get my hands on some truly interesting data about the industry at large, and yes the ebook industry in particular (thanks, in large part, to Paul Abassi who gave me inside access into Amazon and their stats). I don't mean to be discouraging in pointing out these facts. I, myself wasn't discouraged. In fact, I was empowered. I learned, with absolute conviction, that traditional publishing is still the best option for an author who hopes to gain readers and be financially compensated for their work. Which I do. I still want to at least try for the dream!

That is why I have since submitted my novel to more than 100 agents (and counting). And it is why I wrote this article for a Medium publication that has more than 200,000 followers in the publishing industry. Because what I have learned in the course of writing it is that the best thing I can do for myself is build up my platform for my next round of pitching. And then keep pitching!

As to those who don't like the title, I don't know what to tell you. I love it! Writer's choice, I suppose!

And @CassieL, yes it is true that some hardback books run $28. But most fiction, hardback books are sold on Amazon, and on Amazon, the average is $15. Hence the number I chose to use.

Lastly, I should mention that I cut a paragraph (and have since put it back) that may better explain my personal conclusion. It reads:

"It is in this reality that I find my answer. For it is comforting to me in the way that existentialism is: if there is no meaning in life, then I needn't concern myself with finding it. If, in all likelihood, no one will read my book, then I needn't concern myself with whether anyone will ever like it. In the end, I wrote my novel because I wanted to write it - and doing so was the most beautiful thing I've ever done."
I think my last post summed it up, even if I thought the article should have had a different title, but then I'm not a journalist seeking readers of such a controversial article when it comes to authors on kindleboards who are in the majority, self-published. I can appreciate the we were not your target audience.
.

The facts are in the figures. Self publishers only have their foot in one virtual-publishing camp, still dominated by trad-books published, and with authors competing against millions of other authors. Bookstores are the domain of trad-published books, with fewer titles for sale and therefore less competition on the shelves. So of course trad publishing is the better option financially. But here's the rub as you've found out, getting an agent to read your book, never mind finding a publisher, is like trying to win the lottery.

In that respect you are right, no one in the industry wants to read your book if your submission doesn't meet their expectations of what they can sell to an editor. So what do you do if your submissions come to nothing?

I personally would self-publish your book under a pen name that you wouldn't use to submit future books to agents. The alternative is to let it die on your computer stored away for no one to see, then no one would definitely read your book.

You are clearly passionate about your book, and no doubt will be with future books, but in 10 years' time, what would you do with 10 books stuck on your hard drive if you still don't get interest from an agent? That would be years wasted in not building an established platform. Just saying.

Good luck with your submissions. I hope you win the lottery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,089 Posts
ElleGriffin, first of all, thank you for posting here and giving us a few insights concerning your article.

I take it now that your novel wasn't yet published, hence my inability to find it on Amazon.

Many here who are indie publishers tried the trad pub route. It's a pretty tough slog, even getting emails back from literary agents you sent query letters to is tough. They rarely let you know they received your correspondence, and -- at least with my own experience -- the fabled rejection slip seems to have gone the way of the dodo. You're just left guessing.

I myself tried that route and decided the best way was to just self-publish.

In self-publishing you're sort of in the trenches, but it has its rewards.

Either way, I wish you well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,817 Posts
David VanDyke said:
It often takes years to become an overnight success.

One book does not a career make. Do aspiring actors get a part in one movie or TV show and expect it all to come their way? Do musicians put out one single and expect to sell a million?
Stargate fans will remember the Orisi, a sort of human cross with special powers. A really big part. The same actress played the leader of the lizard people in the remake of V. Now she has a four second slot in a L'Oreal advert. Very sad.

Sorry, out of topic but your post reminded me.

As to the article, I think too many people think all they have to do is write a book, often without ever having read any, and they will make a fortune. I've read many times on forums how someone has written, 'the best book ever written' as if there ever could be such a thing.

As to the no one will buy my book, well, tell that to the hundreds of people who have bought my books. I love self publishing; I have just waited three months for ACX to get my audibles out and it has been so frustrating because I couldn't just get it done myself. And I much prefer the readers to be the critics and gatekeepers, not some editor who probably doesn't like that genre.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
ellegriffin said:
As the author of the article in question, I would be happy to elaborate on some of your comments here.
Your input is interesting, and thanks for posting it. It's important to hear your side of the story. I looked at the article again and I think I can better sum up the issue that I personally have with it.

The overall content is good, but I find the tone is sensationalized and focused on the negative. Something with the same facts that says, hey, traditional publishing might work better for you, would be fine. Saying you won't top the charts would be fine. But jumping in with "no one will buy your book" will discourage someone out there, and that's the worst thing that can happen. Doing something that stops one person in the world from chasing their dreams is a net minus to us all. Stressing what can be done in the positive, or making sure to say that these were the results from my experience, both of these can really soften the blow. Which, I understand that journalism is specifically not about softening blows, but I'm just saying, this is where the criticism is coming from. If someone was halfway through writing their first book and dreamed about self publishing and they read the article, how would the feel? Would they feel more inclined to pursue trad publishing, or would they feel more inclined to give it up?

Anyways, that's how I see it. Maybe the whole thing simply comes from the fact that articles need to run with over the top lines. Maybe you have a balanced view of the industry and you are relating your journey through it. I just think that because this is an article geared towards writers who haven't published yet, that it's important to send your message in a way that gives people the confidence to see their works through.
 
21 - 40 of 59 Posts
Top