Apropos ‘The Myth of the Bestseller’ by Joe Konrath

I just read a brilliant post by Joe Konrath on his blog ‘A Newbie’s Guide to Self Publishing’, where he says, so rightly, that being a bestselling author is not what the e-book revolution is all about for the self-published author, but selling steadily and in enough numbers to create extra income and above all, the satisfaction of being read by many. Never before have so many authors been able to sell their self-published work, or been recognised, respected and appreciated the way they are now. And never before have authors been able to get paid for their hard work and not have to share their royalties with publishers and agents, often getting the smallest cut of the profit. THAT is the real miracle and we all have a share in it, readers and writers alike.

As a reader, I have an infinite number of good books to chose from for a reasonable price. As a writer, I have no deadlines or publicity schedules in the form of book talks, signings or interviews with the local press and radio stations. I can sit at home, in my nightie, and write, publish and market as much or as little as I choose. Less stress and more freedom to create work without having a publisher or agent tell me ‘this won’t sell’ are, to me, the more positive things about my new life as a self-published author. Naturally, there are many people out there who sneer at self-published books, saying that ‘anyone can upload rubbish now’. Of course they can, but it’s up to the discerning reader to sniff out the good from the bad. And that is part of the fun.

I found  Konrath’s post so inspirational and encouraging because my story is just that; selling all my books steadily and getting what I would consider an income, without making headlines or being mentioned as ‘the most successful’ or ‘selling by the million’. I did flirt with the bestseller list briefly last summer, when my winter romance, Fresh Powder, started to sell like crazy, with 10000 sold by the end of august. But then sales began to slow down and it is now selling in what I would call normal amounts, as are all my 9 e-books. Not exciting but very satisfying.

In the two years since I uploaded my first e-book, I have, in no particular order, sold a considerable amount of books (around 20000), managed to get noticed in the vast ocean of indie authors, gained a number of wonderful writer friends, some of whom I consider real gems, and been in close contact with my readers all over the world. Not to mention all I have learned about formatting and cover design, which have been fun and stimulating (if a little frustrating at times).  None of which happened when I was a traditionally published author.

In addition, I have to say that I am very grateful to Joe Konrath and other bloggers, who have raised the profile of self-publishing and given so many of us writers the courage to believe in ourselves. The generosity of many successful authors who have shared their experiences and given tips and written ‘how-to’ material in blogs and books is truly impressive. My heartfelt thanks go to them and to readers who, with their enthusiasm and encouragement, keep us authors inspired to write our stories.

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pete
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 20:49:50

    Well done, Susanne – hope the recovery is progressing well!

    Reply

  2. susannefromsweden
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 09:42:44

    Thank you, Pete. Yes, recovery is excellent.

    Reply

  3. Vanessa
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 22:56:18

    Haha! I have to say, writing in my nightie is definitely part of the appeal. So is not caring what publishers think. I also like the immediacy of being able to have an idea in the middle of the night and publish it as a story a week or so later.

    I’m glad to hear you are recovering well, Susanne. I wish you well with your books.

    Reply

  4. Lisa Grace
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 01:07:54

    Congratulations on your sales and your attitude. I agree, the opportunity to make a living as a novelist is available to the author by putting out more well-written books and building a fan base.

    Reply

  5. Sybil
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 03:49:24

    Excellent post. I agree wholeheartedly. I love the freedom of Indie Publishing. It’s still sad that in the back of my mind, I still hope for that big contract. It’s sad because the truth is, I’m better off on my own. I’ve published 10 books in a year! No way I would have been able to do that with a traditional contract.

    Reply

  6. susannefromsweden
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 09:43:20

    Thank you, Vanessa. Good luck with yours, too.

    Reply

  7. susannefromsweden
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 09:45:40

    Sybil, you’ll feel much better if you forget about hoping for a big contract. If you read Konrath’s previous post, you’ll see that you are so much better off on your own.

    Reply

  8. marymcdonald64
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 16:03:13

    Excellent post, Susanne. I agree. I’m happy being a no-name success. Every time I receive a new ‘like’ on my FB page from a reader, or receive an email, I feel so fortunate and grateful.

    D’oh. I was about to go off on a long mushy comment about how much I love my readers, but I think I’ll save it for my own blog. Don’t want to get all emotional in your comments. lol.

    Reply

  9. susannefromsweden
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 16:56:39

    I don’t mind emotions. If you feel like having a little sob, be my guest. : )

    Reply

  10. Trackback: #4 of Top Ten Mistakes Authors Make | NetWorldingBlog
  11. Renata Knoflicek
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 09:48:34

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and wonderful style and design.

    Reply

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