Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Put Up or Shut Up...On eBook Earnings

A favorite discussion among authors and those of us "in the biz" is money. No one wants to talk about it, yet everyone always does. I wonder how much so and so is making at XYZ publisher? How do you, the author, measure up among authors in your own publishing house? Does being a bestseller really mean anything?

Do certain genres sell more? Why or why not? What's a recent trend that's selling through the roof, and how fast can I write a book like that?

We all think it, want to know about it, and gobble up information on the Net about it whenever possible. Which publishers sell more? Which sell less, and who the heck has all this information in a nutshell that I can crack?

Different authors have shared vital information from time to time I find fascinating. Jennifer Ashley posted some on her blog, as did Lynn Viehl about being a NYTimes best seller. Great stuff, and information worth having.

In the military, I had a pay chart. Hell, we all did. You knew exactly what a corporal, a lieutenant, and a colonel with 15+ years made. But in the writing industry, it's so contrary. Publishing houses, book lengths, book types, and author branding all factor into earn-outs.

And still, no one likes to talk about what's possible. When you've been around for a while, you hear things. But newbies and responsible authors (not me) who don't listen to Internet chatter won't know what's what until someone speaks out.

My friends and I have been bugging the crap out of each other to speak up and share what we know. Several years ago, when I was a newbie with grand (and unrealistic) plans, I had to beg a kindly author to give up the ghost, and was shocked at what I learned. And that was in the print market. The electronic market is just as mysterious and ever-changing. Hard to figure out at the best of times.

At a recent conference I attended, my friends and I got chatty. And I made the mistake of saying we should put up or shut up. So tomorrow I'm going to put up.

You've been warned...


ElizabethN said...

I'm a reader and I find it fascinating when writers like Bree & Donna ( ) post sales info. The breakdown of which 3rd party sites, i.e. fictionwise and all romance ebooks, generate more or less money per ebook sold vs publisher sites is interesting. But, according to my husband, I'm also a money nerd.

Marie Harte said...

See, Elizabeth? That's good to know. Now I'll have to check out the Moira Rogers blog for info. I love finding new places to learn things. And maybe I'm a money nerd as well. :)