Article: "My Amazon Bestseller Made Me Nothing"

by sidee
9 replies
Good article here on the realities of making money writing books for Amazon:

My Amazon bestseller made me nothing - Salon.com
#article
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Good article? The guy is #6 on Amazon's fiction list right behind 50 Shades and complains? Poor baby makes $12K and complains? Instead of writing a followup novel to keep the momentum going, he does what? He complains.

    He gets a bunch of publicity using part of a high profile company's logo. The company asks him nicely, without suing him, to change his cover. And what does he do with all that glorious free buzz? He complains. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author mhegedus17
    lol. $12k for amazon is not bad at all imo
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by sidee View Post

    Good article here on the realities of making money writing books for Amazon:

    My Amazon bestseller made me nothing - Salon.com
    It's an entertaining article about the the realities of an author who needs some perspective.

    Here's an interesting excerpt:

    "Don’t get me wrong; as a guy with a couple of books out on an independent publisher I never thought I’d see that kind of money. Previously, my largest royalty check was about $153. I’m thrilled and very proud to say I earned any money as a writer. That’s a miracle. It’s just not the jewel-encrusted miracle most people think bestseller bank accounts are made from.

    The book sold plus or minus 4,000 copies. (The publishing industry is hazy like that. What with sales in fishy-sounding third-world countries like Germany and England.) Being on an indie press I receive a more generous royalty split than most: 50 percent after expenses were deducted."

    He even admits he'd "never thought" he'd "see that kind of money."

    The title is misleading too, he did make something and nowhere in the article does it talk about any earnings that he continued to make.

    Thanks for the share, I needed a good laugh this morning.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Can we say, "Flash in the pan"? LOL

    No marketing plan from his Indie publisher, just a slick rip-off of a big-name company logo.

    Wow, simply wow.

    So what is the guy getting for his 50% to the Indie publisher? Not much, it seems.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    A book isn't a money making strategy, it's an authority building strategy.
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    • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
      Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

      A book isn't a money making strategy, it's an authority building strategy.
      Exactly what I was thinking. Its credibility for speaking gigs, more traffic to his blog, more books, listing building, etc. But from what I can tell in the article he has none of that going on.

      He is definitely not looking at the big picture.

      A book is like a CD for musicians. Its just one income stream.
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      • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
        And the elephant in the room here? He didn't self-publish. I wonder what his royalty was?

        If he'd self published, he'd know exactly how many books he'd sold, if he kept track... And his books will be available, long into the future.

        But the reality is that a fiction one shot isn't ever going to do much... so keep writing.

        And, guys, pubb it yourself. Really.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edward W Smith
    Lots of ideas to consider in the story about the gentleman that made $12k and was not happy. I have some questions about it, that I doubt we will find the answers to, but they are something we can learn from:

    (1) Did he have any kind of goal when he went into the writing project. Was he in it to make money and if so how much? Was he in it for the fame? Did he see it as a springboard to speaking opportunities, etc? Each of these can take you down a different road and change what you view as success.

    (2)Did he "run the numbers" when he signed with the publisher, so he had an understanding of what his earning would be under different scenarios?

    (3)Did he understand that publishers don't do much in the way of publicity for their authors after the initial launch and generating additional sales would be up to him? Did he attempt to do publicity on his own?

    (4)Did he study his contract with the publisher to see if he could create sales "outside the box" by doing things like getting a company to use it as a give away, etc?

    (5)Did he explore ways to use his book success to build on by setting up a speaking business or developing information products to mesh with his book and so on?

    Anyone else have suggestions as to what we can learn from this story?

    Thanks, Edward Smith.
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