Having seen out 2016 in a blaze of glory which was almost just a blaze owing to some dodgy Christmas lights and a sparkler, the PINK SOFA welcomes its first guest of 2017. Debonair, urbane wit, writer and man about town, Seumas Gallacher pens the sort of fast-paced crime thrillers that keep you turning the pages from the first to the last. He has graced the PINK SOFA on a couple of occasions in the past, so it is a delight to welcome him back, with some sound advice for writers, to start off the year.
…self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for…
…as a scribbler of crime fiction, NUTHIN would please me more than to have one, and preferably more, of my wee literary babies become record-shattering bestsellers… when I began this incredible writing journey over eight years ago, my initial objective was to acquire one of those elusive mystical beings… a large international publishing house to carry my WURK to a grateful, anticipative, universal readership, who in turn would drool over every bon mot I produced… reality wasn’t long in pushing its nose in the way, and rubbing my nose into the mud of unrequited Nobelesque Prize aspirations… in turn, I have been a self-publishing author, then a ‘housed’ member of a good, modest-sized, literary stable, and now reverted to being my original persona, an ‘indie’ pensperson… and along the way, the dawning of a few reality-check-type home truths has settled in my brain… there are millions (yes, Mabel, millions) of titles on offer on Auntie Amazon alone… those whose tomes reach the pinnacles of the New York Bestseller lists et al are a miniscule fragment of the legions who reach for the Kindle skies… I’m told, however reliably or otherwise, that sales amounting to just 500 copies of a title constitutes ‘best seller’… most books don’t sell more than 50 copies… nowt wrong with that, of course, as many, many people write for their own pleasure and the real joy of having ‘written my book’… but back to those of us who do have dreams of ‘one of my books in every household’… allow me to share my experience in this… my sales/downloads (aggregated of all my titles) are somewhere in the region of 100,000… made me a millionaire, right?... wrong!… I’ll break it down for yeez… about half of these are ‘promo’ sales on various Amazon programs over these intervening eight years… Amazon counts free promo downloads as ‘sales’… I’ve no problem in letting freebies into the market, as I believe they generate real cash sales… however, and here’s a point to note… the resultant royalties spread over those years, while contributing somewhat to the rent, doesn’t put a Ferrari in the garage, or anything approaching it… as it is, self-publishing gives me much more than I was able to generate through a publisher, and in the event a major house came calling, I would have to think very carefully before I’d surrender my sales destiny to them… why?... a few things… first of all, control would disappear… even the checking of my sales figures on a regular daily or weekly basis would be taken from me… the publisher sees them, not the author… regardless of whether or not you have a publisher, the writer still has the lion’s share of the promotional and marketing burden to manage… a publisher is more likely to be on yer case to produce the next blockbuster, and the next, and the next… the artWURK choice passes to sumb’dy other than yerself… more loss of control… payments are done usually semi-annually, and yeez would have the devil’s own job to audit and check if the figures are correct… with self-publishing on Amazon, it’s every-month payments straight to yer account… and oh, yes, the size of royalty per copy is normally peanuts when sold via yer publisher… and yer books can take up to a year and more to be published after yeez give it over to yer publisher… more control loss… one more wee issue before I leave yeez… consider this… when yeez look after yer own ‘business of writing’ only ONE author is being 100% looked after… yerself… with ANY publisher, let’s say with 99 other writers in their stable, the law of averages says yeez’ll receive at best 1% of their focus… still wanna be ‘house-published’?... self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for, yeez might get it… meantime, I’m off to Guest Speak to another gathering of potential loyal readers of my books… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
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