If you are a budding author with a novel about Ocoee whitewater rafting in mind or are sitting on a pile of rejections from literary agents and publishers, you might be considering throwing caution to the wind and publishing your book yourself as an ebook.
After all, the market for ebooks is only growing, with ereaders like the Nook and the Kindle making reading them easy as pie — often even more convenient than a traditional book! It’s also a growth market – in just two years, from 2008 to 2010, ebooks managed to claw their way from 0.6 percent to 6.4 percent of the market share for books. That’s a cool 114 million ebooks bought, with a net revenue of a whopping $878 million.
If you think success is only accruing to traditional publishers, you would be wrong. Take a look at these inspirational stories.
Michael Prescott played the traditional publishing game, with almost two dozen novels in print. He didn’t make much money though, and in 2009 nobody wanted his thriller novel.
He then published it as an ebook. Today he sells 800,000 ebooks a year, earning $300,000 a year before the IRS takes their share. That put his works amongst the bestselling 150 books of the year.
His books sell for 99 cents, of which he gets only 35 cents, but that is still a much larger proportion of the sales price than he would get from a traditional publisher, and the low price may be part of the draw of his books.
J.A Konrath is another big success. He also runs a website where he gives out publishing advice, and he has the experience to back it up.
While publishing mysteries traditionally, he decided to start publishing a few others as ebooks on his own. In April of 2009 he was delighted with a $1,400 income from those books. April 2011 he brought in a whopping $68,000! His most often repeated piece of advice is that authors need to market themselves well and often.
Even if you haven’t heard of E. L. James, you might know the name of her most famous book: Fifty shades of Grey. Erotic, explicit and engrossing, this novel started out as a fan fiction of the twilight novels.
However, after some changes, James decided to rework it as an original piece, split it into 3 separate books and sell it as an eBook.
The results? 10 million copies sold worldwide! You have to wonder if this book could have done so well if readers had to go into a shop to buy it and couldn’t read it without the name on the cover being seen.