Do You Remember Life Before the Internet?
Isn't it amazing how much the internet has become part of our daily lives? I can't count how many times I've used the word "google" as a verb. I can find information on just about anything in mere moments and I can also waste an inordinate amount of time as well.
As a full time writer I've had to track my own habits and set my own hours. If I waste them I can't get them back. So, I've learned to limit my internet wandering ways. I've also become a more discerning explorer. That isn't to say I don't get caught up on YouTube watching cute kittens. I just do it less. I am a sucker for cute kittens. Especially that sleeping one that gets poked in the belly.
My point here is that if I do waste time I usually feel guilty later. Particularly if I haven't worked on the WIP or some other story. And yet, somewhere there needs to be a balance between work and play. I haven't found that magical balance yet. Some of my friends think I push myself too hard. My kids complain that I am always writing or reading. Some days I feel like I am crawling out from my desk with aching eyes, shoulders, and back.
Yesterday I tried a writing experiment, I worked at my computer for nearly ten hours, and finished the day with over 4.2k words on Scholar's Rock. Today, I did edits. I also went out to breakfast with a friend, had a fantastic email correspondence with an amazing person, took a nap, played a game, and watched True Blood. No guilt today. Scholar's Rock is looking good.
Which brings me to the topic of self-publishing. Scholar's Rock will be my first self-published book. It's scary and exciting. Mostly scary because I have all these technical concerns about formatting and effing the thing up. Exciting because it will be done and out there to share with the world. And then, how do you market something like that when you are new and unknown? It will be fascinating to find out.
Joe Konrath is back from vacation and he put up another fantastic blog today. One where he talks about self-publishing, Amazon promotion, and book sales. My favorite bit in his blog today is this:
Will ebook sales be able to save bookstores and publishers?
Not if authors continue to wise up and tell the Big 6 to take their 17.5% ebook royalties and choke on them.
Even if you are an optimist, it's tough to argue against three obvious points.
1. Print sales are falling.
2. Ebook sales are rising.
3. 70% royalty is more than 17.5% royalty.
You can read the entire post here One More Nail in the Coffin.
If you do the math on the 17.5% royalty the sheer numbers you have to sell is astounding compared to 70% royalty. If you sell 100 books at $1 each, you make $17.50 vs. $70.00. You'd have to sell 400 books at 17.5% to make a whopping $70.00. By the way the publisher keeps the other $330.00. Is your hard work worth giving up 52.5% of your royalties? If you had a day job and your boss said "Hey we need to cut your pay by 52.5%" I am guessing you'd be looking for a new job.
It's hard work promoting your own writing. But, honestly most publishers aren't working very hard for the majority of their authors anyway. The only ones who are receiving big marketing are their best sellers. Even small publishers expect authors to do their own promotions. Again, we are back to balance. Balancing out the business of writing with the actual writing itself. It's not easy. I've barely scratched the surface of it all. But, I do spend the majority of my time writing. I'd say at this point it's probably and 80/20 split of my time. And I am combining submitting to independent publishers with self-publishing.
Stay tuned as I continue to explore this new world. Subscribe to my RSS feed on the right side of this blog. Or follow me on Twitter. And remember to come back on Wednesday for Chapter 2 of Scholar's Rock.