What a mess of information the internet is. The fact that any of you are reading what I have to say boggles my mind. Chances are high that I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Yet, here we are having a one-sided conversation (one point: Me).
The publishing industry has obviously changed thanks to the digital age.
ASPIRING AUTHORS!—is your book a piece of trash?! Well you’re in luck! You can get it published—for FREE!
…but will you make any money? That depends largely on your social circle, your online media presence and your willingness to self-promote (and skills therein). I know a self-published acquaintance who writes literary shit, but he (at one time) made enough to survive off of it.
My own stories on the other hand, which everyone tells me are superior in every way, don’t sell.
Let’s call my money-making acquaintance Jack.
Jack’s stories are easy to read, minimally entertaining, and pointed at a niche group. This worked for him. As did his willingness to pimp his own work, something I still haven’t resorted to.
And therein lies one of my downfalls—my inability to pimp myself out like an Author of the Night. That said, Jacob Miller’s U4Ea is a kick-ass piece of dystopian sci-fi. And have you heard of SHIFT? Talk about mind-f*** central. Both of those works are so original and well-written compared to most the crap I see on Amazon—especially Money-Making Jack’s stuff. If only someone knew how to market themselves better, I bet Jacob Miller’s stuff would sell like hotcakes.
That’s the nature of the market though. Unless you manage to snag a publishing deal, your chances of making money off fiction largely depend on your ability to whore yourself. Or your pseudonym’s self. (Insert Jacob Miller brainwashing technique here).
A massive amount of literature on Amazon is available for free if you snag it at the right time. People, like the fantastically amazing Jacob Miller, occasionally provide their work for free in hopes of people writing some reviews. Yet, people (unlike Jacob Miller) suck.
They’ll take most any free thing they can get, then toss it aside. After all, it was free. What’s the harm in wasting free shit? “No sweat off my sack.”
A free dinner costs you nothing to piss on. And free books, especially ebooks, cost nothing to horde. With such an abundance of free literature available, however, most readers readily toss (what could be) amazing stories aside because the first page didn’t sweep them away. The market’s changed. And publishing authors need to change with it. The quantity of available literature has never been higher. And I don’t think the quality’s changed all that much.
But the responsibility of authors hoping to penetrate the market has changed. If you want to shirk the traditional publishing route, you’ll need to play every role—from editor to marketer—and hope for the best.
Fifty Shades of Grey is proof that shit sells. The masses gobble it up. Everyone has a chance at least to become rich off shit, but first it needs to be written. Then marketed. After that, it’s up to the people to decide.
And you are people.
There’s a whole slew of questions I’d love to ask you, but I’ve boiled it down to two:
Self-published authors: How do you feel about pimping yourself out?
Free ebook readers: How many free ebooks have you snagged up and tossed aside without giving a fair chance?