Why Aren't More ABCtalers Self-Publishing?

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Why Aren't More ABCtalers Self-Publishing?

There are some phenomenal writers on ABCtales who really should be self-publishing in Indie format, and a recent post has encouraged me to start a separate thread on this.

Publishing is easy and costs nothing. The only thing you pay for is the cover, and if you know where to go that hardly costs anything. I'm sure fellow self-published Indie authors will agree that the first book is the hardest (actually setting up the payment details is possibly the toughest). However all in all, if you're ready to go, it takesa couple of hours tops. I can publish a new book in 15 minutes and it'll be live on Amazon in 4 hours.

But then the hard work starts. Promoting your book. I spend at least an hour a night promoting my books, and it's quite a steep learning curve. Twitter, for instance, is vital for networking and whilst many authors claim to sell a lot of books I didn't find it so myself. I've got 13,600 followers, and getting to meet fellow authors has been essential, but I honestly don't believe Twitter helps in book sales. 

I'm getting ready to publish my 6th book before Christmas, and I can tell you that the whole experience of self-publishing and working with a number of 'Author Helping Author' groups has helped me define who I am as a writer. I now use the word Humourist as opposed to Comedy Writer, and I've made connections with other authors who write in a similar vein to my own, and the 'humourous rants' genre is now becoming respected on its own merit.

I do have to stress, however (to those just considering embarkng on this path), the amount of hard work that goes into promotions. Writing the book is easy in comparison. Really! And you can't do it on your own. The Jews have helped each other down the centuries. The Freemasons assist each other in business. The Knights Templar take vows to that affect. And, of course, BNI (Business Network International) is built on this foundation. So why shouldn't authors help fellow authors?

There are fellow ABCtalers who are also members of the same groups that I belong to, but I'd never tell you their names out of respect for them and the groups we belong to. Now that might seem a bit cloak 'n' dagger, but you wouldn't believe the number of people out there who have issues with Indie authors and try and cause as much trouble as possible. Honestly! You end up trying to promote your book while at the same time keeping a low profile!  

If you're in a band and you hire a studio and run off a track, or even create a CD to sell at your gigs everyone blows smoke up your arse and says, "Well done, you're being proactive." If you're a writer and you're doing the very same thing (i.e. publish your writing), you're only doing it out of vanity. Strange how the perspective changes with the point of view!  

Last year 391,000 authors self-published, and there'll be more this year. I fail to see why more of ABCtales better writers aren't doing the same.  


Self publishing is the future, but it is here now. Old Jack is right, of course, but if we put editing in the same basket as writing and put it aside we are left with selling. In order to sell a book we need to sell ourself. In Facebook you are selling widgets to your friends. Some might buy. Most do not. Twitter, as you say, is in my experience people saying 'yeh, that looks really good, why don't you buy my book and reveiw it on Amazon'. Google Plus, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterist, what's the point? The problem isn't publishing a book, the problem is selling yourself. If you can imagine ABCtales is invisible to most on the internet. You can't find something if you don't know it's there. Every year as you have pointed out an extra 400 000 + authors decide to self-publish. That number will grow and I will add to it, but with so many sreeching look at me, look at me. You've got a baseline to measure this, a social experiment of book sellers on ABCtales. Lavadis, Ewan and myself all started at the same time, selling essentially the same widget. Have they got a better demorgraphic? Possibly. Have they got a better selling technique? I measure the number of posts they had published in support of their work earlier in the sales war. Lavadis had published less. Ewan was slightly ahead of me. That would suggest that as a marketing tool it is as effective as a fork for eating soup. The question we are left with isn't why don't we write a book and self publish, but how can we get better at making ourselves heard and noticed, essentially, how can we sell ourself?  I want to write. I don't want to sell myself. That's the problem, what's the solution? 


Two points;

1)  Steinbeck is the master of killing his darlings. Tom Joad, hero of Grapes of Wrath, is killed off .... well, not exactly killed off, but simply walks out of the book after killing Casey's attacker. Just like that, with about 10% to go, Steinbeck walks him out of the book. How brave is that?

2)  A very good friend of mine has self-published a really excellent book. He was an explorer in the 60s, spending three years in the Rain Forest between the Orinoco and Amazon tributaries, often surviving with only enough money to buy a cup of coffee, finding work a a fisherman, sleeping in hammocks, surviving a few weeks in a Peruvian prison. It's a fascinating story, and I'd been encouraging him to write it for years. It has now, to all intents and purposes, disappeared with a trace, because he absolutely refuses to learn the value of social media.

Selling yourself is never easy, especially with just the written word as your platform; i.e. with no body language or voice tone to emphasize your points.

And by the way, if anyone fancies a look at my friend's book it's called 'Travels in South America' by Doug Ellis.



The main issue is time. An hour a night on self-promotion works out more time per week than I have available to write - probably 5 hours a week max available to me, maybe a bit less. Publishing and promoting a book would literally mean I stopped writing altogether.


I self published my book last year and can honestly say that I was delighted by the whole experience. My book was "declined" by a number of agents and so I thought "bollocks" I'll self publish. I then did something I thought I'd never do. I set up facebook and twitter pages and promoted the shit out of it. Did I earn loads of money out of it? No! But that wasn't the point. I wanted people to read it, which they've done. 3000 copies so far and it still sells. I would recommend self publishing. It's quick, easy and can be done in a matter of hours.

Karl Wiggins helped me understand the whole process, so cheers Karl. I'd like to say i'll buy you a beer, but i think I may have bought you a few already.....  


Joe, you've bought me more than that, but we definitely need to put another date in the diary before Christmas.

Terrence, that's the stark reality of it, I'm afraid. I've been struggling so hard to find the time to finish my next book, and I WILL publish before Christmas, but I can't afford to ignore promoting the others. They won't sell on their own. Book sales have doubled since I joined one particular group, but they'll probably drop next week because I'm away.

I try and leave weekends for writing, but I still have to find an hour a day for promoting. And that's ignoring Twitter, which I only visit a couple of times a week.





I should add that about 18 months ago I felt I could do with a secretary.

There's a mother and son team on Twitter. He writes, she promotes. There's also a husband and wife team who do the same. But even if I could afford a secretary she certainly wouldn't be able to do the Author Interviews and so forth.

It is incredibly time-consuming. 


I have to confess I've never read a self-published work of fiction on Kindle. I've looked at lots through the 'look inside' option but so far every time I've been disappointed. If the editing isn't poor the writing is wooden and full of cliches or, worse still, the storyline is boring, lacking in originality, or shallow. I accept that there are some excellent self-published works of fiction out there somewhere but they are drowned in an ocean of mediocrity.  Most are sold to friends and family or to other self-published writers who expect some reciprocation.

I write a lot of poetry and I am constantly asked why I don't self-publish. My answer is always the same: it's not good enough. I wish it was but it isn't. The fact that I could easily self-publish my poems does not change that. I think a lot of self-published authors need to ask themselves if their work is truly worthy of publication or if there isn't a touch of vanity involved.

I await the whirlwind...

No whirlwind scorpio. I agree with you. With the added provisio - that I will self publish. All writing is a form of vanity. We're all looking for readers. We take them where we can find them. Jolono's novel is one of the exceptions. It could and should be a screenplay for some star like Jolono's pal Bradd Pitt. I don't say that cause I like the guy, if his writing was crap I'd say nothing, but I say it because I find it to be true. Truth is of course, a relative thing.  


'But then the hard work starts. Promoting your book.' You have answered your own question Karl, it seems like hard work! However I have every respect for yourself and for other Abc'ers who do it.

Promoting your books can become obsessive, and I now spend too much time marketing and less time writing. However, since I began promoting them, sales have taken off. Each month the sales increase. Although I only submitted my work to a handful of trad publishers, some years ago, I lost patience. Self publishing allows you so much freedom, and like Karl says, it can be a speedy process. I have twenty-two novels published and am still as enthusiastic as I once was. It's free, simple, and fulfilling, so publish and be damned! 


I started self-publishing late 2011 and found support from bookshops, especially Waterstones. I was doing a signing event almost every Saturday, going around the country and enjoying myself. These events brought in 70 school readings, when I'd read from class to class throughout the day for free, selling books at home-time. Then Waterstones stopped their indie author signing events completely. A friend, who was the top-selling indie author in the country at Waterstones, was also excluded, even when he was with a publisher. He was getting 38p for each book sold so I clued him up on self-publishing and he's now earning more like a fiver a pop.

The trouble I found with social media was that it seemed to entail me shoving every bit of news I had down people's throats, and I just couldn't do it. You have to be all singing and dancing with a large following to make any serious headway online. Otherwise, it's just guff on a screen. Without Waterstones, I lost my best and only outlet. My next book, another kids book with amazing illustrations, thread-sewn and produced to a high spec, had no outlet and I failed to rise above the new measures in place. Bookshops suddenly seemed as depressed as I was. Worried about staying in business, they couldn't afford to take a friendly punt and I felt awful so I just give them away now in the hope that it will bring a few quid in for them.

I recently edited and published an anthology by ten Abcers called My Baby Shot Me Down, thinking this would be a half-decent seller. Even with a distributor, website etc, this has sold a pitifully small amount. An expensive advert in a writers' magazine brought not one sale. The fact of the matter is that the big publsihers have tightened their reins on the bookselling industry, offering even better discounts and arranging marketing together to heighten sales of their wares. In response to the huge increase of self-published work over the last few years, and with Amazon eating away at the physical copy and discounting everything on its books, these are market forces in unsteady times so there's no room for outside competition or decency of any kind. Even the libraries don't do business with indies any more. Hiding behind austerity and the cuts process, they and all other services in the book trade have tightened the established publisher's hold on the market. Newspaper reviews aren't as objective as they were and customer reviews are losing their bite too. Every product in the world bows down to a false economy which they must obey or suffer the consequences so it's hardly surprising.

All in all, it's been an experience and I like trying new things but my timing was never very good. I'll plug away at it and try to find excellent new authors to publish but they're few and far between. I don't agree with crowd-funding at all, purely because a publisher should takes risks, just like any other businessman. A publisher is like being a racehorse owner; he can't expect to have winners in his stable unless he's prepared to stump up the money and offer his time, experience and guidance for their upkeep, performance and longevity. Authors are the least social types on the planet and the very best should be given the respect of the industry by taking them under their wing and seeing that they get the publicity they deserve so that people can enjoy their work. It seems unfair to expect them to finance a publication through their social network. That said, I've pledged for all the Abcers with Unbound until now and wish them every success. 

Self-published authors are using the new technology available in much the same way as any marketeer, but it's really just vanity publishing but without the vanity publisher. It's a bit of fun and should be treated as such. 


Your point about libraries and indie publishers is real. A few months ago I was recommending a book published by an indie to people in my local writing group. I assumed that if they did not wish to buy it they would be able to reserve it at through their library. It was not available on the library catalogue. Because the library staff like me (I had a letter in the paper about keeping libraries open) I was able to get a copy ordered and on to the system. Good thing I knew the book was there in the first place, it's not always a fair game for the small players.

well said blighters and I agree with every word. 


Celtic - Lily just got a pledge from Alan Brazil, Joe's mate and ex-football wizard. Don't give up. If it was me, I'd still be on single figures and getting even busier with my treasured block. All three of the Unbound novels are crackers so it's not like you're touting rubbish. As soon as Ewan's gets funded I'm going to promote the crap out of Lily. He's on 88% so he's well on the way. Some of their titles take ages to come to fruition so 40% in a few months is very good going as it is. I'm going to do the Nanowrimo but all I seem to think about is how the world's walking into robotland, so I'm going to write about that.

Elsie - anyone can order a book at their library as long as they're a member and it has an ISBN. In fact, that's the only way for an indie to get into libraries unless he/she gives books away to them, although I'm quite sure they'll close that quaint little avenue down once the psychopathic (or 'driven'), talentless indie author nutcases make it an unviable exercise. Either they or the psychopathic (sorry, 'ambitious') library managers will close the door within a few years max.


Blighters, you make some excellent if scary points. I have very serious fears for the Self-Publishing Indie industry, mainly based around those authors who insist on giving their work away for free. The trad publishers have had things their own way for far too long. However, they could well be sitting on the sidelines waiting for the Indie industry to implode. But to come back into the industry as strong as they were, say, ten years ago they'd need to get hip to e-publishing. HMV still believed they could sell CDs and refused to embrace the downloadable industry, and look what happened to them.

Scorpio, you are 100% correct. There is a lot of dross out there, but it's not all dross. Some of it is very good. There's a lot of dross on ABCtales too. Now that may seem like a faux pas, but ABCtales does an excellent job of giving absolutely any writer who wishes a forum to display his/her work. We don't have to be good. We just have to write.

A lot of bands are hiring studios and cutting tracks. Is it out of vanity? Well, partly, I suppose, but what's wrong with that? You play a guitar, and so do your mates, it's only natural for you to want someone to listen to you. We're no different. You may believe that your poetry isn't good enough, but when has that ever stopped anybody. Publish! It's free! And even if you don't sell a single copy, you'll at least have an electronic version as a keepsake. 

You publish your work here for the world to see. Why not collate it into book format and publish on Amazon? Apart from the larger market, is there really a difference?      


Karl, your analogy of bands going solo and fronting cash for studio recordings doesn't hold weight. It's been that way for ages, and especially from the punk era when newly spawned indie labels really began to thrive, offerring a 50/50 deal with artists and causing a stir with the big boys in the same way as today's market, but it all went full circle once the stuffing was knocked out of them. When I started up, I had a similar vision but it gets wiped pretty quick once you scratch the surface. Whenever an artist hits the big-time, they almost always head for the big labels, which is understandable. The last Orange Prize winner was with Galley Beggar but the moment she won, Faber had already snapped her up. Makes me wonder if they'd heard a gentle whisper, actually.

Amazon is a forward-thinking marketing experiment that will undoubtedly become the world's shopping centre of the future. With its backing it cannot fail. Their shareholders have happily propped them up since its inception, knowing that the end-game will result in an unyielding monopoly on electronic world commerce. They continue to trade at a loss and therefore pay little or no tax, thanks in part to their use of international trade and tax agreements. Books account for a few percent of their selling portfolio but, unlike other products, agreeing a generous cut from publishers is crucial for the marketing of ebooks because they have to figure in the author. Without them, the publishers and Amazon wouldn't have a selling platform in books but the fact remains that authors will lose out once the publishers and Amazon have ironed out their differences. I don't know why publishers don't club together and start an online competitor but chances are Amazon would get very nasty, wiping their titles from the site and thus holding them to ransom (as they are now - this has already caused untold uproar from their authors, who are exempt from the wrangle and get paid a fixed rate agreed with the publisher). 

It's a sad state of affairs. I use Amazon because that's where people instinctively go to for the best price and for reviews, for waht they're worth. It doesn't bother me what they sell my books for - I get 50% of RRP from the distributor that serves online presence through Amazon but the fact remains that without Amazon my titles would suffer. As a minute publisher, it means little to them whether I'm there or not. Titles hold no great attachment to them; they're just products to sell.

As for bookshops, they're awaiting collapse. Stiff upper lips, love of 'the book', hard graft and faithful customers keep them afloat for the time being but the truth is we're all sleepwalking into Amazon's virtual arms because the stakes are too high to compete. The amount of times I've seen people get onto Amazon while they're in a bookshop shows me that very few people give a damn about the wellbeing of their local bookshop. All these people care about is price. In this sense, the independent author that uses Create Space is Amazon's most cherished ally, even when the author is fully aware that the lion's share of profits are taken by those that do the least work. There are more than 2 million Kindle books but the same wonky share of readership will be similar to that of physical copies, ie. the top 50 sell more than the other 1,999,950. The media is now no more than a marketing tool for those at the top of the pile. All the time the Createspacers advocate the genius of Amazon, they get closer to a monopoly, at which the time the prices will be hiked and everyone loses out.

One way to keep bookshops alive would be to introduce a national chain of booksellers as a charity to encourage children to read more. Literature feeds a young mind and can trigger great ideas, independent thinking and guide them through questions of life that may otherwise never be asked. That way, rent would be slashed by 80%, offering people the chance to buy locally and ethically, plus Escape to the Country could still feature that quaint bookshop in the lovely village to entice buyers with and trick viewers into thinking Britain's still got a soul.

I like giving away books. People think I'm crazy or that there's a catch but that's just a sign of the times and they always walk away with a smile.


'to introduce a national chain of booksellers'. It's worked in the past, there is/used to be The Association of Radical Booksellers they ran Book Collectives, little profit but they enjoyed doing it and they had a terrific choice of books on the shelves. Edinburgh had The First of May, Glasgow the Glasgow Book Collective and Belfast had Just Books which also sent free books to prisoners. If the building had a kitchen they upped the profits by using part of the space to run a cafe.

Setting up an association to introduce books to children with readings and a pleasant setting is a wonderful idea and registering as a charity to pay less rent is a stroke of genius.smiley

I asked this before on the sister thread.  I'll ask it again.  How much moolah do members of this site make from self publishing?  Karl?




Shed loads, buddy, shed loads!

I don't know what to spend it on next!


How much and how many? Those are the questions that need answering. Blighters has shown how much he made (or lost). How many sales? I agree with Joe, we want readers, not shareholders, or stakeholders. He estimates his book has sold 3000 copies. That's pretty good. (The average story on here which goes for nothing doesn't get near as many reads). The irony is not lost on me that's exactly what I'm looking for -stakeholders. 


Thanks for sharing your encouragement on ideas, Elsie. It would be a great bookshop, no doubt. If all the small, single-unit indie booksellers joined in, I think they'd stand a much better chance of survival and would guarantee an income to live on. That said, the major bookshops and publishers would do everything in their power to stop it from happening, although any hard evidence of foul play would only smear their already flagging reputations. Sadly/ predictably, I wouldn't be surprised if the charities commission found a very healthy donation from an 'anonymous source' to help nip it in the bud, and that would never come to light. Oops, looks like I've already doomed the idea.


I doubt a bookshop could make enough money to stay open. If you offered me a bookshop-gratis- I wouldn't thank you. 


It's a sorry state of affairs but I think you're right celt.


They're in the same spot as pubs, surplus to requirements, but not of ordinary folk who like a sing song and a jig.


Back again. I feel a bit strange jumping in again when I have no personal experience of publishing, self-publishing or bookselling but talk is free. BR your idea of a village children's bookshop is attractive. The other option might be  to set up in a run-down inner city area eg St Pauls in Bristol and have other groups eg youth workers who have good ideas for after-school and holiday activities share the building. I have no idea how the finance would work.

Well, if you had a lot of thru-traffic it might work. Say Hay-on-Wye or perhaps the Charing Cross Road (although you wouldn't get many children there and rent would be through the roof). And then you'd be in danger of taking the "love of reading" out of it and turning it into a business ......

If I asked you what McDonalds do you'd probably answer hamburgers, but that may just be a side issue to their main business which is possibly land aquisition. They own prime land in just about every single high street in the free world. And they don't even pay for it. The franchisees pay for it.

It would depend on the motivation.

(just playing the devil's advocate)



If you go down the self publishing route then you'll have to set your own price. I went for £5.99. For that I got 70p for each copy ( paperback) sold. For Kindle I get roughly half of the retail price so around £3.00.

The problem is that without good marketing most self publishers will sell around 100 copies max. But its taken you 12 months of hard work to complete your book.So there is no financial benefit.

My advice is self publish, it costs next to nothing. But don't expect to become rich because of it. Enjoy it. Feel proud that you've had something that is published and people can read. Anything after that is a big fat bonus.




If I remember correctly it was generally agreed that the standard of writing in 50SOG was little better than that of an average 12 year old. The book sold so well through networking, marketing and media attention and had nothing to do with any real literary merit. As a case for marketing it makes a very good one. For the quality of writing it does not. As a case for self publishing it doesn't really say anything.

Having said that, I only managed the first few pages so perhaps I'm not in a position to judges it's quality.

The Guardian article mentions other female self publishers. I picked Barbara Freethy at random and looked up her books on Kindle. Having 'looked inside' them and read the first page I feel the case made about poor quality writing is even stronger. Barbara obviously hasn't 'learned to let a story unfold without telling the reader everything they could be filling in for themselves. She writes with something akin to a Mills and Boon style. Now, at one time Mills and Boon were a marketing success - for writing trashy romance novels that most people mocked due to the poor writing and abundance of cliches. 

In America alone 33.61% of reviews for 50SoG are either one or two Stars.

She has 9258 one and two 2 Star reviews in the USA alone. I haven't read the book, so can't really comment, but I've read some of the reviews and they're hilarious, so I'd be willing to risk it and state that the reviews are possibly better than the book.

Yes! What phenomenal marketing!




I agee. Marketing is the make or break deal. Books, ironically,  are inicdental. 


The main publishers have no intention of finding new talent. Besides the market being risky, costly and largely unprofitable, the industry is about as glamorous as Skegness and as nepotistic and self-serving as the state. People don't self-publish because they love it - they do it because there's no other way and they believe, to varying degrees of delusion, that their work is good enough to read. If anyone thinks Fifty Shades was a coincidental bestseller, put your brain back to factory settings. This laughable drivel, buoyed by a typically sheepish and unnourished female public so starved of anything remotely enjoyable, so removed from sexual orientation thanks to mind-warping political correctness and general misandry on a global scale, was used to remind the droves of women that they actually had a sex drive worth talking about. And talk about it, they did, in the hairdressers and malls, at dinner parties and down the wine bar. Finally they felt included in a predominantly male-governed market, even when they'd been tricked. One good thing came from that book - most buyers hadn't bought or read a book since school. How they were duped! Whether they read the laboured literary abortion is open to question but at least mummy porn was born from it. So bad was the book that every other tired, bored housewife in the western world decided that they too must be an auffer, and so the vanity press was reborn as self-publishing. In short, Fifty Shades of Shite appeared at the right time, when publishing had neglected its duty to promote new work to such an extent that they could only be bothered to reprint classics that cost them next to nothing to produce. Marketed to a braindead cross-section of human life, it was a convenient tool to encourage the vaguely literate to self-publish on a massive scale, hence the wholesale emergence of self-pub arms merged into the various tentacles that make up the big wigs' portfolio of publishing companies. It's vanity press, no doubt, and sooner or later the only real money to be made from writing books will be reserved for ghosts to chefs, celebs, politicians and other intellectual giants. By and large, writers make crap publicists and those with good work to offer invariably suffer from the numbing effect of tweeting and other polite, modern begging scams. If there was even the slightest bit of fun to be had from untied self-publishing that doesn't have the luxury of quietly attaching itself to national media propagandists/ publicists, it went a few years back when the big guns held the bookshops, libraries and online marketeers to ransom and effectively closed all avenues to indies. The industry's insatiable appetite to monopolise by strangling competition will inevitably lead to the merging of the top six publishers, by which time books will be a drop in the wet eye of those reading, and probably popping, tablets.


Do you really want me to list the books, poetry collections, short story collections, anthologies ad infinitum that have been published through traditional routes in the last ten years? And do you really want me to compare it to what the self publishing industry has produced? Do you want me to draw up a list of literary magazines who publish poetry that kicks the majority of self published poetry in the balls? 

Have you read some of the rubbish that's being self published on a daily basis? Would you seriously put up anything self published self published in the last twelve months as a contender for the Booker? Do you have a self published poet in mind that could compete with anything Carcanet or Bloodaxe have published? 

If so, bring 'em out now because I ain't seeing many of them.

I'm sure there are some great self published writers but there is no escaping the fact that the majority of self published work would be rejected by a traditional publisher because it simply isn't good enough compared to other work they are offered.

50 shades, I tried a bit and listened to an excerpt on TV 'the Culture Show'.Thought it was pure drivel. A 16 year old close relative bought it and enjoyed carrying it everywhere in a brown paper bag; she then worked her way through the next two with relish. Marketing played a big part then peer group word-of-mouth did the rest. The relative concerned is now a first year English Studies student and if things go according to her plans in four years time she will be coming to a secondary school near you to teach your children! Be very afraid, or maybe not, she is an intelligent girl who fell in with the mainstream trend.

I think Fanny Hill is far betterwink

Well that was upbeat!


I know this is a wonderful post because I agree with everybody. Self-publishing is vanity publishing. I'm vain enough to want to get published. All authors are, but some get better paid. Look at John Niven's first and best novel Kill Your Friends and I I think that is where the publishing industry is now. Amazon, Google, and to a lesser extent Microsoft and Apple are competing not only to deliver the world's books, but messages, cars and roads. Amazon is in front, or Google behind, Apple has got six or seven times the entire national income of the UK to play with.  The model for growth is the same in each case. Pay little or no tax. Pay 99% of their workers the statuatory minimum (or less) don't worry too much about year to year dividens, focus on long term growth and share in the market. Amazon is books and they will cosolidate and force down the price that each individual author receives, in the same way that Walmart looks at it's suppliers and simply says we're giving you too much money, from now on we're giving you less. This is oligopoly and monopoly captial at work. The future for aspiring writers is bleak. Ironically, this is happening at time when there is an explosion in self-publishing opportunities and the numbers taking advantage of it. The volume effect of more and more people self-publishing ironically gives Amazon more power in their battle for market share. It also drives down the price traditional publishers pay their authors. Quality is outdone by sheer quantity. Traditional publishers do have the best authors. I've not read any of the big hitter self-published novels that are in the Guardian article. Neither do I feel compelled to do so. I agree with Scropio88 in terms of quality I imagine them to be dross, but in terms of sales they're gold. They're not gold because of quality but because of publicity. The Scottish Labour Party, for example, complained it was losing so many seats not because of their support for Tory rolling back the state, but because their publicity budget was inadequate. Both conventinal publishing houses and Amazon like to foster the illusion that they are gatekeepers to books and anyone can write one. Both are correct. One will simply not publish your work if it doesn't meet their requirements, which I agree with. The other will simply allow you to generate enough heat from self-generted-publicity to sell as pitifully few books as you can. There's nothing new in this. Christopher Isherwood's alter-ego flees to the Weimer Republic in disgrace because he's written a book that sold about ten copies to his friends. God I wish I could sell ten copies.     


Here's a story well worth a read. It was only published today;





interesting Karl, but (and there always is) similiar stories appear about young whizz kids and mega-bucks deals with traditional publishing houses. I don't doubt it's true. Just as I don't doubt that Premier league footballers get paid lots of money and sometimes people from the sticks, Scotland even, get to play for them. But, as I said, great post and very informative. I'll bookmark it.