Tip of the Day: I'm still a fan of spiral-bound desktop calendars. Find really cool ones at your local museum or arboretum instead of just picking up some generic 52 Cats calendar at your local bookstore. (Yes, I'm already thinking ahead to 2013.)
I was trying to think of blog post topics for this week when a traditionally published friend suggested I discuss why some loud & proud self-pubs jumped the ship and signed traditional contracts.
Is it the fame? The money? The stamp of approval? Is the self-pub end goal a traditional contract, no matter how much we scream that it's not?
Amanda Hocking says she wanted more time to just write. Honestly, I believe that. Self-pub is a lot of hard work that doesn't involve much actual writing time. There's marketing, social media, and promotional events. Hey, wait a sec, my traditional friends have to do those things too. Was it the formatting? Well, that can be hired out for a flat fee. Maybe it's the professional editing. Huh, that's something we can buy for a flat fee too. But yeah, with more management, there probably is more time for writing.
Jamie McGuire preached endlessly about how money should flow to the author, not away. She just sold her books to Simon & Schuster. In my mind, that tells me that the money is no longer flowing toward her - unless she got some incredible royalty rate that other authors don't receive. Or maybe she's betting S&S can get her more exposure.
Besides, let's assume her novel was at $2.99 when she self-pubbed. She would have made approximately $2 per sold ebook. Let's assume she's getting 25% now (which is probably generous) at $7.99 with S&S. Her royalty would be $1.99. Interesting, right? Same income, but now she's got a bigger team on her side. (It's totally possible my math is wrong due to a slight learning disability. Feel free to correct me in the comments - I won't be offended.)
Before anyone gets upset, this isn't a flame on these two authors. I've read Amanda's books and I love 'em. In fact, I'm meeting her tonight at my local bookstore. As for Jamie, I don't know her and haven't read her books, but we have friends in common who tell me she's total awesomesauce.
Point is, authors are going to make decisions that puzzle us. Unless you're good friends with someone, you may never know why they made the decisions they did. It's okay to speculate, but hold off on judging someone. Until you walk in their shoes, it's impossible to truly understand.
As for me? Would I take a trad pub contract if it magically came my way? Depends on the terms, royalties, distribution, and a million-zillion other things. I'm a never-say-never gal. But I can tell you one thing - I LOVE self-publishing. I love the freedom it gives me to explore my imagination. I love owning the rights to my creation. Giving that up would be really, really hard.
Publishing, in any form, is a gamble. Support your friends when they win and when they lose.
Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber