To have my novel traditionally published is the dream. Naturally. Who dreams of writing a novel and not having agents and publishers eager to sell their work?
Of course in these tricky economic times it is increasingly more difficult to get that agent and publishing contract. The fact that everyone wants to be a writer doesn’t help.
So my plan B, should plan A of being traditionally published fail, was to self-publish.
I’ve done some homework on this and know some rough costs. I have names of companies floating around in my head and marketing ideas. At this moment in time I can’t really afford to go ahead with this and I don’t have full confidence in any of my manuscripts right now. Maybe when the manuscripts are ready, my bank account will be too.
I think I have a good idea of what it takes to be a successful self-published writer – enough start up money to do yourself justice, a professionally edited and proofread manuscript, a professionally designed cover, a marketing plan, some good friends to spread the word and a very strong and determined will to succeed.
Today I read this article about the average earnings of self-published writers taken from a survey of 1,700 self-published authors for the Taleist website.
Apparently the majority of self-published authors do not make a lot of money. Despite a few success stories, the majority actually make less than $500 a year. This is very worrying as it means that many don’t break even. How depressing.
Romance fiction is reportedly the best genre to write to become a self-published success. Fantasy writers, I noted, do not fare well. There is hope, however; professional help can increase the potential for earnings, as I had already discovered and assumed. According to the survey well educated women in their 40s who write an average of just over 2,000 words a day are the most successful.
Essentially, if you do as good a job as a publisher would you are more likely to succeed. Well, it doesn’t take a genius (or a survey) to come to that conclusion. But then this depends on your definition of the word ‘success’. For some this is monetary, for others just to see their name in print is success enough.
So it has all become clear. I will continue to search for representation and go down the traditional route until I hit 40 when I will double my writing efforts from 1000 words a day and take the plunge! On the other hand, maybe the key is to dig out all my savings, get working on my manuscripts and get them published and out into the world before other aspiring writers wake up, realise what has been going on and increase the standards of self-publishing.