New Author Earnings Report

Now Up After a Year… It’s got a ton of stuff in it. And takes a vast amount of time to go through. But worth it. And their new side-business they are only offering to big publishers is flat scary. Horrifying, actually if they are doing it wrong. And I got a hunch that unless they are pulling names, that new business is setting them up for more lawsuits than I want to think about. Because from my understanding, they are releasing personal sales numbers of writers to businesses who can get past their paywall. Private business information of all of us. Oh, oh… Data Guy, Hugh, tell me I am wrong here… Please? I know in the free report you released some names and blocked some information and other names. I hope that every bit of data you release attached to a name is permission granted. Please, please tell me you are doing that… Because behind that stupid paywall of needing ten million in sales, any of my pen names, my name, Kris’s name, or our numbers better not be out in public there. And how will I know? Let me think… I have been around this industry for forty years and have a lot of friends who will be glad to send me information about myself they buy from you. Now, unless two very smart humans are being stupid beyond words, I am going to assume they are not doing what I (and others I have talked to) fear, so now to the meat of what they did release. Scary amounts of data and tough to dig through, but as I said worth it. So take the time to do so. One Quibble… However, I am going to quibble, and only an opinion quibble. The silly myth that no one is making any money any more is a myth, as they proved with their numbers. That I agree. And that there is a changing of the guard, that I agree as well. And expected. We are getting a bunch of writers now who understand business and production and don’t chase every promotion rabbit. And I agree the industry and indie publishing is solid now. So all those points they made I agree with. No issue at all. But my quibble is that the reason so many feel the money is going down is that the industry is tougher. Everything has spread out over more books, more authors, and authors who don’t talk much or release their numbers. When WMG started into this new world, we managed to get up 200 titles fairly quickly. Just six short years later we have up over eight hundred titles under many names. And we are not alone by a long ways in that growth. Readers have more choices, more high-quality books to pick from. So the money has spread out, especially for the major bestsellers. You can make the bottom of the Times list on some weeks with just over a thousand copies sold. That would have been a failure book ten years ago. So while I agree with their conclusions at the end, I just don’t think they took it that last step in comparing the numbers of indie authors they found in their very first survey way back with what they found now. And as time goes on with this new way they are working, they will be able to track that growth. And that will be a good thing as long as they never release personal business information to anyone.