While the big-wig publishing companies debate if there’s significant money to be made from e-books and e-readers, entrepreneurial authors turned e-publishers are already making it. Some are even making a living, solely from the earnings of their e-books.
This last year brought changes from companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, allowing indie authors to really take off.
While it’s always been free for self-publishers to upload their e-books to these stores, now they can receive a hefty 70% of the book’s price tag for each sale. Compare this to traditionally published authors who must suffer middlemen taking cuts (royalties tend to be 10-25% with more falling at the lower end of the spectrum).
The sizable royalty these retailers are offering allow independent authors, who cut out all the middlemen, to price their works much lower than mainstream publishers. A new e-book from a traditional press may run $7.99 to $9.99 or more, while an indie can price his or her book at $2.99 and make over $2 per sale (which ends up being as much–or more–than the author going through a publisher).
While some readers may turn up their noses at indie authors, since many of these works haven’t been professionally edited or backed by a “gatekeeper,” others are ready and willing to give them a try. In our struggling economy, it doesn’t hurt that these reads are often 1/3rd the price (or less) of traditionally published books.
So, which authors are making it, you wonder? Here are a few indies that are earning good money (over 1,000 book sales a month) by e-publishing their own work. (Source: JA Konrath’s blog on self-publishing.)
JA Konrath — author of numerous thrillers, including the Jack Daniels series
Suzanne Tyrpak — writer of dark suspense
William Meikle — penned a successful invasion-story science fiction novel
D.B. Henson — indie whose thriller became a kindle blockbuster at Amazon
Maria Rachel Hooley — writes edgy young adult fiction
Karen Cantwell — contemporary mystery author
Tess Oliver — young adult author who sprinkles in werewolves
David Derrico — writes science fiction adventures and technothrillers
H.P. Mallory — paranormal romance author
Ellen O’Connell — author of historical romances
C.S. Marks — Tolkien-inspired fantasy writer
If any of those genres interest you, look the authors up on Amazon!
One of the cool things this list shows is that authors are succeeding across a wide range of genres. The biggest thing these folks have in common are good books, solid editing, professional-looking covers, and a willingness to learn the ropes of marketing one’s own work.
The author publishes the Kindle Geeks Blog, which is devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction e-books only a geek could love. She also writes fantasy novels of her own that are available for the kindle and other e-book readers.