How to succeed as a Vigilante Author

Bob Mayer is an author who not only talks the talk; he walks the walk. Here’s how he summarizes his long journey through the world of publishing:

20 years in traditional publishing with over 40 titles. Hit all the bestseller lists. Have made my living as an author for all that time. At the beginning of this year, I had two manuscripts I could give my agent to sell. But I took the time to consider some things: I focused not on where publishing is right now, I focused on where it would be in two years. Because the traditional publishing model is built on a year long production schedule and selling a book, negotiating a contract, etc. etc. often takes another year.

I was seeing bookstores disappear. eBooks taking a larger share of the market with each month. No one really knows what the sales percentage are. There are too many variables. But I believe for fiction, eBooks are outselling print NOW. The only thing propping up print numbers are wholesalers like WalMart and Costco and the only authors they rack are the top 5%. For the midlist, it’s pretty bleak.

I’d started my own little company, Who Dares Wins Publishing in Jan 2010 with Jen Talty to get my backlist into print. But it wasn’t a priority. In January of 2011 we sold 347 eBooks.

Then I made a decision. I decided to go 100% indie and publish my new books myself. Last month, in July, we sold over 80,000 eBooks. Well over 2,000 a day and grossing well over $100,000 in sales.

This guy clearly knows what he’s doing. So, when he gives advice to writers on how to make it in this new world of indie publishing, I pay attention.

If you’re a writer, you should, too. Read the rest of his article to find out his advice to authors. And follow his blog regularly. It’s an invaluable resource.

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One Response to How to succeed as a Vigilante Author

  1. Anonymous says:

    A followup, from a fine column by David Gaughran:

    A quick look at the Amazon rankings will show you that indie writers currently occupy 100 of the top 363 spots in the Kindle Store. Once you filter out non-book items, such as games, magazines, and newspapers, roughly a third of the top-selling e-books on Amazon are written by indies.

    That’s an astonishing number, especially when you consider that none of these indie books will have benefited from the increased exposure of being in bookstores across the country. They don’t have a publisher to push their books. All they have are passionate readers spreading the word.

    The only gatekeepers readers need are each other.

    Amen to that!

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