This is a very polarizing subject that’ll go deeper into at some point in the future. But I get asked this more than you might think, so it’s worth a quick blog post.
Why am I not signed to a publisher?
Publishers take a cut of each sale. Rightly so, since they’re paying for editing, covers, audio production, advertising, and more.
But I can do all that myself and keep more of the money. Most small presses pay around 35% of every ebook sale to the author. I keep 70%. I know roughly how much each book I write will make me. Sometime it’s more, sometimes it’s less, but I have a ballpark idea.
A few publishers have offered to buy my Asher Benson and The Hunger series. Why didn’t I sell? Money. One of the publishers even offered me a guaranteed 10k unit print run for bookstores. Still turned it down.
When I ran the numbers, I knew I could make more on my own. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever sign with a publisher. The deal has to be right. If there is a significant amount of cash up front, then sign me up. But if there isn’t a sizable advance for the book, or series, then there is little incentive for me.
I do this for a living. I don’t have a 9-5 I go to, so money is the biggest driver in my decision making when it comes to this. Making a higher percentage of ebook sales is more important to me than seeing my book at Barnes & Noble. Don’t get me wrong – that would be great. But it won’t pay my mortgage.
It should also be said that I write in a very niche genre. My books are violent, vulgar, and quirky. Not exactly mainstream material. There isn’t a lot of incentive for a publisher to offer me the kind of money I want. My name isn’t big enough. Yet.
Does any of this mean you shouldn’t go with a publisher? Of course not. There are a ton of reasons to go the traditional route. If you have zero interest in learning formatting or publishing, then the indie path isn’t for you. Do you want to work with a certain company or editor? Go traditional. Dying to see your book on a shelf somewhere? There’s a better chance of that happening if you go with a biggish press. A lot of great options await.
I’m not giving advice, just explaining why I do it a certain way.
And hey, if someone starts throwing stacks of cash at me, I’m all in.
Like I said, this is a short, simple post about a subject that needs more depth. Perhaps later.
Today, I wrote 1808 words (about 8 pages) in Decayed (The Hunger #5), bringing the total to 80085 (over 300 pages).
See ya tomorrow.