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Old 09-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #1
AnemicOak
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Interesting article on the income of two Fantasy authors

Galleycat has an interesting article talking about a Reddit discussion of what two Fantasy authors, Paul S. Kemp (trad. pubbed) and Michael J. Sullivan (self-pubbed) are looking at in terms of income from their writing. Thought it might be of interest to some here.

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On Reddit, traditionally published fantasy author Paul S. Kemp and self-published fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan pulled back the curtain on their yearly earnings. Kemp said that he does not “expect to quit my day job anytime soon.” He spoke frankly about his writing finances:
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In contrast, Sullivan didn’t earn any money from his first book, published by a small press that offered no advance. When he switched to self-publishing, his career started to take off.
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat...rs-earn_b77578
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:18 PM   #2
Katsunami
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Paul S. Kemp is an okay fantasy writer who did some Dungeons and Dragons novels, but as far as I can see, he hasn't done anything major, like Terry Brooks, George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling...

When talking about D&D stuff or even fantasy in general, he doesn't even come close to a lean, mean writing machine like R.A. Salvatore.

Does anyone, really? That guy seems to write like 6 books a year nowadays, and not only D&D. He claimed that his son has "just started writing", but I suspect his son has been "practicing", with the books being edited by Salvatore himself, and published under his name. That guy writes SO much that it's even hard to keep up with him alone, if you're just a casual fantasy reader.

I think that *he* has quit his day job like 15 years ago, at least.

Other fantasy authors that grind Paul S. Kemp into the ground (with regard to volume) are Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Mercedes Lackey... sometimes it actually looks like as if in fantasy, volume is the only thing that counts. Series, more series, and longer series.

One thing I have noticed in fantasy is that, if an author writes a book that becomes popular, then many people want all the series he has written before. Suddenly, even the mediocre books are great sellers. It seems that, if you read a fantasy author, it's impossible to just read parts of his work. At least, I can't. Even though I like Salvatore's later books less than his earlier ones, I still read him just to keep the series complete... :X

Last edited by Katsunami; 09-12-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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One factor to be aware of: Michael Sullivan's big boom was happening at the time that Amazon was aggressively pushing its self-publishing arm. There were not as many kindle authors back then. The market was less crowded, and a good book with a good cover and good marketing text had an easier time topping a bestsellers list and riding the sales wave of the Amazon Marketing Algorithms.

Also, Sullivan apparently had a backlist of 4 books that he was releasing onto Amazon in quick succession, which generally results in better sales than the one-book-a-year model. Sullivan's next paragraph on the discussion forums (not quoted in the original link) is relevant:

Quote:
All that being said...most of that is in the past and it will be a long time before I have another project ready for sale. I tend to write "entire series" and only submit them to publication after they are finished. My current work in progress will probably not earn anything until 2015 and the only 2014 income I have on the horizon is self-publishing sales of Hollow World and whatever royalties the existing books might produce. Books tend to initially earn well then fall off drastically so I don't count on any "backlist income" if it comes - great.
Which isn't to say that Self-publishing is not the more financially viable approach for many authors. In terms of income-per-book-sold, it simply can't be beat. I'd just be cautious about taking the particular numbers quoted here as being representative of the situation as a whole.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
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My total income (self-published) for the past year and a half has been almost enough to pay for a nice dinner out for two.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
My total income (self-published) for the past year and a half has been almost enough to pay for a nice dinner out for two.

What time do you want me there?




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Old 09-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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What time do you want me there?




Don
You're welcome any time Don, and yes, I'll buy!
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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You're welcome any time Don, and yes, I'll buy!
Yeah he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC. You can't miss it! It is a big white house, just drive right in and ignore all the fan boys in suits around the gates. They just want to look cool, and do not worry about the guns... they are only Nerf. Just floor it past them and you will be fiiiiiinnnnne.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Yeah he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC. You can't miss it! It is a big white house, just drive right in and ignore all the fan boys in suits around the gates. They just want to look cool, and do not worry about the guns... they are only Nerf. Just floor it past them and you will be fiiiiiinnnnne.
Change the punctuation a bit and you could submit that to the first sentence thread.
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:12 PM   #9
VydorScope
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Change the punctuation a bit and you could submit that to the first sentence thread.
Go for it. I make no exclusive claim on stupidity....errr really good ideas like what is described in that sentence.
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