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Old 06-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #31
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If stealing includes library and second hand purchases
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We're talking about products people are intended to pay for, and you know it.
So stop with the red herrings already.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #32
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This is where I am right now (and have been for about 2 years now): Trying to figure out how to sell the stories I've already written, before I write any more. Whether or not I'll write another novel is fully dependent on my success in marketing myself.
Sounds like you would be better off with a publisher. I write for my own amusement (and therapy). Anything else that happens is just a bonus. That gives me the freedom to write whatever I want to write, instead of just the sequels that people sometimes ask for.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #33
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Sounds like you would be better off with a publisher.
Well, until the day I can walk into a publisher's office, write them a check (that they can actually cash) and say, "Here's my book, market this for me," that's clearly not an option. I'm not going to get help from a publisher, there's no incentive in it for either of us.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:00 PM   #34
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Well, until the day I can walk into a publisher's office, write them a check (that they can actually cash) and say, "Here's my book, market this for me," that's clearly not an option. I'm not going to get help from a publisher, there's no incentive in it for either of us.

You could use a publicist.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:02 PM   #35
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Ha! That's gotta be the fourth person I've heard that quote attributed to... maybe you're thinking of Smashwords' Mark Coker?

Yes him! I read it in his blog.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:03 PM   #36
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So stop with the red herrings already.
It's not vastly different. None of those writers made any money from me for those books, other than the few pence they might have got from library loans if they hadn't already reached the limit. And none of them would have ever sold me a new book if it wasn't for the ones I'd already read. Don't forget there's no second hand market for ebooks, so a certain amount of slippage doesn't really matter. Piracy will never be as much of a problem for writers as second hand books.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #37
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And getting back to the OP, I think this is something every writer should consider when deciding if this field is right for them. In hindsight, I should probably have never started writing, since I've never been a good self-promoter, nor do I have a horde of friends to support me and my work. I wish someone had explained it to me, so I might have gone into some more worthwhile activity and spared myself the hassle of writing.
Then I think, you are not in it for the same reason I am. I actually have a good stable day job, in my chosen field where most of my degrees apply. If no one ever buys another book from me, I will be fine. I write because I love to tell stories.

Sounds like you are primarily profit motivated. I am not sure this is a good business for you in that case.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:59 PM   #38
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It may be common, but I don't consider it right or honest; and I'd bet my house that the number of entertainment products that are enjoyed and NOT paid for would fill the Atlantic. I don't condone it, nor do I think much of anyone who does it.
Agreed. Completely.

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Old 06-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #39
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Sounds like you are primarily profit motivated. I am not sure this is a good business for you in that case.
I've probably said this before, but he needs to be writing quick cash-in books in whatever is the most popular genre today. That's what I would do. Have a few stock plots already written and just add a few zombie vampire wizard lesbian characters, or whatever is required for people to buy them. You could probably use the same basic plot in several books if they were in different genres, nobody would notice and it would mean you could get them out quicker.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #40
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I've probably said this before, but he needs to be writing quick cash-in books in whatever is the most popular genre today...
Pfft. I'd sooner not write. (You're such a cynic.)

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You could use a publicist.
Second time I've heard that suggestion this week. I wouldn't know the first thing about finding one, but maybe I need to look further into that.

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Old 06-27-2012, 09:39 PM   #41
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[...]And getting back to the OP, I think this is something every writer should consider when deciding if this field is right for them. In hindsight, I should probably have never started writing, since I've never been a good self-promoter, nor do I have a horde of friends to support me and my work. I wish someone had explained it to me, so I might have gone into some more worthwhile activity and spared myself the hassle of writing.
It is certainly something every writer should consider - IF earning an income is their goal. Everything that I've read, for many years, has been quite clear about the fact that writing is not a good means of earning money. The only potential exceptions appear to be those that doing it truly professionally: journalists and teachers that spend years perfecting their craft and able to earn money from a variety of sources.

The ebook revolution is changing things to the extent that many people can earn some money from their work, but - as expected - very few (percentage-wise) earn what could seriously be called an income. Other threads on this forum bear out this fact. Ebooks haven't mysteriously increased the size of the market, the number of readers (or not that I've seen evidence of, and certainly not dramatically), they've simply made it easier for new writers to make their work available. Availability doesn't magically transmute to sales. Even writers that have the support of traditional publishers rarely make very much money. The existence of ebooks changes the nature of publishing, but they do not change the nature of readers. Their existence will not change the ratios of financial success.

I think everyone that starts writing as a hobby needs to clearly understand this: That even with the ease of self-publishing, your books are unlikely to ever repay (in financial terms) the time you have put into them. (The time you better have put into them, if you expect to earn anything at all.) If you want a career in writing: start young and become a journalist or teacher; if that doesn't appeal, put away your expectations of making money and write for your own enjoyment, that way anything you do earn - financially - is a bonus.

I started writing because I felt compelled to, I have kept at it because it has become an obsession. I hope to publish my books, but I am in no hurry, I don't seriously expect to be able to give up my day job - as much as I would like to.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:30 AM   #42
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Yeah, I just got my very first Payment Notice from Amazon.....I might be able to buy myself a nice lunch.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #43
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I am often surprised by the extent to which writers like to suggest that writing is only valid when it is done for its own sake... the unspoken assumption being that writing with the expectation of financial compensation at any level is only the goal of evil, greedy capitalist swine.

At the same time, they love to speak about how much the digital era is changing books and publishing for the better, but they assume that the financial opportunities of ebooks will not similarly evolve, but will only evaporate. This, despite the fact that we have evidence of ebooks and independent writers making a decent living off of their books (well, a few of them, anyway), and the fact that the Kindle Store isn't exactly losing money.

When I talk about making money off of my books, I'm not talking about yearly 5- or 6-figure salaries; I'm talking about supplementary income to add to my present salary... to better my life and my position in it. I don't think there's anything outrageous or insane about that. Yet the prevailing unspoken (and spoken) attitude seems to be that I am, in fact, quite clearly insane and probably irredeemably evil for thinking such a thing.

Even on this site. Some days, especially on this site.

I can understand the lack of confidence a new writer may have for trying something they've never done before. But as I said earlier, the lack of support from the public, and from other writers, to a good writer can be as poisonous to their desire to create as any personal uncertainty. And on a daily basis, I feel like I need fresh doses of anti-venom when I even talk about writing. Yes, even here.

Maybe people don't actually realize how insulting and degrading it is to state, repeatedly, that someone who is doing what they like but having trouble with it is therefore BAD and WRONG and should GIVE UP NOW. Maybe they are simply insensitive to the plights of absolute strangers, even those who share their passions. (On the web, I'd put good money on that one.) Maybe they seek to remove the weaker segments of the competition. I don't know which my be true, but those people should be aware that they aren't helping anything by kicking at those who could use help trying to accomplish a goal.

Last thing: I'd just like to state that money is not the root of all evil; people are.

(And yeah, I know I should never have posted this.)
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:48 AM   #44
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I don't think anyone said you should stop writing, just that you should have more realistic expectations of how much money you are going to make from it.

Removing the need for publishers created a lot of new writers, but it didn't create a lot of new readers.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #45
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I am often surprised by the extent to which writers like to suggest that writing is only valid when it is done for its own sake... the unspoken assumption being that writing with the expectation of financial compensation at any level is only the goal of evil, greedy capitalist swine.[...]
I certainly didn't intend to give that impression. I have nothing but good wishes for those that do succeed.

My post was one intended to be one about being realistic: when you look at the statistics the odds are that writers are not going to make much money out of their work.

There are obvious some exceptions, but even for those that do make some reasonable income, it is questionable whether their hourly rate comes close to what they'd get at other jobs, even unskilled jobs. It's not just artistic endeavours either, any time you work for yourself you tend to put in a great many more hours than you ever get paid for.

This is your starting point: the chances are you won't get a good financial return on your time spent. Hence, my own personal conclusion, that financial gain should not be a primary motivator for writing. (Just as it wasn't the primary motivator for working for myself.)

But, I am certainly not going to tell anyone not to try and sell their work - I intend to try and sell mine. I don't think it is evil or in any way bad to ask people to pay for a book you have written, quite the reverse. And like you I would like to think that people will be honest enough to actually buy the books rather than pirating them - but realistically I know that won't always be true: such is life.
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