So, if you’re following publishing these days, you know that things are changing rapidly due to the advent of ebooks. You’ve heard that fewer authors are offered traditional deals (take me for example) and that the mid-list is shrinking. Traditional publishers are only looking for the big bestsellers and passing over the more niche offerings.
You’ve also heard about indie publishing phenoms like Amanda Hocking and J. A. Konrath. You’ve heard they’re making hundreds of thousands, if not millions, so you know there is money to be made if you take your writing seriously and have luck on your side.
You know that ebooks are only 20 percent of the market. Paperbacks still make up the vast majority of book sales. And you’ve also heard that most books still sell fewer than 100 copies, and as a result, most indies are making very little money.
You hear about the extremes, but precious little about authors who fall somewhere in the middle–between outlandish success and abject failure. You don’t have to have a book in the Amazon Top 100 to be a successful author. You don’t have to shoot to instant fame. You can slowly build your backlist over time, and while you are doing so, you could be selling 5-20 of each of your books per day.
So let’s say you have one book and sell 20 copies per day at $2.99. That’s roughly $40 per day, seven days a week. That’s $14,600 per year. Can you quit your day job on that one book? Can you put in that swimming pool?
Nope. But what if you had two or three books that consistently perform that way?
I think there is a new mid-list building out there, and it’s composed of indies like me. We may not be Hockings or Konraths, and we may never be, but that does not mean we cannot make a good living in the new indie mid-list.