Loretta originally posted part of this on The Wild Rose Press loop. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything she had to say, I thought she made her point very well. I hope you let us know where you stand on the issue of why writers publish the way they do and what they hope to gain from it. For now, welcome Loretta C. Rogers. – Liz Flaherty
Recently, the topic on The Wild Rose Press loop has been about disappointing sales numbers. While I enjoy reading the topics, I’m mostly a lurker. But, I found one particular discussion about sales and depression especially interesting, so I thought I’d chime in.
Like many of those posting, I’m living my dream and absolutely enjoy being a TWRP author. I didn’t become a writer hoping to become the next Nora Roberts or John Grisham, or even having my novels made into movies. I write because it makes me happy, and if I make a little money, then that is a wonderful side benefit.
My point is, I have author friends who have self-published, put their books up for free, done all the “right” things and have experienced absolutely “No” sales. Zero. Zilch.
I have author friends who have agents and are published with the larger publishing houses. They have the same complaints—low sales. Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, but they’ve got that big advance.”
Getting the advance isn’t everything, especially if those authors don’t make their sell-through. Many who don’t make their sell-through risk not getting another contract. Personally, that’s not the kind of pressure I want in this phase of my life.
Think about the shelf-life of books published by the big 6. Our (TWRP) books have an infinite life span, whereas books published by many Harlequin imprints and other large publishing houses have a shelf-life of approximately three weeks. Then the covers are stripped off the books and shipped back to the publisher.
Let’s talk about royalty rates. TWRP offers an excellent percentage on royalties, whereas royalties with the big six is approximately 6%; but if Wal-mart slaps a $3.95 price tag on the book, do the math—how much of that does the author get?
Sure, B&N doesn’t want to host book signings for POD books. So what? I’ve seen authors sit with stacks of books from Harlequin, Avon, St. Martins, etc. and never have anyone approach the table. Talk about depressing; that’s a real downer.
Be creative and set your own book signings. In the fall, I take advantage of local festivals. Sometimes, I sell 40 or more books, sometimes five or six. The point is not the amount of books I sell or the money I do or don’t make, but that I’m reaching the reading public and having fun at the same time.
In this business there is no magic bullet. What works for one author may not work for another. The thing is—if you approach writing and getting published with the mindset of making money, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Personally, I don’t track my sales. I write, I stay in contact with my reading public via newsletter, blogs and FB. I don’t tweet and I don’t spend money on ads.
Writing is an enjoyable outlet for me. I know people who sit in front of the TV all day. They gripe about their aches and pains, they complain because they have nothing to do, they dwell on when they were young and how much they miss the old days. I don’t want to be like those people. Instead, I do what makes me happy. I write; and when people email to let me know how much they enjoy my books, I’m even happier.
If writing and not making enough money to quit your day job or to go on that dream vacation; if writing and low sales numbers causes you to be depressed, then it may be time to step back and reevaluate your goals—why do you write? For the joy of creating wonderful stories and bringing a few hours of pleasure to the reading public, or is for the sole purpose of making money?
I like what Vonnie Davis (another TWRP author) said, “Fulfill your dream…success is slow coming.”
Loretta C. RogersHeart of Excellence & Beacon Award winner
Read about Loretta’s The Wild Rose Press release
Buy Link to Forbidden Son from – The Wild Rose Press http://bit.ly/zShp1l
Buy Link to Forbidden Son from – Amazon.com http://amzn.to/z55cqh
He towered over her, his stare drilling into her. His eyes seemed to capture her from hair to high-heeled shoes. Clearing her throat, she tried to appear businesslike.
“Have I changed so much that you don’t recognize me, Tripp?” This wasn’t at all the way she had rehearsed the scene in her head. She didn’t blink an eye—afraid any reaction might betray her uncertainty.
“Look, miss, I don’t have time for twenty questions. I meet a lot of people, if—”
She wanted him to remember, to remember her, to remember—what? That seventeen years ago she had walked away from him? That she hadn’t had the courage to stand up to his father and fight for her position in the life of the man she loved. That for sixteen years she had raised the son he never knew existed. She should never have left Tripp. So much guilt, for so many mistakes. She had no one to blame but herself.
She lifted her eyes to his. “Seventeen years ago, in Charleston, South Carolina, I asked you to take me for a ride in your shiny white BMW.”
The silence of the office closed in around her.