Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Michael J. Sullivan is Wicked Smart

Michael takes a point I’ve been trying to make for years and explains it a lot better and more thoroughly than I ever could. A great piece.

http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2013/06/publishing-lets-stop-comparing-apples-and-oranges/

4 replies to “Michael J. Sullivan is Wicked Smart”

according to his sales figures, my books are “good but not great”. That’s how I define them too. Success!!!

Huh. Pretty interesting to see the rankings of some of the authors working with larger imprints. My books are selling better than I thought, relative to others’. (The historical fiction, anyway. The literary fiction will always sell like crap. It’s lit.)

I would say that there is another level, and maybe he is saying this too, but I just missed it. In “good but not great” he mentions that the self-pubbed author might make $500-$2000. I have several titles that have easily made past the $5k mark, and are easily very profitable, but they still aren’t runaway hits. I think a lot of titles hang out in the 2k-9k ranking and just grind out pretty good money every month. Having 5-10 of these titles can lead to a nice income without them falling into the “just paid off the investment” category or the “great success” category. Again, maybe he included this high mid-list self-pubbed category in his article and I just missed it, but there are a lot of people who make enough money to write full time, without a single Hocking/Howey type of hit.

This is a great article, and I’m thankful for Hugh for highlighting it.

MB

I agree with that assessment. I *technically* make enough money to write full-time right now, but I’m not prepared to go full-time just yet for a variety of reasons. (Soon, though.) Currently, between my two pen names, I’ve got three titles out with two more slated to come out this year. None of my books have been runaway hits yet, but all of them earn their keep and two of them quite consistently, almost predictably, earn a very steady and comfortable monthly income. So there is a middle ground to this where authors can be comfortable and productive and happy without either being gigantic indie hits or barely squeaking by.

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