After a $1.99 Gold Box of the Day sale at Amazon, romance novelist Bella Andre took five spots on the MediaBistro.com Self-Published Bestsellers list with her series, The Sullivans.
Her story, told in a bubbly interview by the Washington Post, reflects what is happening with a lot of authors who have been published by the traditional press.
Bella (real name Nyree Belleville) had sold 12 spicy romances to a traditional publisher, with very disappointing results. So, at the age of 36, with a husband, young children, and undoubtedly a mortgage, this young Californian set out to publish one of her reverted books herself, on the Kindle publishing platform.
She didn't find it easy. (Nowadays, she could have used my tutorial, KindlePublishingHints, as lots are doing, but they weren't available in 2010.) However, she managed it, and so the book landed on Amazon.com. Then she forgot it for a few weeks, which was probably a good idea -- because lo, when she finally remembered, she found she had sold 161 copies, and made the grand sum of $281.
Celebration! Which in California (as in Wellington, New Zealand), naturally means lunch with some girlfriend writers. Encouraged, she put more books out, and lo, again, in the month of December her earnings were $19,315.
It's the stuff of Indie writers' dreams. Perched on the edge of a couch in her tiny writing office, which doubles as a playroom for her kids, Belleville said to the Washington Post writer: “Isn’t this just awesome?!”
The rest of the story is well worth reading, being a discussion of this publishing revolution.
Self-publishing frontier, it begins:
There is no good comparison for what’s happening in the frontier world of self-published e-books, because there has never been anything like it in publishing history.
Since Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press in the 15th century, publishers have pretty much owned the presses, the means of mass production and, therefore, of distribution. Save for tiny “vanity” printings, for the intervening 500 years or so publishing houses have controlled who was able to publish, how many copies were printed, the price and the percentage of profits paid to writers
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