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Saturday, April 02, 2016

Don't quit your day job

Consider how many books are sold by a traditionally published multi-Hugo winning author:
It’s the question every writer dreads: “How many books have you sold?”

It’s a tricky question because for 99% of the year, those with traditionally published books honestly have very little idea. But two times a year – in the spring and in the fall – we receive royalty statements from publishers, which give a sometimes cryptic breakdown of what has sold where. So for those keeping track here with my “Honest Publishing Numbers” posts, here’s an update.

THE MIRROR EMPIRE

Sold about 23,000 copies as of December 31st, 2015 (representing about 16 months of sales)

EMPIRE ASCENDANT

About 7,000 copies as of December 31st, 2015 (note that this book came out in October last year, so that’s only two months of sales. Not bad)
That's not bad, but less than one would tend to imagine. However, to put it in perspective, "tiny" independent publisher Castalia House reliably sells between 3,000 and 10,000 copies per book. Self-published Mike Cernovich has reported over 15,000 23,000 copies of Gorilla Mindset sold since June 2015. And while I'm not at liberty to talk about their book sales, mostly self-published and sometime Castalia authors Jonathan Moeller and Christopher Nuttall both sell... considerably more than that.

All without any of those books appearing in a single traditional bookstore. And despite being nobodies in the eyes of every mainstream publisher, they're all doing rather better than most traditionally published authors.
Almost a third of published authors make less than $500 a year from their writing, according to a new survey, with around a half of writers dissatisfied with their writing income.

In the wake of a year that has seen a bitter war of words rage between traditionally published and self-published authors, the survey shows that the old way of doing things continues to reap the most financial rewards for writers, with traditionally published authors making a median annual income of $3,000–$4,999, and independent writers a median of $500–$999. So-called hybrid authors, however – those who publish in both ways – did best, earning $7,500–$9,999 a year.
This is why I always tell people who say they want to write that they should never pursue it as a career. It is a pastime; if you enjoy it, then by all means, write! But don't focus on the possibility of making money, and by no means plan on it. Do it because you love it. Let your enjoyment of your work shine though it.

It can be done. Larry Correia shows that hard work can sell books. John Scalzi shows that relentless self-marketing and politicking can sell books. Mike Cernovich shows that owning social media can sell books. But the odds are against the average individual, and against the better-than-average individual as well.

UPDATE: Jerry Pournelle adds his thoughts on the matter:
Some of us do a little better than that.  See my essay on how to get my job.

Self publishing works for some who work very hard, and do a lot to let their intended readership know their works exist. Being displayed for sale in a bookstore used to work, and for some  still does, but being known for writing good stories of a particular kind has always been the key to making a living at writing.

My essay was written  before the self-publishing revolution, when independent publishers were known as the vanity press, and sold mostly to the author's friends and relatives; today it's possible to sell eBooks to a large niche readership, who, I suppose, can be thought a big expansion of friends and relatives; big enough, sometimes, to support someone who tells them stories they will pay to read.

Of course, as Mr Heinlein taught us, we write for discretionary income: as Robert put it. Joe's beer money, and Joe likes his beer.

Labels:

83 Comments:

Anonymous O.C. April 02, 2016 2:04 PM  

A terribly revealing detail is that the IRS Form 1099 reporting threshold for most self-employed people or independent contractors is $600 annually -- but for *authors*, it's $10.

Anonymous Steve April 02, 2016 2:13 PM  

Larry Correia shows that hard work can do it.

Hard work and reliably delivering awesome.

And it's interesting to me that Larry and John's careers seem to have opposite trajectories.

MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL was fresh and fun but suffered a little from firstbookitis. It was a bit rough around the edges and Owen Zavasta Pitt has never been the most interesting character in the Correiaverse.

He's only gotten better as a storyteller since then. Later MHI books raised the bar. GRIMNOIR hurdled over the bar. BLACK SWORD took the bar and used it to gleefully slaughter a zombie army of poz-infected lesser fantasy books.

OLD MAN'S WAR came out over 10 years ago, and it's still Scalzi's best novel. He's actually gotten worse.

Blogger J Van Stry April 02, 2016 2:14 PM  

I sold 27,000 copies last year. Sold, not given away for free (I hate people who say they sold a book when in fact the gave them away), but I honestly don't consider myself to be a successful indy author.
I have found that a lot of people will not share sales numbers, which makes it frustrating to figure out whose advice you should listen to, and whose advice you should ignore.

There are a lot of people who claim to be experts, who I've discovered sell far less than I do.

And while I haven't had any single book outsell the 'The Mirror Empire' I have had several outsell 'Empire Ascendant'. I think if I could figure out how to be better at marketing I be doing even better still. I'd try to sign up with a publishing house, but I'm too non-pc, as my main series is pretty much written for men (yet oddly enough all of my women beta readers love it too).

Anonymous Michael Maier April 02, 2016 2:20 PM  

Cue the asshat SJWs coming in here saying Vox is picking on them.

No, morons. He didn't. So, please, STFU.

Blogger kurt9 April 02, 2016 2:31 PM  

This is why I always tell people who say they want to write that they should never pursue it as a career. It is a pastime; if you enjoy it, then by all means, write!

Yes, I think so. Jerry Pournelle also says that you should be prepared to throw out your first million words. Its the same as getting into Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice, and more practice.

Anonymous April O'Neil April 02, 2016 2:34 PM  

J Van Stry; do you hate people who say they sold a game when it was bundled with a new PC?

Blogger RobertT April 02, 2016 2:34 PM  

I love the way you crunch the numbers, from the Trump campaign to to publishing. This information is out there and anyone could do it, but no one does. Cernovich does a version of it in his own way, but you own this niche.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 02, 2016 2:45 PM  

Larry Correia shows that hard work can do it.

He's an extreme outlier in as many dimensions of human measurement as I can think of. I wouldn't rush to put it down to hard work.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 02, 2016 2:47 PM  

Which is not to disparage the man's work ethic, obviously that is also a metric where he's an outlier.

OpenID denektenorsk April 02, 2016 2:47 PM  

...bout 7,000 copies as of December 31st, 2015...

To someone who comes from a games background that seems incredibly low to keep an entire food chain of author, publisher, distributer and brick and mortar shops all well fed.

Were these numbers considerably higher in the past before the rise of so many electronic distractions?

J Van Stry; do you hate people who say they sold a game when it was bundled with a new PC?

Unless your publisher is a complete moron that is still a sale. A forced, discounted sale, but still cash in the publishers and potentially the developers pocket. These tend to be very lucrative deals as they are usually guaranteed a couple hundred thousand bundled copies, bare minimum.

I personally tend to avoid bloatware, but if the differentiation comes down to nvidia chipset sold by X or nvidia chipset sold by Y for pretty much the same price and Y has a game I'm interested in, then I buy Y.

Is there a direct comparison to book publishing? Are they free free or is there a financial transaction?

Blogger J Van Stry April 02, 2016 2:55 PM  

@10. They are free, there is no financial transaction. They even have a name for it: permafree. They will put a book up free someplace and then tell Amazon about it (by reporting) so Amazon price matches the book down to free.

There are people who swear that this leads to big sales (underwear gnomes anyone?) but no one has ever been able to prove it, and a LOT of evidence has proven that it hurts more than helps. Because while a lot of people download free books, very few of them actually read the books.

Amazon has been threatening for years now to dump the permafree books, because it costs Amazon money and Amazon gets little to nothing for it. But they haven't done it yet, so at least somebody is making money off of them.

Anonymous gxg April 02, 2016 3:00 PM  

In my best month ever (about 2 years ago), I sold 50,000 books in one month. Paid sales, not free. This includes sales from two books, so an average of 25,000 per book.

My genre is romance. I'm an indie publisher. No trad publisher would've touched these. The guy was alpha, but not a vampire. (Prior to the last few years the leading men could be masculine ONLY if they weren't actually, ahem, human.)

Indie romance writers are killing it, because they don't have to go through New York gate-keepers. Bigtime agents and publishers think they're unbiased. They're not. They don't like strong men. They prefer mercy over justice. They think that easy girls are just as worthy as nice girls. They're so biased, they don't even realize how out of touch they are from readers in middle America.

The indie publishing trend is just one way that coastal elites are losing influence, and this is a very good thing.

(BTW, now that I'm a success, I've had offers from trad agents and publishers. My answer. Thanks, but no thanks.)

Blogger Mike Romkey April 02, 2016 3:08 PM  

I'm going indie so I can control the marketing. Present company excluded, trad publishers just throw titles at the wall and hope one of them ends up being "Inteview With A Vampire." Now all I have to do is figure out *how* to do the marketing.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 02, 2016 3:11 PM  

gxg wrote:My genre is romance...

...They're so biased, they don't even realize how out of touch they are from readers in middle America.


Who would have thought we'd see the day when Jews lost control of the porn market?

Anonymous gxg April 02, 2016 3:16 PM  

Trad publishers just throw titles at the wall and hope one of them ends up being "Interview With A Vampire."

True. The way I hear it, you're lucky to get a press release out of trad publishers. These days, they expect the author to do most of the marketing.

The primary benefit of a trad publishing deal is that your book will appear in brick-and-mortar bookstores. Unfortunately, it will remain there for only a few weeks, unless your book happens to take off, sales-wise.

Anonymous gxg April 02, 2016 3:21 PM  

Who would have thought we'd see the day when Jews lost control of the porn market?
The control-loss started with the internet, when goobers everywhere gained the ability to post pix of themselves naked.

Anonymous antipater_1 April 02, 2016 3:31 PM  

Vox says: "But the odds are against the average individual, and against the better-than-average individual as well."
This statement is so true and something perhaps most people do not realize. And it applies to most of life and not just trying to be a successful author. The deck of life is always stacked against the vast majority and nothing can be done.

Blogger VD April 02, 2016 3:32 PM  

J Van Stry; do you hate people who say they sold a game when it was bundled with a new PC?

If you get paid per copy sold, it's a sale.

Blogger James Higham April 02, 2016 3:45 PM  

Could also apply to blogging.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 02, 2016 3:46 PM  

Don't quit your day job...if you are interested in winning a Hugo.

Blogger Michael Maier April 02, 2016 3:47 PM  

J Van Stry; do you hate people who say they sold a game when it was bundled with a new PC?

I LOL'd... but that's inaccurate.

To paraquote Scalzi, Vox F'd 'em. He got paid.

Blogger Michael Maier April 02, 2016 3:48 PM  

Good one, 6306.

Blogger newanubis April 02, 2016 3:50 PM  

Being owned by Vox is becoming a regular event on the left. Look for #ownedbyVox in this and other fine stores

Blogger Eric April 02, 2016 4:03 PM  

...the survey shows that the old way of doing things continues to reap the most financial rewards for writers, with traditionally published authors making a median annual income of $3,000–$4,999, and independent writers a median of $500–$999. So-called hybrid authors, however – those who publish in both ways – did best, earning $7,500–$9,999 a year.

Traditionally published authors make $3k-$5k a year? That's an order of magnitude smaller than I would have thought. Especially considering the number of people I know who keep firing off drafts to publishers without any success.

And why do the hybrids make more? Is it because they have a big (-ish) seller and people go back and read all their indie books?

Anonymous gxg April 02, 2016 4:19 PM  

And why do the hybrids make more? Is it because they have a big (-ish) seller and people go back and read all their indie books?

That's one reason. But it's also part of the selection process. Many hybrids are indie authors who were so successful that they were offered trad publishing deals.

Traditionally published authors make $3k-$5k a year? That's an order of magnitude smaller than I would have thought.

Most books don't earn out their advances, and advances have been falling. These days, a new author might receive only $3,000 for a book-advance. If that book doesn't earn out, that original $3,000 (an advance against future royalties) is all the author receives. And, from that $3,000, they must pay their agent, who gets 15%.

When it comes to trad publishing, the people on the top make a lot of money. The mid-listers can hardly afford to quit their day jobs.

Anonymous Steve April 02, 2016 4:25 PM  

Look for #ownedbyVox in this and other fine stores

This needs to be a thing.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 02, 2016 4:43 PM  

The problem prospective writers face is they read the schlock on the Best Seller shelf and think, "I can write better than that after 5 beers."

Some very well-off authors got rich cranking out dozens of cookie-cutter copies of the same story.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 02, 2016 4:46 PM  

Publishing, like commercial air travel, is a break-even business. Useful, but not the path to great riches.

In the era of mass-minded consumerism, finding quality is predictably difficult.

Blogger dc.sunsets April 02, 2016 4:50 PM  

This is why I bought (and employed) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. My one novel (so far) shrank from 129,000 words to 86,000, emerging a better read.

I hate filler that doesn't move the plot.

Anonymous Wyrd April 02, 2016 4:52 PM  

Look for #ownedbyVox in this and other fine stores

This needs to be a thing.


Needs to be an ad for Vaseline.

Blogger intuitivereason April 02, 2016 4:53 PM  

Sometimes I wonder if brick and mortar stores need a BookMakerRobotTM in their store to give them access to all the material online. Pick hard cover /soft cover, pick page size, text size, pick book, print and take home.

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 02, 2016 5:05 PM  

@Steve
Owen Zavasta Pitt has never been the most interesting character in the Correiaverse

True. Love all the stories, but my favorites were Alpha and nemesis. He really brought Harbinger to life, and Franks....

Blogger Pseudotsuga April 02, 2016 5:32 PM  

Hmm...I sense inequality here. How can these leftist big-name authors stand the guilt that they are making so much more than their "lesser" brothers and sisters? They clearly need to share the wealth, or lose their status for right-thinking, virtue-signaling people!
Scalzi needs to portion out his lawn, or face the shame of the world and an Occupy Army. #MidlistLivesMatter!
Correia needs to...umm...well...he's not an SJW, so occupying his mountain won't move him to GoodThink, and in fact may be risky (given private property rights and his use of 2nd Amendment rights).

Anonymous Mike April 02, 2016 5:48 PM  

FYI for the data people, I hit 23,000 copies this morning, thanks to you and others for the help!

Anonymous Faceless April 02, 2016 5:52 PM  

I guess there's huge value in being able to claim to be an "Intellectual Badass" when these numbers look like a hobby. Five years until she can work her full time job part time? Why would a person do this thing? The IRS needs to find a way to appraise and tax tag lines.

Anonymous Faceless April 02, 2016 5:58 PM  

I can understand if you self-publish a book, and if you move 25,000 copies a year, and let's say you clear a couple bucks each - move to a nice place out in the sticks, enjoy the passing scene, not a bad day.

But this woman - chasing after the fickle favor of the politically correct crowd, trying to position herself as a "public intellectual" of the left, having the begging bowl out at Patreon, having five books in flight....and still only maybe cracking $50k/year before having to pay an agent?

No wonder leftism is a mental disease; aren't there easier ways to earn a living without having to be hypersensitive to the prevailing winds and whether it's still OK to ask somebody for the right pronoun or if the collective has decided that you're now a racist for not already knowing such things (some sort of Pronoun Privilege for thinking you can bully people into telling you their prefered pronouns instead of just having to know or stay silent...)?

Blogger Brian April 02, 2016 6:05 PM  

"Many hybrids are indie authors who were so successful that they were offered trad publishing deals."

Others are mid-list tradpubbed authors with established followings who regain the rights to their earlier works and self-publish them.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but at least in the early days, these were the folks who consistently made a killing with hybrid pub.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 02, 2016 6:16 PM  

Larry Correia shows that hard work can do it.

Having the ability to work hard is critical.

Larry Corriea and Mike Ceronvich can chug out 5,000 words a day. That's enough output to handle both promotion and production.

There are outliers like John Ringo that can grind out 150,000 words in a week. But that's somebody in a White Heat and hag ridden by his talent.

On the rare occasions that I have entire day free to write I am burnt out after 2,500.

There are others that are a lot of other writers that are worse off. Some are fried after 700 words. This isn't a matter of laziness, it's a matter of what your personal limit actually is.

Anonymous Gen. Kong April 02, 2016 6:19 PM  

@#31.
Sometimes I wonder if brick and mortar stores need a BookMakerRobotTM in their store to give them access to all the material online. Pick hard cover /soft cover, pick page size, text size, pick book, print and take home.

Already exists - and has for around a decade. It's called the espresso book machine and is sold by Ingram. Must be fairly pricey though as there don't seem to be many locations.

Anonymous Gen. Kong April 02, 2016 6:25 PM  

Further to previous - perhaps a more efficient book-bot would be an opportunity for an enterprising engineer, though I wonder what the market would be as brick-and-mortar stores are headed the way of the buggy-whip. EBM is limited to certain stocks, sizes and (above all) the plain old glued binding. An automated lie-flat binding would be handy for all sorts of manuals and publications of the type one needs reference to in the field or in some place where there's no decent internet.

Blogger Peter April 02, 2016 6:48 PM  

Well, I don't mind providing some figures as a relatively new indie author.

I published my first milSF novel in May of 2013, and brought out three books that year. Total sales were about 10,000 books.

In 2014 I brought out two more books, and total sales (including those from my backlist) were about double the previous year.

In 2015 I suffered a health setback (kidney stones - no fun!), and my output suffered accordingly. Nevertheless, I brought out two more books, for seven in print as of now, and my sales were about 2½ times higher than in 2013.

This year (2016) I have plans to publish at least three books, plus a short story in an anthology from a big-name publisher. I'm also talking to Vox about a fantasy novel (in progress), and (purely for fun) I have a Western almost completed. (I put up a teaser chapter of that on my blog this morning: see http://goo.gl/r0qlwl - I don't know if Vox is interested in Westerns, but I guess it's another type of fantasy, after all!)

I'm very grateful to all of you Vox Populi readers for your support since the Tor imbroglio blew up last year. You've become a big part of my fans, and I enjoy the company of many of you on my blog and as e-correspondents. Thanks!

Blogger The Kurgan April 02, 2016 7:03 PM  

Well, given I have done literally one email in total for all my marketing, I have done pretty well, since I have earned roughly £12k a year for 3 years in a row.
If I had time to devote to writing more I think in five years I could live off it with little change in lifestyle and potentially and improvement of it.

Blogger VD April 02, 2016 7:06 PM  

Very interested in Westerns, Peter. It's time to bring them back! Send it over.

Blogger Jack Mikkelson April 02, 2016 7:09 PM  

I just want an opportunity to complete and publish my life's work, an epic fantasy series. It's always slow-going for me, as I have to work a demanding night shift job to bring in an income for the family. Add to that the fact that I'm unsure of a rags-to-riches fantasy is popular at this time, and that my first book is self-published and unmarketed, because of day to day life--and the fact I'm having trouble even maintaining a writing pace.

At this point, I think I'm doing this for personal satisfaction and for my children.

Blogger frigger611 April 02, 2016 7:13 PM  

I have enormous respect for authors of fiction - you have to create a non-contradictory universe, which is nearly impossible already, and especially trying if you are not a perfectionist.

I've tried many times over the years to write a novel. But by the time I get to page 50 or so, pfffft. Completely out of steam.

I might have the intellect. But I do not have the intellectual stamina, apparently. Two different things, I've learned.

I once wrote a trade manual in 1998, not because I wanted to "be a writer" but because I invented some math theories that I had passed around casually for years, so I wanted to package them formally, to retain credit for the math. And shoot, I still "rake in" almost $500 a year on that one, hah.

Anonymous Steve April 02, 2016 7:19 PM  

my favorites were Alpha and nemesis. He really brought Harbinger to life, and Franks....

Damn right!

And Franks' arc is especially great given that he's introduced as Generic Government Goon.

Absolutely loved his back story.

Larry even made Grant Jefferson a sympathetic character in Nemesis. His writing powers are starting to reach levels of scary-good.

How to explain it? Obviously a Mephistophelian pact. I bet he sold his gun to the Devil, or something.

Anonymous Feh April 02, 2016 7:58 PM  

Trad publishers just throw titles at the wall and hope one of them ends up being "Interview With A Vampire."

I hated that book. Have never been able to read more than the first chapter without losing interest. One of the few books where I think the movie is better. Yeah yeah yeah I know lots of people like that book.

Blogger epobirs April 02, 2016 8:00 PM  

@3

If the time invested in getting from blank screen to sellable book was instead spent working a minimum wage job, which would have earned you more? If you can say the the ROI is greater for the book than minimum wage, is that not success? Leaving aside that an hour pushing a broom is extremely unlikely to retroactively pay more while a book that continues selling, as however slow a pace, improves the ROI retroactively.

If it took you years of devoted effort to get that book together, perhaps 27K sold isn't a success. But what you've described certainly sounds successful to me. You may not be wealthy as a result but unless you genuinely had some better way to apply the time, it certainly seems to have been used well.

Blogger SteelPalm April 02, 2016 8:13 PM  

The linked blog post was the first and only piece of writing I have read from Kameron Hurley?

Are all SJW writers so putrid, on a purely technical level?

Blogger James Dixon April 02, 2016 8:17 PM  

> The problem prospective writers face is they read the schlock on the Best Seller shelf and think, "I can write better than that after 5 beers."

Well, they're probably right. But the relationship between quality and sales (much less publishing in general) has always been tenuous at best.

Blogger Eric April 02, 2016 9:00 PM  

I hated that book. Have never been able to read more than the first chapter without losing interest. One of the few books where I think the movie is better. Yeah yeah yeah I know lots of people like that book.

I thought the writing was good, though the story sort of meandered around. But I can never forgive her for setting the stage for sparkly vampires.

Blogger Jourdan April 02, 2016 9:03 PM  

Imagine speaking to someone who knew Heinlein personally and could tell you about him. Amazing.

Anonymous Jonathan Moeller, Pulp Writer April 02, 2016 9:03 PM  

As of April, I've been self-publishing for five years, and in that time I've sold between 360,000 and 370,000 copies of my ebooks.

I presently have 118 self-published titles for sale. Of them, about 50 are novels, 9 are technical books aimed at beginners, and the rest are short stories and novellas of varying length.

Blogger J Van Stry April 02, 2016 9:12 PM  

@48

I gave up a six figure job to go try writing full-time.
Yes, I can make a lot more money, doing what I've done for the last thirty years.

But I don't want to die saying: 'I regret that I never tried to be a writer, that I never tried to follow my dream.'

Yeah, maybe that's stupid, but not everything in life is about the money. I've made some choices in life that I know cost me, but I can honestly say I have had experiences that few people have ever had, and that many wish they did.

OpenID denektenorsk April 02, 2016 9:36 PM  

I might have the intellect. But I do not have the intellectual stamina, apparently. Two different things, I've learned.

Tenacity and dogged determination see you through a great many blockers in programming too. Stick with it.

Blogger 744 Bosoms of Liberty April 02, 2016 10:18 PM  

There's always the Chuck Tingle approach:

Helicopter Man Pounds Dinosaur Billionaire Ass

John Hams is a man who has lost it all, a nine-to-five nobody with an addiction to billionaire dinosaur bad boys. That is, until a freak accident at work imbues John with the ability to transform into an achingly handsome helicopter at will.


The room itself is massive, as well, with another set of windows that fill the far wall from floor to ceiling and look out towards the distant Hollywood Hills. It’s a corner unit, providing two completely unique, but equally breathtaking, views.

I slowly strut across the hardwood floors on my landing skids towards Yorb, enjoying the way that his yellow dinosaur eyes flicker and dance across my metallic body. At this point, he can’t help but stare.

Seductively, I give my blades a quick flash of speed and hover up onto the bed, then crawl towards him, eventually positioning myself directly over his body. I take Yorb’s hands carefully with two blades and pull them above his head, controlling him completely as I make my way down his ripped chest and scaly abs with a series of sensual helicopter kisses.



Blogger 744 Bosoms of Liberty April 02, 2016 10:20 PM  

In the world of Chuck Tingle, anything can pound you in the butt, from your reaction to the title of this hardcore bundle, to this very sentence itself. When Chuck takes the reins,no butt is left unpounded, even the reader’s, breaking through fourth walls just as easily as he does anal seals.

Collected within are eight of Chuck Tingle’s greatest reality-bending tinglers, including…

LONELY AUTHOR POUNDED BY DINOSAUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS

SHARED BY THE CHOCOLATE MILK COWBOYS

REAMED BY MY REACTION TO THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK

POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY BOOK “POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY OWN BUTT”

POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY BOOK “POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY BOOK
‘POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY OWN BUTT’”

POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY BOOK “POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY BOOK ‘POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY BOOK “POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY MY OWN BUTT”’”

SLAMMED IN THE BUTTHOLE BY MY CONCEPT OF LINEAR TIME

TURNED GAY BY THE EXISTENTIAL DREAD THAT I MAY ACTUALLY BE A CHARACTER IN A CHUCK TINGLE BOOK

Blogger 744 Bosoms of Liberty April 02, 2016 10:26 PM  

Kirk is a scientific researcher on the leading edge of cloning technology, but his team has reached a standstill. In an effort to stabilize rapid clone growth, researchers have been taking DNA from various parts of their bodies and combining it with small amounts of animal DNA. But when the scientists combine samples from Kirk’s butt, brain, and a hawk, the resulting effect is a handsome, living ass who immediately sweeps Kirk off of his feet over a candlelit dinner for two. Kirk has finally found a lover that truly understands him at his very core… his own gay ass!

Blogger Doc Rampage April 02, 2016 10:30 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Scott C April 02, 2016 10:38 PM  

Has anyone heard of Amanda Hocking? She has allegedly sold hundreds of thousands of ebooks. Her books are poorly written (odd and incorrect word choices, bad metaphors, typos) and the characters have no depth. Hocking's success shows that you don't need to be a wordsmith or have deep insight into the human condition to be a successful author; you need to find an audience (teenage girls in her case, I'm guessing) and market your stuff to them.

Blogger Jack Mikkelson April 02, 2016 11:39 PM  

Reading the success stories are inspiring and depressing all at once. I read today of a 16-year old high schooler who sold 1000 copies of his first book. That's 990 more than I've managed.

I know it's all about marketing, but how can I possibly focus on marketing when I'm barely able to even make time for book two?

Anonymous Gen. Kong April 02, 2016 11:55 PM  

Churn it out like L. Ron Hubbard and you can become a god - much preferable to even a god-emperor.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY April 03, 2016 12:02 AM  

Very interested in Westerns, Peter. It's time to bring them back! Send it over.
I like that.

Blogger John Wright April 03, 2016 12:30 AM  

@Feh
"I hated that book. Have never been able to read more than the first chapter without losing interest"

I now have perfect faith in your good taste. How in the world that, or Dan Brown, climbs into best sellers lists and movie deals convinces me that the supernatural exists: no natural explanation fits the facts.

Blogger John Wright April 03, 2016 12:36 AM  

"Are all SJW writers so putrid, on a purely technical level?"

Yes.

I can explain why, but you have to either believe in demons, as I do, or believe in invariable rules of human psychology, as psychohistorians do, to follow the explanation.

Basically, an SJW puts a lower value on the muse, on honesty, on integrity, on humanity, than on virtue signalling and other non-story-related material.

While one might think that this would not affect the technical side of writing, keep in mind that the core of Morlockery and their mind set is a continual rebellion against the good because it is good, and a hatred of rules because they are rules: and so they cannot follow the rules of good writing.

Gollum eats the elfin waybread, and it tastes like dust and ashes to him. His tongue is too corrupted. So here.

Blogger LP9 Forever Solidified in Gold! Rin Integra S.I.G. April 03, 2016 12:40 AM  

Milo rocks the scene!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ann-coulter-appears-sour-mental-donald-trump-article-1.2582185

Blogger David The Good April 03, 2016 12:45 AM  

The royalties on my 4 books are now enough to pay the basic bills. Reading the numbers on what most writers manage to swing makes me realize how blessed I am. Much of that is thanks to all of you here.

Blogger SteelPalm April 03, 2016 2:01 AM  

@65

Very much appreciate the response, especially from an author I admire.

The natural follow-up question is at what point does the SJW disease advance enough to become terminal for one's writing abilities? For instance, Margaret Atwood (or Stephen King, if one prefers) is an example of a hardcore leftist who nevertheless wrote some excellent books.

The SJWs of today are far below the level of those older leftists.

Blogger pyrrhus April 03, 2016 2:09 AM  

@68 I think that there has been a marked deterioration in the work of Atwood and King over the last 25 years, chiefly through laziness. Leftism is a lazy and unsophisticated way of looking at the world.

Blogger Lui April 03, 2016 2:46 AM  

So very true. Don't quit your day job. I'm an engineer and I actually enjoy my day job. It helps me. It gives me discipline. It means I have to get up at 6 every morning so I can put in that hour of writing before going to work, and it means that when I come back to my writing I'm fresh, and I don't get bogged down so easily.
I'm working on my second novel now. It took me 5 years to decide to put first novel up on Amazon. It hasn't sold very much, but who cares. That's not why I'm cooped up indoors most weekends, scribbling away while everyone else is out "having fun".
A day job gives you the freedom to NOT CARE.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper April 03, 2016 2:46 AM  

Two other things this says about authorship,

1st , this is partially a result of s decline in societal literacy. Ignoring TV and such many of the people now here who can read English fine and comprehend have no interest in reading whatever anyone writes. Its cultural for them, in the case of say Mexicans , they are in the words of a Mexican author "A country that stopped reading" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/opinion/the-country-that-stopped-reading.html

Many Asians I've met read well but are complete grinds, very homo economicus, purely focused on material gains. These would seem the ideal consumer citizens as they are conscientious, hard working and pure strivers but funny enough it doesn't work nearly as well as one might think. Asia is arguably in worse shape than the West and bringing that here won't fix here. Also its incompatible with others goals, Asians are clannish and if they had numbers and political power will use it for their own subgroup and no one else. California is already running into the issue re: college and schooling as Asians are acting on their own behalf and can't be bullied. This leaves Hispanic and Black coalitions facing smart well organized opposition immune to cries of racism. Its pure popcorn fun to watch.

2nd So much for the vague ideas that way too many economic liberals have, that the market can sort itself out and that regular folks or even smart ones can become "content producers" or value added specialists or whatever drek is on the agenda.

I've even seen flusticated Leftists like Krugman spouting this and its rubbish.

Excess efficiency and automation much less means globalism means the lack of ability for people to have steady employment and decent ages will drive a stake through the heart of the current system.

For the moment, its being propped up by handouts but as the rise of Bernie Sanders shows business will have to be behave socially or be socialized.

I could very well see States that bail out businesses simply becoming the owners of them and using regulatory hammers to wipe out competition.

Right now a huge contributor to the current global natalism collapse. And yes Feminism is a big part but f they have a choice, people with decent IQ's and long time preferences will not have children unless they have steady work.

Of course try telling anyone that. Its like Upton Sinclair said "You can't teach a man something his job requires him not to know"

Blogger Laramie Hirsch April 03, 2016 5:12 AM  

I find that with writing, I often become so disgusted with the majority of people, that I no longer care about who I'm writing for. I'll consider the idea that I have no audience anymore, as most people have become Gamma Blue Pill sycophants of the Religion of Political Correctness.

Why write an opus, if there is no one to hear it? I often ask myself this.

At which point, I consider simply writing fluff for money, taking advantage of the weak-minded proletariat. And then, after that, I go to work and clock in, forgetting about it all in the first place.

Blogger Sonny Boy April 03, 2016 5:52 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous TS April 03, 2016 6:06 AM  

Scalzi!? Scalzi is a loser that can't write his way out of a wet paper bag. He's just another example that leftards have a cult of personality as it pertains to politics, literature etc... and no skill nor talent need apply if you think badthink.

Anonymous TS April 03, 2016 6:32 AM  

What has Scalzi accomplished in either biology or literature? Absolutely nothing. Scalzi is a talentless hack whose only claim to fame is virtue signaling other leftards. That's how he makes a living.

Blogger Misha Burnett April 03, 2016 7:22 AM  

Late last year I quit trying to be a writer. I have written and published four books, and I have received a fair number of positive reviews and (more gratifying, personally) a fair amount of fan mail. My books have given some people a great deal of enjoyment.

But not many people. I've made a couple of hundred dollars a year over the last four years, which simply isn't enough return for a full time second job. These days when people ask me when my next book is coming out I say, "never". Honestly, it's a lot of work and I'd rather spend my free time travelling or reading or napping.

Blogger VD April 03, 2016 8:28 AM  

Scalzi is a talentless hack whose only claim to fame is virtue signaling other leftards. That's how he makes a living.

Yes, but he is a competent talentless hack, and he successfully arranged for Tor Books to bet the farm on him. Even if they lose the bet - and initial indications are that they will - he wins. PNH, not so much.

Blogger S1AL April 03, 2016 8:31 AM  

"There are others that are a lot of other writers that are worse off. Some are fried after 700 words. This isn't a matter of laziness, it's a matter of what your personal limit actually is."

Even at that rate, you can publish a full novel more often than professional author Vox R.R. Day.

Blogger pdwalker April 03, 2016 11:59 AM  

@78 Well S1AL, considering how many sidelines he has going, I'm surprised he manages to keep updates to the blog as often as he does.

Are you anywhere near that productive?

Blogger Tom K. April 03, 2016 2:40 PM  

Thank you for sharing the ugly truth about writing and publishing a piece of your soul for the Philistines of the world to stick on a pike and parade around with, or worse, ignoring it to death.

There's something to be said for keeping your "dream" (how that word has been corrupted) hidden in your heart, never committing it to cyberstock, or worse, POD, holding in your mind the unchallenged certainty that your words could change the world if only the world were worthy of your genius!

See! Isn't a megalomaniacal delusion like that worth a hell of a lot more than a quarterly royalty check from Amazon for $8.37? Or less.

Seriously though. Kudos to you and Mike C. for sharing the hard truth about being an "author".

Blogger Tom K. April 03, 2016 6:25 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Tom K. April 03, 2016 7:45 PM  

Napping! That's the ticket! Not much can trump the Eternal allure of napping.

Blogger Tom K. April 03, 2016 7:57 PM  

You might benefit from reading "The Romantic Manifesto" by Ayn Rand. Specifically the short story included where a man is struggling to write trash so he can get published and make a living. He tries but his belief in values and moral courage keeps sabotaging his efforts to be vacuous.

Also, there is a reprint of an Introduction she wrote for a less well known novel of Victor Hugo's called, "Ninety-Three". Her analysis of his moral vision is both insightful and inspiring even if one doesn't agree with her 100%.

The entire book is inspirational for any writer with a courageous moral vision who wants to understand the collectivist forces destroying our culture.

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