What writer hasn’t dreamed of being published, selling loads of copies, and maybe even having his or her book made into a movie? One of my friends is doing just that. I’d be jealous if I wasn’t so darn happy for her. Her book, traditionally published, was released in June 2014 and has sold nearly 5,000 copies—an amazing feat considering those are print copies (she doesn’t yet have an ebook).
And a small-time movie production house is in negotiations with her publisher for the movie rights. She told me not to get excited because even if they buy the rights, they only produce 1 out of 7 scripts they have the rights to. Sorry, can’t help it—I’m excited for her!
On the other end of the spectrum, I know plenty of self-published authors with high-quality books (you wouldn’t even know they’re self-published by the looks of them) who have only sold a handful of copies.
So what do these people have in common? They’re all broke as a joke.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.
In this Stealer’s Wheel analogy, I’m not sure who’s the clown and who’s the joker, but I do know there has to be a better way for authors. So much talent, so little money. If you go with a traditional publisher, you might get more visibility for your book but your royalties are so low (typically 7-15%) it’s hard to make a living off of it unless you’re one of the few breakout stars.
And while self-publishers can earn up to 70% in royalties, it doesn’t amount to much unless you sell enough copies.
Trying to make some sense of it all. But I can see that it makes no sense at all.
What the industry needs is a publisher that is small enough to give you the focused attention and marketing your book needs to succeed while not taking all your hard-earned royalties. You don’t need to sell millions; as long as you earn decent royalties, you can make a comfortable living with your books on the midlist.
That’s exactly what we do at Velvet Morning Press, an indie publishing house I launched with co-founder and fellow author Adria J. Cimino. We’re sick of seeing authors having to work a day job to support a writing career. If you write something great, you should have a shot at success. With Velvet Morning Press, we offer higher royalties than larger publishing houses and stick with you—and your book—to market it to success.
We are currently accepting submissions of finished manuscripts, so if you’ve got one that meets our criteria, send it along! We look forward to being “Stuck in the Middle” with you—we believe it’s the best place for a new author to be.
I find this almost unbearably exciting, Readers! Both Vicki and Adria are fabulous authors and awesome people to boot! It's almost enough to make me wish I was a writer, who knows maybe I'll spruce up my NaNoWriMo manuscript from last year and throw my hat in the ring. Are you a writer who looks like this might be a good option for you?