Episode 153 – Tap, Overhead Costs, and Author Earnings International

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Question of the Week: Which upstart group of small publishers do you think Data Guy is referring to in his tease for the next Author Earnings report and why?

After a discussion about entrepreneurial parenting, Jim and Bryan take on the latest Author Earnings report, rejecting traditional publishing, and diehard dedication in Episode 153. Following the Patreon thanks to Shadow Raiders, How to Drive Your Next Card Deal, and Black Shadow Moon, the dedicated duo took on tips about burnout, thinking outside the box, and using your mailing list last on launches. News stories included Wattpad’s new feature Tap, Shatzkin’s “overhead” argument, and Author Earnings international report. This week’s Question of the Week: Which upstart group of small publishers do you think Data Guy is referring to in his tease for the next Author Earnings report and why?

(Republished from AuthorEarnings.com)

What You’ll Learn:
  • What are the signs of burnout and what authors can do to combat it
  • How one author defying conventional practices to achieve success
  • What small changes authors can make to improve their book launch
  • Why one author says indies should slow down their publishing process
  • What new way readers can experience stories on Wattpad
  • Why one Pulitzer Prize winning author preferred poverty over a 9-to-5 job
  • How traditional publishers are losing sales from a faulty economic mindset
  • Why one hybrid author is turning down traditional publishing offers

 

Links:
Question of the Week: Which upstart group of small publishers do you think Data Guy is referring to in his tease for the next Author Earnings report and why?

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  • Spider McGee

    Off the subject? No more than usual…

    As a collector of manual typewriters myself (I have about 74 at this point), I was interested a few years back when I heard that Cormac McCarthy was selling his beloved Olivetti 32. He bought it in 1963 and he’d written everything he ever sold on it…No Country For Old Men, The Road, Blood Meridian, and many others…and it was being offered up for auction. Christie’s thought they could get $15,000-$20,000 for it. After all, he’s a famous writer. Even with the Olivetti 32’s reputation for reliability and greatness, he felt it his old word-spitter-outter was shot.

    Eventually, his beat-up typewriter brought $254,000. If I’d known it would have brought that much, I’d have brought my wallet. After the sale, McCarthy moved on to another typewriter, not a glitzy word processing program or a computer. It was another Olivetti 32 – as old as his previous one, just not as abused – and a friend got it for him for $11.

    Hearing this, I quickly acquired two Olivetti 32s, and two Olivetti 22s (the previous model, which went out of production in 1963), and waited for the magic to happen.

    I have yet to win the Pulitzer Prize, and Monkey Justice was never an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

    https://www.wired.com/2009/12/cormac-mccarthys-typewriter-dies-after-50-years-and-five-million-words/

    • Bryan

      I have a friend who loves those old typewriters. I’m a fan of my Alphasmart Neo 2, which is a discontinued electronic keyboard/typewriter. I love it. Keeps the grubby internet distraction paws away from my pristine prose.

      • Spider McGee

        I have the old-school green (blue?) AlphaSmart. In fact I have five of them (Ebay lot). I bought the newer Dana model (with the Palm OS) and did a lot of writing on it. But the batteries died and I had to change them….and when I did, I lost everything on the device. Not a happy day, that day.

        • Bryan

          Oh no! That stinks. I try to export everything right away, but I’d be devastated if that happened.

  • Spider McGee

    My last comment, though only tangentially related to the topic of the episode (an interesting sidebar about Cormac McCarthy, himself a sidebar on this week’s show), had just been posted when I went to get a sammich (as this is International Women’s Day, and I have to make my own).

    Well, I got back from the kitchen and that comment was just…gone. It had been detected as spam, though I went back and tried to reassure Disqus that it’s not. And, when I looked over at my sammich…it was also Spam. And I had detected it as such. A true story. And an ironic and possibly pointless one.

    But I do tell you, that Shawty and the Hustla book sounds great. You guys reference it so much, you must have a piece of the action. I think you deserve a percentage of my book sales as well, since you talk about my work now and again as well. I hope you enjoy the 25% cut (about $4) you earned in 2016.

    • Bryan

      One of these days, we’ll break even on our $10,000 investment into Shawty and the Hustla.

  • I’m guessing the assisted self-publishing companies that provide an ISBN with their imprint, a la carte services, etc. Unlike vanity, they help you with Createspace and Kindle so there’s not great expense required by the author.

    • Bryan

      Interesting guess. We’ll have to see. Thanks, Darren!

  • Spider McGee

    Everything I try to post here is being marked as spam, and others may be having this problem as well.

    • Bryan

      That’s so weird, Spider. We’ll look into this. Sorry about that!

      • Spider McGee

        It is possible I’m just posting spam, though. I won’t rule it out. And all this talk about Spam is making me hungry. And I *do* have many nice things to say about it.

        • Bryan

          Jim has saved the day by restoring your delicious comments!

          • Spider McGee

            Many thanks. I do try to keep it on-topic, as you’re aware, but Crazy Brain always has the final say. I’ve stopped trying to suppress it, because that’s where the real story ideas are coming from.

  • Audiobook publishers would be my guess. Audio is one of the fastest growing segments of the market, and for indie authors, the DIY approach still presents some hard walls to climb–there’s a huge learning curve in knowing what audiobook listeners expect from quality audiobooks, profit-sharing does not attract the narrators who are in demand, and decent PFH rates are still out of reach for a lot of indie bootstrappers. Going with a company like Tantor or Podiobooks is a very attractive option for indies, because they have the infrastructure for talent, production, and an understanding of the markets already in place.

    • Bryan

      Good guess, Athena! I can’t wait until he reveals the truth :).

  • Nikki Davis

    Guessing, it’s self publishers who have created their own presses and imprints to control their pen names. I’m not different than many other romance authors who include a press name when publishing. One author with four, six, or more pen names looks like a small press. It has to skew the numbers and why wouldn’t it be a trend with authors who want to diversify their catalogs and maintain only one core website.

    • Crissy Moss

      That’s what I was thinking too. Like the guys over at SPP. Do they still count as indies or as small press publishing?

  • oooh. Tap. must go read about it. tq for bringing it to our attention.

    • Crissy Moss

      I read a few stories on there. They aren’t bad, a bit short though. Would qualify as flash fiction.

      • Hmm. I would have expected longer. Wonder if the readership would tolerate longer.

        • Bryan

          One way to find out :).