Did You Know That Professional Writing is Dying? Or Not.

Did You Know That Professional Writing Is Dying And Only Taxing The Public To Pay Writers Can Save It

The Indie Ebook Scene Is Growing: Here’s Over 170 Authors Who’ve Sold More Than 50,000 Copies

In another one of those discussions about business models, the first post above stems from an article by Ewan Morrison,

the author whose ACTA “expertise” resulted in the “Most Clueless Column Ever.” This article’s headline is just as shocking: “There will be no more professional writers in the future.”

Yes, indeed, he can’t make the same amount of money, the same way as he did before. So therefore the public have to pay him, and all other writers, otherwise professional writing will go away. (Read the article, or just Techdirt’s demolition of the premise.)

The second post shows just how wrong Morrison is – outlining over 170 authors who have sold more than 50,000 copies of a book outside the traditional publishing system.

Though Hocking and Konrath were some of the first names to get some serious attention with their impressive ebook sales, today there are lots of other examples. An anonymous submission points us to a blog dedicated to tracking self-published ebook success stories, which has put together a list of over 170 independent authors who have sold more than 50,000 ebooks, including 33 who have sold more than 200,000. Hocking and Konrath still make the top ten, but they have plenty of company:

Barbara Freethy – over 2 million ebooks sold (April 2012)
Amanda Hocking – 1,500,000 ebooks sold (December 2011)
John Locke- more than 1,100,000 eBooks sold in five months
Gemma Halliday – over 1 million self-published ebooks sold (March 2012)
Michael Prescott – more than 800,000 self-published ebooks sold (Dec 2011)
J.A. Konrath – more than 800,000 ebooks sold (April 2012)
Bella Andre – more than 700,000 books sold (May 2012)
Darcie Chan – 641,000 ebooks sold (May 2012)
Chris Culver – over 550,000 (Dec 2011)
Heather Killough-Walden – over 500,000 books sold (Dec 2011)

So, it seems that this is just a typical disruption to business models. No, those who were very successful under the previous model – those for whom the magic eight ball called “success” – are disappointed that they can’t make as much money any where near as easily as they could. Meanwhile, thousands of authors (myself included) are doing much, much better publishing direct that ever under the old system.

In other words, more people are making a decent living doing what they love doing, and don’t have to win the gatekeeper approval lottery as they once did. Certainly this is true in the music industry, which is doing very well (although the sales of shiny silver disc business has dropped) with musicians connecting with fans in new ways. It’s also the way the video production business is going. And that’s a good thing: more decent middle class wages, fewer super rich.


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