Tuesday, 11 February 2014

URGENT - Hugh Howey's dynamite report

For the real, genuine lowdown on what is happening in publishing, who is earning what and how, read Hugh Howey's report here. Those of us who self-publish and keep up with information on the web have suspected some of this, but to see the figures and charts is just staggering. They are from Amazon US.

You need to read this, now. Here's just one of the fascinating charts:

Don't hang around here! Off you go!

EDIT: And there's more here: What Writers Leave on the Table (when they self-publish).


  1. His pipe is too small (phnark) so I can't get onto the site.

    I'll wait until America's gone to sleep again! ;-)

    Thanks for the heads up though.



  2. MTM, Hugh said yesterday, "Looks like the site is back up. Thanks for spreading the word, all. And for any links back to the source. Feel free to try and bring it down again for the afternoon crowd. (No, really, make as much noise as you like. I want my IT guy to squirm.)"

    Hugh Howey is just awesome :o)

  3. This is one of the most interesting blog posts I've ever seen. I love facts, figures, charts, and conclusions, especially when they confirm what I've been thinking.

    Lexi, I know you're always ahead of the game, so when you went indie instead of accepting agent/publisher offers, that had to be another pointer to the way things were going.

    For too long, the publishers appear to have dictated a safe, formulaic style and creamed off rather more than might be considered fair by hardworking authors. I believe it has stifled talent. Yes, there are thousands of books now poorly prepared, but there's plenty of indies writing as well as, or better, than those tied to the big publishers.

    Cheers to you, Lexi, Hugh and his clever IT crawler.

  4. I fear you over-estimate my prescience, Anna - four years ago I'd have signed any old contract. I self-published because trad pub didn't want me.

    It does make you think - as ebooks are such a major and growing part of the market, why accept a 25% of net (i.e. 12.5% of gross, less agent's 15%) when Amazon pays 70%? A publisher would have to be able to show you one hell of a marketing plan to make that a sensible decision.

  5. I see that Simon Kewin has had a book with a publisher for two years and they still haven't managed to publish it. Now he's going to self-publish it - and it looks like maybe they were doing him a favour without realising it.

  6. Honestly, trad pub has so many ways of breaking an author's spirit, I'm beginning to think this is their one genuine area of expertise. (Obviously it's not selecting books readers will love, and making them available within a reasonable time-frame at an affordable price while paying authors a living wage.)