2012 is in the books. The Mayans odometer has turned over (seriously, that's all it really was anyway), meanwhile, the publishing landscape has seen serious and radical changes. The advent of the KDP program ushered in the largest "Indie" revolution ever. (Yeah, I used quotes because some people have suddenly taken offense to the word...so for them I used it in quotes the first time, but from here on out...well...just keep reading.)
For me, the switch started in November of 2011 when we dipped our toe in the water and gave Zomblog away for a weekend. No fanfare, no advance hype...and gave away over 10,000 copies. However, we all know that those are NOT sales. The real test would be to see what happened next. I quit my job delivering the local paper for little more than what I spent each month on gas in April of 2012.
Let's be clear...am I raking in the "big bucks"? Nope. But I make more than I did delivering the paper and get to do what I love. During the course of 2012, May December Publications GAVE AWAY 122,929--over 15,000 in December alone during our big giveaway--ebooks via the KDP program . My sales have gone from 20-30 books a month to almost 1,000. Like I have said before...lots of people are selling more, and I am thrilled for them. However, for me, this is the realization of a dream. Considering where I was just 2 years ago...I would say that I am doing okay.
Like many of my writing friends, I saw sales take a dive in around September. Sure, a lot can be made of things like Amazon "changing the algorithms" whatever that may or may not mean. However, If you put out something that people want to read...they will come back.
Indie best-selling authors like Mark Tufo, John O'Brien and others have found their way onto the Amazon Top 10 with multiple titles as well as maintaining top 10-20 Horror Author Rankings (an article for another time). They have done so with talent. And while we all muddled through what some have referred to as "The Golden Days of the Indie Revolution" the journey has really only just begun.
We had the opportunity to lay a foundation. Now, it is a matter as to whether you built your house with straw, sticks, or bricks. KDP was was simply a tool. So many moaned that their numbers did not justify staying in the program. Others have become successful enough that they no longer require the use of the "freebie training wheels". That is really what my point is here. The KDP program was a tool. If you used it well, then you saw dividends, provided that you had a product people want to read. That is also a topic for another time, but I think it is no big revelation that just because somebody CAN write...does not mean that they SHOULD. Also, there are PLENTY of very talented writers who have not gotten lucky. Because, believe it or not, that has almost as much to do with it as talent.
So as 2013 begins...I wish only the best to all of my writing friends and family. Now that we have seen the madness of 2012 die down...let us all roll up our sleeves and try to produce quality stuff for the reading masses.
Wednesday, come and learn a bit about a writer that I hold in especially high regard...Billie Sue Mosiman.