1. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Comparing Earnings: Traditional vs. Self vs. Hybrid

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by TWErvin2, Jan 21, 2014.

    Over at Galleycat, they interviewed 10,000 authors and compared earnings of the various types of authors.

    It appears that Hybrid (authors being both self and traditionally published) on average do the best, with traditionally published doing better on average than self-published.

    They even discussed aspiring authors and their earnings, but didn't really define what an aspiring author is, but they show in the chart some earnings, which means something must've been published.

    The hybrid authors having the best chances for greater earnings makes sense. They can pick and choose which titles would do best in each venue, and can springboard off of the benefits derived from being traditionally published to assist with recognition and traction for self-published titles they release.

    There are some interesting charts. Of course, stats can be manipulated, but it seems straight forward enough. Although not specifically stated, I am guessing all earnings (Digital, Audio, Print, etc. are considered).

    Here is the link to the article for those interested: Galleycat: Most Authors Make Less than $1000 a Year (Digital Book World).
     
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  2. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    Yes, clearly. They have some self-published stuff (which typically earns the author more per sale) and they have some traditionally published stuff (which has been through an editorial quality-control acceptance process) too, so they're unlikely to be people using self-publishing - as some do - just because their writing "isn't good enough" to be accepted for trade publishing. Statistically, those people will naturally do better, on average, than the averages of either of the two separate groups. In economic/productivity terms, at least a proportion of them are both writing well and earning well "per sale". :)

    This is perfectly true and valid as well, of course, but it's perhaps looking rather more at the effect and a little less at the cause.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not really surprising. Hybrid authors, pretty obvious. Trade published authors have an advantage not only because of the professional editing and marketing, but also because there are formats available which are typically cost-prohibitive for self-publishers (print and audio come to mind). The more ways one has of getting the book into readers' hands the better.
     
  4. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Actually, a lot of self-published authors release audio books through Audible (yet another Amazon subsidiary). If I remember correctly, you can either pay up front, or some voice actors will take a royalty percentage instead; I believe it's US-only so I haven't looked into it yet.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another aspect to consider is that they 'hybrid' authors includes those continuing to be traditionally published up front with new titles, but releasing their backlist of out of print books (those which the rights have reverted to them).

    This is one relatively new aspect that is making it more difficult for self-published authors just starting out to get notice or traction.
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I know they can do audio books, just as they can print books. It's the cost involved that can deter many from going that route (although I recall a discussion - here or on another forum - where it was stated the costs for audio is not that high. I suppose it depends on who one gets to be the voice.).
     
  7. scifiwriter
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    scifiwriter Member

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    The research revealed that only 10 percent of traditionally published authors made more than $20,000 a year and 5 percent of self-published authors made more than $20,000 a year.


    -----------------------

    the take away, it's hard to make a full-time living as an author. But everybody already know that.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Very true.

    Quick question - I didn't see it mentioned in the article, but were they looking strictly at e-publishing or was this publishing in all formats? I'm assuming the latter, but since DBW was involved I wasn't completely sure. Also not sure it would make any difference - just curious ;)
     

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