Monday, June 27, 2011
"John Locke is not a real published author unless I say so!" -The Big 6
I woke up to this post on my Twitter feed and after reading it had to first smack my face, throw up and after all that read it again just to find out that yes, in fact it was posted by a real human. The Shatzkin Files posted this on John Locke.
Here is my take.
First off, this entire post is about what could have happened, might, maybe, but more important, DIDN'T. It is like a friend of a lottery winner trying to tell everyone else what they would spend the money or how it should be done.
We all know that JL has made headlines as the indie author that has sold one million eBooks. Now out of the woodwork come these talking heads that want to over think how he did it and what he should have done.
What is the goal of all this? To keep us thinking that the big publishers still have something to offer. He will run the numbers on a .99 book or a 9.99 book. How is that even in the same ball park? I mean, he sold the books he sold because of the price and his marketing. One without the other would not work as well and to compare what he would have made if he was with a big publisher is just stupid.
The fact they will never tell you is that JL would have never sold the books he sold if he was with a big publisher. No publisher would have taken him on, and even if he did get a deal they would not market him like he marketed himself. The price of his eBook would be to high and the small number he sold through them would put him out of print in 13 months.
So, I ask you, why are we trying to shove him into this box? Why not just say, good job john? Are we that scared to leave the old system? Is it that bad out there?
He was smart, he sold his books at a low price, built a fan base and made himself worth a ton of money. Now if a publisher wants him they will have to pay out the nose. It is not the money, I am so tired of all these talking heads and writers who just think of the money and how much the book is and what it cost and are you worth it and is your writing worth a buck and are you selling yourself short and is this a run on sentence?
Look, it is about FANS, let me say that again, FANS! If you build fans the money will come. He reached a million people and it doesn't matter if he gave out all those books for free! That group if they liked the book will come back and pay for the other books. I wonder why this is such a mystery in the publishing world.
So could he have made more money if he sold the books at 9.99? Well DUH, if he sells them at a higher price he makes more. Come on! But would he have sold a million? Nope. Not a chance, sorry but it wouldn't happen. Also, if he sold through a publisher for 9.99 he would make only 1.75 per book when he could do it himself and sell the book at 2.99 and make 2.10 per book. Lets do that math!
This blogger did at least say as much: Of course, if Locke himself sold the ebooks at $2.99, he’d be taking in six times more per book, or about $2.10 a copy.
But, either way, he seems to be leaving a lot of money on the table. Without a publisher’s efforts, he’s certainly leaving a lot of marketing on the table too.
The only thing here is the marketing he is leaving on the table. What marketing? Really, you think a big publisher is going to market you better? Come now, let us not be dumb. The only person going to market you is you. If they do anything it comes out of their royalty. Besides, why would they market him, he is a small fish, cuz we are talking all this before anyone knew who he was... You can't backdate your rules and treat him like a bestseller before he was. Now I would say he could get some marketing out of the publishers, but not before the million books.
And here is the meat of the matter: But if the markets are distinct, there is also some great potential reward. If there are people who only choose from the cheap books, there are also people who want to choose from the professionally validated books, the ones from the major publishers. The more you believe the markets are distinct, the more opportunity there could be for Locke in using what he’s done to launch himself independently as the springboard to a career as a published author with a major player.
This is what all the big publishers and the blind authors want you to think. That you are no good, you are sub par because you are not professionally validated.
Take that Amanda Hocking, Take that Vincent Zandri!
So we are fed the same lie. You are just a lame writer and have no value unless one of the Big 6 publish your books. Remember that when you see more and more eBook millionaires. Remember that when you read an amazing novel from a new author, that you the reader have no power, that you cannot choose who is a good writer or not, they choose!
It is the men on the hill that make the call, the publishers that decide if we are good enough. Well... what say you? Is it us the readers or them the publishers? You tell me.