WARNING: Subject to headdesk and foot in mouth. Please feel free to argue. This is my learning experience, too, you know.
Here I am, encouraging you to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. Ian says:
I think a bigger portion of the why [he’s not making Dean’s numbers] has to do with volume. In January when I uploaded my first Smashwords books, they had about 1.6 billion words published. Now they’re over 1.9 billion. So in three months, people have uploaded 100 million words worth of ebooks to Smashwords. That’s 10,000 short stories of 10k words each, or a thousand 100k-word novels. That’s a lot of competition for buyers to sift through. I suspect my sales are coming from people searching for specific tags, like “superhero” or “cyberpunk” first. The number of indie-published works is increasing at a staggering pace. I think individual sales will drop as the pool gets larger, and I don’t think repeat business is a given at all in this industry. People are fickle.
I think it’s a good point. There are a flood of people who are now indypubbing (like me). Yes, we are the flood. Do I think this means that now isn’t the time to epublish?
I think the wave of new writers will burst forth for a month, two months, six months, a year, as people clean out their trunks. Why not? You might make some money on that stuff.
But, just as there are a bajillion people who want you to write their books for them, there are a bajillion people who have written one or two books, and that’s it. They take YEARS to finish books. It’s a hobby.
Being a professional writer is hard, even a self-publishing professional writer. A lot of the self-publishers that we’re seeing now will weed themselves out.
So, that’s something to ask yourself: Do you want to be the kind of writer who puts up one book, finds out that you’re not seeing sales (because one book is just kind of floating out there, in the middle of nowhere, like a blog with one blog post), and gives up?