Now is the best time to be a writer, ever.
It’s not because the internet, Amazon and Kindle publishing, or ebooks has made it so easy to publish a book. It’s because more people can read than ever before. (UN statistics).
Recently Joanna Penn on her Sep 10th, 2017 podcast interviewed author Micheal Ridpath. He said that he made most of his money on foreign translations. He’s a UK author and has traditional publishing contracts for the UK, United States, and Australia.
It is still hard to get a book into overseas book stores. The publishers overseas have a strangle hold on the book distribution their country. This is no longer the case in the United States. So even if you hire a translator it is hard to get the translated book into books stores in the country of that language. I have faith that Amazon will not let that last much longer. Besides there are many people all over the world that speak and read English. Foreign publishers will pick up books in English for translation and sells in their country, but it often takes an agent.
If your going to write a book, now is the time to do it. There are more readers than ever before.
The paranoid among you may be thinking why would I, an author, give away the secrets to writing a novel to you for free. If the secrets were any good you could use them to write a book and take away my readers.
1. Authors don’t own readers.
2. Voracious readers are always looking for another book to read. We can both sell our books to the same reader.
Now let’s look at the math of writing a book. OK, that just turned off two thirds of the audience. (Your all sitting there going I’m a writer not a math teacher)
Surveys show that 96 % of people want to write a book. An often quoted statistic.
Only 3 % of those who start a book finish it. (from Jyotsna Ramachandran of the HappySelfPublishing.com web site).
Of that 3 % only 20 % publish the book. So out of a 1000 people I talk to, who go on to start a book only 3 % or 30 writers will finish the book.
Of the 30 that finish the book only 6 will publish the book. That’s point 6 % (0.6 %) of people that start a book publish it.
If you want to join the 1% go publish a book.
How many people who want to write a book, but never even start, I haven’t found that information.
If you finish your book, don’t give up. Get a professional to edit it and then publish your book. That’s an edit from a real professional, not a relative, teacher, or just anyone off the net. Research editors extensively before committing to one. There are many scams out there.
More bad news. Only a minuscule number of first time authors sell over 100 copies of their book.
Again, don’t give up. Many authors (published writers) I’ve talked to said that you have to write 5 books before you start to produce professional level books. I’ve lost count of the number of book signing I’ve gone to where the author has said that they have 1, 3, 5 or more books in a drawer that will never see the light of day. Those are usually the first books they wrote.
You may say that the author of Wool, Hugh Howey did it. Sold millions of his first book. Well Hugh had an old style publishing contract before he started writing ebooks. He wrote 7 books before Wool.
You say J. K. Rowling did it. Yes she did, but she spent 5 years pre-writing (I consider that a type of outlining) and doing character back grounds (in long hand) before finishing the first Harry Potter book. I think that taking a year to finish a book is about right for a writer with a child and a job.
Ms. Rowling spent five years working to become a better writer. That’s studying, reading, working at her craft.
5 years at 8 hours a day is about 10,000 hours. 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, that sound familiar. (See Malcolm Gladwells book Outliers).
Now go prove me wrong and write a best selling first book.
Stay strong, write on. Professor Hyram Voltage