How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing

Is straight-to-eBook the new straight-to-video?  Yes and no.

How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing.

I’m gonna go ahead and ask everybody I know who has any aspirations toward writing, fiction or non-fiction, to read this article.  (Don’t skip the video in the middle.)

Obviously, I’m among the “aspiring authors” mentioned in this article, and so am still on the outside of the proverbial roomful of established writers, proverbially looking in.  Thus, I can’t say whether Tim Ferriss’ advice is valuable or not.  However, it sounds really smart, so I’ll assume it is.


Luckily, I read the comments, and one ireful (really? “Ireful” is a valid word? Okay.) reader had this to say:

Your headline caught me and I was excited (as usual) until I realized that (as usual) you had failed to take popular fiction into accout.

These models can’t work with genre fiction. Public speaking to build your platform, for instance, isn’t a viable option. Speak about what and to whom? There’s no platform there. In genre fiction you’re putting out (for some authors) a book a month. The platform is constantly shifting.

As a fiction author who worked up to full time writing via the ebook industry (which, for the last ten years, was where the former New York mid-list relocated to), wrote full time for 14 months, then just had to take a crappy $9/hr day job because stupid long tail economics ( just killed off my monthly royalties again, I find your post completely unrealistic as far as fiction is concerned and have a hard time even finishing reading it. I think you need to put a proviso in the front end of it. NOT FOR FICTION AUTHORS. We have a whole different set of problems to deal with.



To which Ferriss took the time to reply:

I’m a non-fiction author and know very little about fiction. If you’re a fiction writer, your options seem to be:

1) make money from book royalties
2) make money teaching at a writing program
3) selling a movie option
4) writing and selling a screenplay
5) creating a muse of some type


So, with an article filled with smart advice for non-fiction authors, combined with those five options right there for making a living, I think I’ll be set on the right track.  I can write a manuscript before attempting to sell it.  I can write a screenplay.

If I can actually get my head on straight, I think I’ll make it.  I really do.

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