Sunday, December 5, 2010

Riding on the Coattails of Fame

One of my very favourite things to do is think about what I would do if I won the lotto - more specifically, how many people's lives I could change.  I'm not particularly charitable, but an Irish woman once won the Euromillions lotto which was over 100million euro and it's kind of fun to imagine sharing that amongst family members and lesser known charities.  Probably sad but it provides imaginary warm and fuzzies. 

Writing success can be similar.  You can carry people up with you.  It always makes me smile when someone has a bit of success and all of a sudden everyone wants a piece of them when before, they might have been ignored.  My new imaginary warm and fuzzies are stemming from imagining what I would do if I became hugely successful as a writer (what can I say, extremely unlikely things appeal to me), who I could help, who I could promote.  I'm totally making a list - just in case.  ;)

Seriously though, people have been making comments a lot about where indies will be when all of the large publishing houses get a grip and price their ebooks competitively.  I happen to think indies will be okay, even if big names start seeing $2.99 as the ideal price point.  Self-publishing is not what it once was, there is so much information out there that nobody has a good enough excuse to do it badly enough to embarrass themselves.  I'm talking about extreme levels of poor formatting, spelling, grammar and writing, not  a bad story because there is a market for pretty much anything.  There are more people who are working on a professional level, more readers willing to give indies a fair chance and the Internet has provided a unique opportunity for indies to come together, compare notes and learn from each other's mistakes.

There are some who market better than others, some who are more business savvy, some who have the charisma to easily attract fans and some who happen to write the right book at the right time.  Word of mouth and a million other things come together in perfect harmony at the right moment and we have a winner.  Who knows other indies, who is connected to other indies in their genre, who is accurately grouped with other indies by Amazon, tags and lists.  They all suck a little bit of the win juice and the luck (and sales) spreads around a little. 

Maybe some of the people who are riding on the coattails of winner number one gain their own buzz, maybe they eventually sell even more than number one, maybe even more indies ride on their coattails.  And maybe, just maybe, if/when the prices level out, the level of writing and editing will be so comparable that people won't have a clue if they're reading indie or trad.

Maybe.  :)

Times, they are a-different.  I've now read indie books that were better edited than some trad published ones.  I'm being serious.  The lack of time spent on editing by some publishers is very apparent.  Quite a few indies now hire professional editors who happen to freelance.  Thanks to the amazing talent out there, a huge number of indie covers are beautiful, eye-catching or a perfect fit for their genre.

Indies will always be judged differently to trad authors.  But that's okay.  So is a little competition.  I think indies will be fine, no matter what happens.  Many have fans for life already.  The future is more exciting than scary and already we're seeing some agents and publishers using the Amazon bestseller lists as their own personal slush-pile.  It's a brand new day but there's room for everyone.  Pinky swear.  Of course, I could be wrong, but I truly believe the big publishers have given indies enough time to establish themselves properly.

In other news that makes Claire happy, Thirst received its first review.  Thank you so much, Joseph, that was very kind of you.  :D  There have been a few other random incidents that made my weekend so I'm out of the winter slump and back on form again.  Cheers world.  ;)

Last thing, I swear!  Yay for Stacey Solomon, Queen of the Jungle.  Good luck Mary & Rebecca.  *Is sucker for reality tv*


  1. Hi Claire, it was a pleasure to read your story Thirst and if the system would let me give it another half star, I would have.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I'm very happy as is. Thanks again, Joseph. :)

  3. Nice post, Claire. Some positives to think about here. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for reading, Kae. Positive thinking and all that. :)


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