Show Me the Money!—successful self-publishers

Anyone thinking of self-publishing should read an article in the Guardian book section;

‘Show me the money!’: the self-published authors being snapped up by Hollywood

One thing that Mark Dawson and Russell Blake share is how prolific they are. I thought that I was doing well to complete five novels in four years, a total word count of 480,000 words, but Dawson has written 23 books in four years! 

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Mark Dawson

Russell Blake

Curious about this, I had a quick look at these two authors’ work on Amazon, which allows one to access the first few pages. Initial impressions are that it’s action-driven, with little subtlety, very short chapters and the longest word appears to be Kalashnikov!

It’s certainly not literature, but few great works of literature are adapted into television series or movies.

I’m considering putting more work into the 45 titles I’ve already self-published on Amazon and Smashwords (and the vendors they distribute to), as querying literary agents is such a wearisome and time-consuming activity. I’m put off by the thought of having to schmooze through blogging, social media and my long dormant website. Such a campaign would be to generate interest in me as a writer, to launch my first novel.

I’d prefer to be writing new books—but if they ain’t selling, what’s the point?

The dreaded process of discoverability is a tough nut to crack, and it’s made easier if the writer is a marketing expert. Considering the amount of work Mark Dawson has done, it’s certain he employed advertising industry experts…he admits to spending hundreds of pounds on advertising, which is not something most of us can afford. Hit someone over the head enough times, and they soon get the message. It’s a truism in advertising that the more a product is promoted, the shoddier it is in quality—handmade and high-quality items don’t need promoting, as they sell themselves—how often do you see an advert for Rolls-Royce?

Newspapers are often irresponsible in the articles they feature, which make it look easy-peasy to achieve success through self-publishing. Like any human endeavour, it’s only a few people who win through. Suggesting that simply publishing your novel on Amazon Kindle Select will make you a millionaire, is as daft as saying taking up running will win you an Olympic gold medal!


Whoever said ‘Life isn’t a popularity contest’ didn’t know about ebooks!

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