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Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson Reading Haven't got a Kindle. A big pile of books.
05 Apr 2016, 04:31 PM | Post: #1

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Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey is a New York Times best-selling science fiction author and one of the most vocal proponents of self-publishing. His biggest hit, Wool, was published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program and ballooned into a best-selling series that went on to win Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012 Award. Wool has also been optioned by director Ridley Scott and appeared in print under Random House UK.
Howey, along with Data Guy, is also part of the team behind the Author Earnings reports, which present data on self-published titles through Amazon’s KDP program and inform the industry on how big of a role self-publishing plays in today’s book publishing landscape.
I spoke with Howey about a number of issues, including the role of traditional publishers today, what self-publishing can do better, and what he wants the industry to look like 10 years down the line.
What do you view as the role of traditional publishers today? And do you see that role changing at all going forward? Put another way, do you believe that the big publishers will slowly go away, or will there always be a place for them, however diminished or different it might be?

Read the rest of the interview here http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2016/dbw-interview-with-hugh-howey-author/
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Offline LexiRevellian Reading A book which I have forgotten to add here
05 Apr 2016, 08:29 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

Hugh is always worth listening to. I met him briefly when he visited London a few years ago.
Lexi
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Offline JMac Reading
06 Apr 2016, 06:05 AM | Post: #3

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RE: Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

I'm glad I read that. I've read a couple of articles/posts recently about self-published authors needing to spend more time marketing than writing. That made me (a) wonder if I should spend more time marketing and (b) feel depressed as marketing is not fun and it would reduce my time spent writing. Hugh Howey says that writing more books is the best strategy for success so that's what I'm going to do!
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RE: Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

Thanks for posting Jan. This article is well worth a read. Great insights.
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Offline Scribbler Reading TBR list - I hate you!
06 Apr 2016, 12:07 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

(05 Apr 2016 04:31 PM)Jan Hurst-Nicholson Wrote:  Hugh Howey is a New York Times best-selling science fiction author and one of the most vocal proponents of self-publishing. His biggest hit, Wool, was published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program and ballooned into a best-selling series that went on to win Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012 Award. Wool has also been optioned by director Ridley Scott and appeared in print under Random House UK.
Not forgetting of course that Wool was originally a short story when it started to take off towards the stratosphere on Amazon.
Scribbler's scribblings:
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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson Reading Haven't got a Kindle. A big pile of books.
06 Apr 2016, 01:41 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

If someone asks me about self-publishing it's always good to be able to direct them to one of Hugh's articles Kindle Smile.
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Offline Katherine Roberts Reading I keep forgetting to update this!
09 Apr 2016, 11:12 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Interview with New York Times best-selling Indie author Hugh Howey

Interesting, and I am totally with Hugh on the craziness of returns when books are now sold like any other commodity at high discount. If I were a publisher, the first thing I'd do is ditch the return policy. It's only really logical for the sort of titles that get piled up at the front of store, anyway - if a bookseller is only ordering about 2 copies of a title, then NO WAY should they be allowed to return them! (And maybe if returns were no longer allowed, booksellers would be more realistic in numbers ordered and there would be less wastage from the big piles of 'best-sellers' that end up in landfill, as well as more space for other titles in the shop?)

As for indies going exclusive to amazon, I'm not so sure... maybe it depends on the genre? I only have one series exclusive, and that does not sell nearly as well as my books that go wide. I ran a Countdown deal recently that resulted in zero sales, and a 'free for five days' deal that resulted in just 15 downloads. I even tried promoting the deals on some of the promotion sites, which I've never done before, as well as the usual tweeting and blogging to get the word out. With those figures, I don't see any advantage in going exclusive. I think it's better to go wide and set the price free or cheap at the other stores for long enough for the book to get noticed there - for example,  a month's free promo at Apple had a modest effect for me. Hugh started early, remember, and judging by my own records of freebies/countdowns tried over the years, I'm fairly sure it was easier for a good book to gain visibility at amazon in 2011 than it is in 2016.

For me, traditional publishing paid a living wage as long as I managed to place two books a year. Indie brings in a little each month (which is very welcome) but nowhere near what I'd have earned from my low 4-figure advances - and many debut authors I know have had bigger advances than me. The trick, of course, is getting a publisher to say 'yes'... and then getting a fair contract out of them. I suspect that advances for unknown and midlist authors might become a thing of the past, and big publishers will instead cherry pick from indies already doing well, such as the UK print deal Hugh mentions for his book. Or maybe they'll offer zero-advance contracts with royalties earned from real sales. I don't see how publishers can keep throwing away vast advances on certain books that never earn out... it's not as if there is a shortage of writers or books these days!

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