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Websites and Articles about Authors and Writing – Tips, Earnings, Etc.

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been compiling a few websites related to writing that I found interesting.   Normally, I found them through a typical Google search looking for author earnings info on short stories and ebooks.  Basically I was procrastinating in my favorite way – Googling random things.

Without further ado, so I can get back to more aimless searching, here are the websites:

  1. Lindsay Buroker’s blog is a great resource and surely gives inspiration to those hoping to make writing their day job.  Granted, she took her time and worked hard for her success.  She doesn’t shy away from posting actual lessons learned and earnings reports.
  2. The Writer’s Cafe can be found on the Kindleboards.com website.  This site has a wealth of information if you’re willing to spend some time digging.  There are updates on various indie authors’ sales or numbers of times their book was borrowed through Amazon.  It has a great community feel to it as well.
  3. Robin Sullivan’s article, The New Midlist, from June 27, 2011 is an interesting read, giving stats on her husband’s success.
  4. The Good E Reader blog is another one with a never-ending amount of information.  There are sections focused on Indie Author News, Digital Publishing News, and so on.  This is one I’ve tabbed and plan to return to regularly.
  5. Rebecca Brandewyne’s website had some good informational posts like The Pros and Cons of Being a Writer and Advances & Royalties – How Authors are Paid, although I have to admit that I did have to mute my laptop and make an effort to look past the sparkling letters (seriously, if you click through, brace yourself).  She obviously writes in a genre that I’m not actually interested in, and it appears that most of the information is a few years old, but some concerns are consistent across genres and throughout time.

Short Stories on Kindle

I bought my wife a Kindle Fire for Christmas and as a result ended up with her old Kindle.  While the majority of my reading will still be of physical books, I’ve been impressed with the Kindle’s convenience.  As such, I’ve been looking into uses for it beyond reading a normal novel, specifically the availability of short stories on it.

Unfortunately, it is a good news and bad news scenario.  The good news is that there seems to be a growing amount of short fiction on the Kindle, a ton of it actually.  For those serious writers out there, the bad news is that there also seems to be a large amount of free fiction as well, both short fiction and novel length.

With the increasingly prevalent impact that technology is having on the publishing industry, I’ve often wondered what impact it would eventually have on those writers who earn their living through their craft.  I have to believe that the increasing amount of material made available by hobby writers, many times for free or as good as free, is hurting that side of the industry.  If nothing else, the pure saturation of material will likely become overwhelming.

From what I’ve seen on various blogs and magazines, it’s a very hotly debated question – should someone offer their material for free so that they get exposure and readership?  I’m a strong supporter of the writing community, from the closet writer without a finished story to his name to those admired few who have the talent and fortitude to make a living at it, be it modest or extraordinary.  However, it scares me to see the results when I do a search for ‘short stories’ in the Kindle Store and then narrow it down to Fantasy Kindle ebooks.  Eleven of the twelve items displayed on the first screen are all free.

That question may never have a final answer just because each person’s scenario is different.  Some people do need to use the opportunity and impact of a free short story as a lead-in for their additional work.

However, the question I haven’t seen posed anywhere though is – How much is the hobby writer adversely impacting those writers who use the Amazon fees to pay their bills?

I’d love to hear thoughts and comments on this.

The Rabbit Hole

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