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Authors with six-figure incomes

Twenty years ago, Donald Maass interviewed authors to find out who had six-figure incomes, and what they had in common. What did he discover?

No conventions. Hear that? They don't attend many conventions

Excerpt from ‘The Career Novelist’ by Donald Maass

Download a free copy of the book this is from at this link.

Obviously, none of them listed “Lucky” among the important factors in their success, but we can take that as a given. You can do everything right, but if you’re abandoned by your editor, or your preferred subject matter appeals to a small audience, well, that’s just too sad for you.

But how much of this advice (to the extent that it actually constitutes advice) still holds, twenty years later?

I suspect that writers really do need to be somewhat “plugged in” right now. Writers aren’t going to make a lot of sales by going onto social media and calling for readers, but they can recommend other authors, and those other authors can recommend them in return, if they like. Log-rolling! It’s not actually evil, if you liked the book.

I also wonder what other factors would weigh in here: how quickly do they publish? Are their books largely within a single series? Do they win awards?

Personally, last month I passed the five-year mark on my publishing career, and it hasn’t be great. When the trilogy and the new UF comes out this winter, I’ll have published or self-published ten books.

I’m not looking for six-figures here, but mid-five would be nice. Very very nice, actually. We’ll see.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
a detailed review
I do think there is a lot to be said for Charley Stross's method of throwing darts at a bunch of targets, and seeing what works, then following that. Which isn't differing too much from what that guy has noted.
Oct. 19th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: a detailed review
I wish I could be prolific enough to do that. It has to be one thing at a time for me.
Oct. 19th, 2014 11:36 am (UTC)
You have a new urban fantasy coming out this year? How did I miss this? *adds to To-Buy list*
Oct. 19th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Fair warning, though, because this one will be very different from the Twenty Palaces books. (It has sexy vampires.)
Oct. 29th, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
(this is what I get for not checking my LJ mailbox)

I figure it would be different, but I like your writing.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )