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21st Century Writer

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Today is the best time ever to be a writer. Discover what being a professional writer used to be like, how the publishing industry is now changing in fundamental ways, and how you can become the writer you always wanted to be.

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21st Century Writer

  1. 1. 21st Century Writer By David Keener Evolution in the Publishing Industry Web Site: www.davidkeener.org Email: dkeener@davidkeener.org
  2. 2. Overview • The Jurassic Era - When Gatekeepers Ruled the Earth • Asteroid Impact - The End of the Big Publishers • The Modern Era - The Rise of Nimble Self-Publishers • Questions • Homework
  3. 3. Part 1: The Jurassic Era (1980 – 2007)
  4. 4. Pop Quiz How much moneywillthe author make from selling a single copy of this book? (Note: Paperback Priced at$8.99)
  5. 5. Answer 60 cents
  6. 6. When Gatekeepers Ruled… • Lots of money being made…. - By Publishers, Retailers and Agents • But hardly any going to the writers - Even worse than the music industry There is no other profession besides writing in which an experienced practitioner, such as a mid-list writer, cannot make a livable wage.
  7. 7. The Agent: The 1st Gatekeeper • Gets 15% of each deal for life • Negotiates contracts w/o legal training • No accountability to writers - For performance or accounting • Supposed to serve writers - Often biased towards publishers
  8. 8. The Publisher: The 2nd Gatekeeper • Accounting practices from Dark Ages • One-sided “standard” contracts • No accountability to writers • “Hold-backs” against returns • Caters to corporate buyers, not readers • Won’t publish writers without a “platform” • Increased emphasis on “blockbusters”
  9. 9. The Retailer: The 3rd Gatekeeper • Not a level playing field for writers • Publishers pay for “placement” • Books sell in 6 weeks, then they’re dead • Automated ordering systemsprevent authors from gradually growing their “base” • No insight into readers
  10. 10. Part 2: Asteroid Impact
  11. 11. Pop Quiz What happened in 2007 that totally changed Publishing?
  12. 12. A Marketplace Amazon created a new business model… • They built a “marketplace” for books - A level playing field - READERS determine if writers succeed • Writers get 70% of list price on ebook sales * • Real-time sales data; prompt payments * For books priced $2.99 - $9.99
  13. 13. The New E-Sellers • Amazon.com - Worldwide • Barnes & Noble – Mostly US • Smashwords – Worldwide • Kobo – Mostly international At least 25% of the market is now ebooks
  14. 14. The End of the Big Publishers • Writers don’t need publishers • Writers don’t need agents • Writers have negotiating power • Writers have choices • Writers can make REAL money
  15. 15. Part 3: The Modern Era
  16. 16. Case Study: Hugh Howey David Keener Hugh Howey
  17. 17. Hugh’s Road to “Glory” • Self-published novellas and YA books - Gains experience; polishes craft • Wrote “Wool” – a short story - So successful, writes 4 more novelettes • Publishes “Wool Omnibus” - Becomes major bestseller • Signs Simon & Schuster “Wool” contract - Keeps ebook rights Has sold over a million books…
  18. 18. Rise of the Nimble Author • NOW is the time to be a writer • The Gatekeepers have been removed • Formatting an ebook isn’t rocket science • You’re the source of the magic If you’ve got something worth saying, there’s an Audience for you!
  19. 19. Questions? ~ A Presentation From ~ David Keener dkeener@davidkeener.org www.davidkeener.org David Keener is a writer, Internet expert, and speaker based in Northern Virginia. He speaks regularly at conferences and other events. Copyright @ 2013 David Keener. All rights reserved. Homework
  20. 20. Homework (1) • The Passive Voice (from David P. Vandagriff) - Daily Publishing Industry Survey - He’s a Lawyer, his wife is a Writer - www.thepassivevoice.com • Kristine Kathryn Rusch - Award-winner – F & SF, Mystery, Romance - Loads of experience as writer, editor, publisher - Blogs on e-publishing subjects - www.kriswrites.com
  21. 21. Homework (2) • Dean Wesley Smith - Blogs on “Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing” - Husband of Kristine Kathryn Rusch - www.deanwesleysmith.com • J. A. Konrath - A top indie writer and self-publishing advocate - Blogs on “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing” - Publishes real sales/dollar amounts - jakonrath.blogspot.com
  22. 22. Homework (3) • David Gaughran - 2 top books on self-publishing - davidgaughran.wordpress.com • David Keener - Blogs on diverse writing & publishing topics - www.davidkeener.org - /2013/03/my-indie-publishing- strategy-5-key-strategies

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