From author Mark Terry:
Well, okay. It’s sick. For me, personally, as a writer, traditional fiction publishing is dead.
Will it rise up like Lazarus in the future? Could happen. I’ll cross that particular crosswalk if and when the need arises.
What brings me to lurch out of my blogging lethargy to make this claim?
I got an email from my former agent yesterday indicating that she had received my most recent royalty statement and check from my former publisher. That would be for both The Fallen and The Valley of Shadows. I haven’t seen either, but I believe it covers the time period from about June 2011 to December 31, 2011. Or not. It doesn’t matter for the discussion at hand. What was pertinent to me was that the check she received was in the amount of $249.99. She’ll take her 15% of this magnificent sum of money and send me the remaining $212.49, give or take. Then I’ll automatically take 24% out for the federal government and 4% out for the state government. That’ll give me about $153 give or take, to play around with, pay bills, or sob over.
. . . .
In comparison, in March I received a royalty check (direct deposit, actually) from Amazon (alone) for $1013. That reflects, I believe, either the month of January’s ebook sales or December’s. I’d have to think that through. I think it’s January.
Please note. I ain’t getting rich here. I read posts by Joe Konrath, Blake Crouch, Lee Goldberg and many others about the thousands and thousands of dollars they’re making epublishing and I want to pound my head on my desk. But such is life. I am not making my living writing fiction. I am, however, having a hell of a lot more fun with a lot fewer headaches. And I’m paying my Visa bill fairly regularly with the royalty money. Once I get that driven down, maybe I’ll have even more fun.
But there are two factors here. One, having a bunch of ebooks for sale can be reasonably cumulative, whereas having two hardcovers for sale, not so much. So, the more books you have for sale, well, the more money you make. Two, my royalties on my ebooks are actually higher both in terms of percentage (about 8% on hardcovers for my legacy publishers and 70% on ebooks myself) and in hard dollar numbers (calculating hardcover royalties after discounts, etc., is a nightmare, but let’s be optimistic and say 8% on $25, which is $2. My Kindle royalties on a $2.99 ebook comes to $2.04 per copy downloaded).
Link to the rest at Mark Terry and thanks to Elizabeth for the tip.