Home » Self-Publishing » Indie Author Chris Nuttall Says All but Biggest Authors Are Driven to E-books

Indie Author Chris Nuttall Says All but Biggest Authors Are Driven to E-books

18 February 2016

From Observer.com:

Christopher G. Nuttall is a history buff. As an author, he writes sweeping series, a good number of which take place in imagined galactic empires of the far future, yet his plots still reflect what’s been intriguing about the human story so far. His books feature confrontations between space democracies and theocracies, monarchies beset by corruption and nations barely keeping it together. He takes the complications of life so far and imagines those stories spanning galaxies.

Mr. Nuttall has been publishing books on Amazon since 2011, but his career as a writer took off with 2012’s The Empire’s Corps, about a group of soldiers exiled to the outer edge of a galactic empire after its commander spoke too honestly to their nation’s leader. Since then, he’s been able to carve out a career for himself as a writer, doing nothing but coming up with book after book.

He joins a growing group of writers making a living (probably much better than a living) writing books that are published digitally. Our conversation marks the third story in our Titans of Kindle series, preceded by Kristen Ashley and Douglas E. Richards.

. . . .

Big picture: what’s your take on the world of publishing right now?

Well, I think things are changing rapidly. The current publishing world is unsustainable as it stands. Big publishers came up in a world that was completely different. They tried to price e-books as expensively as hardbacks, which cost them a lot of sales. Obviously, I’m not complaining about that, because it does me good, but it’s a major problem for publishers.

We’ve written a lot about the hike in ebook prices. Has it helped you?

I think so, yes. Lots of people know they are being cheated. The high prices are a big incentive to people who just want to pirate e-books.

. . . .

Do you do anything else to supplement your income?

I’m a writer. I just write basically.

Can you talk to me about your revenue streams? How does your income break down?

Amazon is the top source.  Amazon is adapting, and other publishers are not. Amazon is very, very convenient. Createspace is a little bit of income. I’ve tried experimenting with others, such as Smashwords, but it hasn’t really worked out. I’ve also been picked up by a couple of small presses.

Does Amazon talk to you? Does it seek feedback from its authors about the industry? 

I’ve actually got two books in 47North [Amazon’s science fiction imprint], and we do chat about things. Nothing special. We don’t actually offer each other much feedback. The thing I want is a way of counting how many copies of a particular books is sold. I’d like something that does it automatically.  A lot of the secretarial work you have to do yourself.

. . . .

So do you understand how you blew up? Did you get a review on a prominent blog or something? 

I haven’t had very many people in the media say, “This book is really good” apart from Instapundit. The thing is, it’s not reviews and endorsements from famous persons that count. It’s the number of reviews you get from regular people on Amazon.

The people who review books professionally are more critical, so I think they are out of touch with what people actually want. So I don’t think it actually helps.

Link to the rest at Observer.com and thanks to Andrew for the tip.

Here’s a link to Chris Nuttal’s books.


7 Comments to “Indie Author Chris Nuttall Says All but Biggest Authors Are Driven to E-books”

  1. Good lord, he has a lot of books up for sale.

    • I don’t know his numbers, but if you write 4k a day, that’s just 16 manuscript pages, that works out to about twelve 100k novels a year. A book a month. That’s 60 books in five years. Or, 2k a day, 8 manuscript pages, is six 100k books a year. 30 books in five years.

      If you focus on a writing career, and not just writing a book, these are comfortable page rates that build a body of work.

    • Yeah, if you like space opera or military SF, he consistently shows up in the “also bought” feed. His daily sales have got to be substantial. Looking at his Amazon page, he’s the tenth highest rated SF author! B. V. Larson is similar huge SF writer. One of these two are always in my also boughts.

  2. I started reading his books a few months ago. It is amazing how many and how fast he pumps them out there. I prefer urban fantasy right now and his “Schooled in Magic” series is a great fit. Some have called it a Harry Potter knock off… but it is so much more.

    But… he is impressive in his production.

  3. “The thing is, it’s not reviews and endorsements from famous persons that count. It’s the number of reviews you get from regular people on Amazon.”

    If only I could get my readers to understand this simple quote…

    • LOL! I think the vast majority of readers are reluctant to write reviews, but some readers are even more reluctant than that. Like mine! 😉

    • I would probably write more reviews if I got the prompt to do so three days after I finish a book. I’m fine with clicking on a star rating immediately after finishing, but I feel unable to come up with anything more profound than “Great” the instant I read the final sentence.

      So Amazon and other e-retailers. Assuming I have opted into the service, three days after I have finished a book and clicked on a star rating when prompted, send me an email with a link that takes me directly to a review submission form for the book.

      You rated Scout’s Oath by Henry Vogel 4 stars. Would you like to leave a review? Click on this link to review Scout’s Oath.

      Thank you for supporting Amazon’s plans of world domination with your purchases. We don’t know what Mr Vogel plans to do with his cut.

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