Saturday was one of my favorite type of being-a-writer days, aside from the leaving the house completely polished with makeup and earrings at 7:00 am. I met two writer friends for breakfast prior to our monthly chapter meeting. I’d go out for breakfast more often if it wasn’t such an early morning thing.
The business of the meeting was fast and intense, including kudos and awards. I was presented my White Rose for First Contract, any future ones will be red roses as I’ll no longer be a virgin novelist. The elections of the new board of directors for the chapter was next and I’m the VP of Programs for the coming year. This means the craft of writing and storytelling will be the focus of future workshops.
Courtney Milan presented a fabulous three-hour overview on the business of self publishing, including the number of e-sales needed per month to pay a modest mortgage. These numbers were compared to a best case royalty rate at the current percentages from print publishers.
Stark numbers reveal this isn’t a career for fast money in either case. But there are plenty who make a living as authors and there is always the potential of viral marketing and stratospheric sales. It’s still all about the writing quality of the book, and the story told, but now the backlist makes the difference. Ten novels is a new benchmark for career authors.
Jane explained why she is not renewing any of her publishing contracts. She’s not sure what the future will bring but she needs to write the books of her heart again, which is how she grew her career in women’s fiction. She has a distinct style and loyal readers love having her attend their Book Club meetings, even if only through Skype.
She’s concerned about the choices of her future career as about half of her readers want print books, not digital copies. I was happy to explain briefly about the hybrid and boutique publishers who do both. She’s been busy and knew book world was changing but hasn’t had the time to explore new options.
When I got home it was only 5:30 pm and I remembered I spent many years leaving home dressed to impress at 7am and not returning until after 5pm. It was a standard business day for me. But this one was tons more fun.