This review, among other reasons, is why I’m a Sarah Hoyt fan even though I’ve yet to read her novels. Yeah, yeah, I know…but there hasn’t been a lot of time for reading other people’s work until very recently. I’ve likewise heard really good things about Ric Locke’s Temporary Duty and need to get off my @$$ and download a copy. I can only hope that Perigee merits similar praise from other writers at some point.
It’s immensely gratifying to read a traditionally published novelist who is not afraid to give a shout-out to an indie author. We could use a good deal more of that. It bugs me that associations like ITW and SFWA are closed to indie writers, except for an “associate” membership. In SFWA’s case, we appear to be shut out entirely. And judging by some of her other posts, maybe it’s just as well.
I get that there has to be some kind of standard, otherwise any schmuck who can pound out 300 pages of gibberish and have his first-grader cobble together a cover would be sharing equal status with names like DeMille, Preston and Child. But considering the rapidly-changing publishing landscape, shouldn’t there be some minimum sales threshold that would allow indie authors into the Cool Kid’s Clubs? Pick a number, it doesn’t matter to me…5,000? 10,000? And I would totally get excluding giveaway copies. That’s a marketing tactic, not a career plan.
A friend of mine who’s been quite successful in the Christian SF market once told me that the large majority of novels don’t sell more than about 1,500 copies.
Well, guess what? I’ve already passed that mark, and it doesn’t include the free promos used to goose sales on Amazon. Maybe I’ll just have to go and form my own club. As indie writers, we have a special responsibility to ensure our work is every bit as good as what comes out of the New York collective.
Assuming your book is worth reading, as writers we are all competing for readers in two fundamental ways: Name Recognition and Price Point. As a new indie author I have exactly zip in name recognition, which leaves me with pricing. This can be a tremendous advantage since it’s entirely under my control. I can respond to market trends much faster than any of the Big 6 ever could. But I can’t stress enough that we must put out Big 6-quality work, otherwise the indie revolution will end up being just another bubble.
I’m confident that a free market will sort that out. Nobody wants to buy crap, even for 99 cents.
It kills me to let Perigee go so cheaply, but that price seems to keep it moving. It won’t make me rich, but it has kept my own title listed among the ranks of Konrath, Clancy, and King. And right now, that’s pretty much ball-game. Build a reputation from the first book, and a career from all the rest.