Here are some great resources for facts and figures on the writing business.
How big are author advances and royalties? What makes a best seller? And other sales stuff
Tobias Buckell’s “Author Advance Survey 2.0” (Science Fiction & Fantasy author advances)
Brenda Hiatt’s “Show Me The Money!” (Romance advances and royalties)
How do writers break into the market?
Jim C. Hines’ results of “How writers break in” survey of professional authors (various, but slanted toward science fiction & fantasy, YA, and romance)
How big is each genre?
Romance Writers of America’s “Industry Statistics” (includes breakdown of the whole market and details on the romance genre)
Robert Sawyer on:
- More on self-promotion
- Getting good press
- Publicity just doesn’t happen
- Using traditional media to promote your book
- Why authors attend SF conventions and more on why authors attend
- Making a good impression at a SF convention
- Picking which panels to be on at a SF convention
My take on marketing: it’s no different for books than any other product.
- Take action to get noticed by early adopter readers and make them a compelling offer. To get noticed and be able to make the offer to as many people as possible in your target audience, make the biggest marketing push you can, including PR, reviews, distribution, display, cover package (cover, title, copy), website, free chapters, blog, etc.–whatever works for your target market. You may have to market to various segments differently.
- The experience has to be satisfying enough that your customers come back for repeat business and tell others. This is especially critical for your early adopters. Without these early customers, there’s nobody to spread the word and build the level of word-of-mouth that you need. Make sure the experience is great every time they come back. Write the best dang book you can each time.
- Massive grassroot word-of-mouth or word-of-mouth from sources with large platform allows cumulative advantage to kick in.
- Most businesses take time to build a base of repeat customers. The more satisfied customers you have, the easier it becomes to win each additional customer. Every customer counts when starting a new business on a small scale.
Para Publishing book industry statistics