Mysteries of publishing explained: Money

Hi, folks! Andi here with something I’ve been thinking about doing here at Women and Words for a while and I figured, well, no time like the present. So I thought I’d do my first blog on publishing — geared toward readers. That is, what readers wonder about publishing.

I’m going to keep this discussion limited here to novel-writing — that aspect of the publishing industry. Also, I have a background as an editor in mainstream publishing. I worked for about 13 years doing that. I learned editing and publishing as a “grunt” editor in a publishing house, and I worked my way up to acquisitions editor (finding and contracting books) and then became a managing editor, in which I was responsible for coordinating the publication of about 100 books a year through this publishing house. So I know a little something about the industry as a writer and as an editor, but I’m always learning new stuff. Anyway.

I thought I’d start with the number one misconception about writing: “Writers make a lot of money.”

I’m going to totally burst your bubble. Completely.

No. We don’t.

Why not? Read on.

Unless we have really awesome-paying day jobs, novelists are NOT rolling in the dough. Especially novelists who write to a relatively small demographic like lesbian fiction. Now, understand I am not at all dissing lesbian fiction by calling it a small demographic. There are lots of audiences out there for a variety of books, and some are smaller than others. Granted, the internet has allowed lesfic to expand a bit beyond U.S. boundaries and also to expand into ebook territory, which is cool. But if you think about the percentage of, say, the American population that identifies as lesbian, your audience as a writer of lesfic is much smaller than if you wrote, say, heterosexual romances. And if you take into consideration that a large portion of women who identify as lesbian in America (to continue with our region-specific example) don’t even realize there’s a lesbian fiction publishing industry, your audience as a lesfic writer is even smaller.

All right. So it’s a specialized, smaller audience already. So let’s do some figures. Most authors who publish through lesfic houses make industry standard royalty rates. On print books, that’s about 8-10 percent of “net.” That means you get 8-10 percent of the price of a book AFTER printing costs and AFTER booksellers get the book for anywhere from 40 percent to 50 percent off the cover price.

So suppose your print book is selling for $15. It’s going to cost your publisher about $3.50 to print that book. A bookseller is going to buy that book for $7.50. So what’s left over? $4. That’s the net cost of a book. You get 8-10 percent of that $4 as an author. Yep. About $.40.

Now, consider that the average lesfic book sells about 2000 copies over 3-5 years. That’s with some pretty strong marketing from the author and, hopefully, your publisher. Yep. That’s about $800 in royalties over the life of that print book. Which is why an author tries to “build a backlist.” That means, she tries to put out a book every year or two, because if a reader discovers one of her newer books, she’ll go looking for more stuff by that author. So if you as an author have a large backlist and you produce regularly, your earlier books could still make you a little bit of money over the course of the year. So if you have, say, 10 books in print (which is about 10 years of writing), and you’re a big name in lesfic, you could conceivably make royalties off ALL of them that might make as much as a part-time job. However, authors are required to declare royalties at tax time, and we are taxed on those.

Okay, so how about ebooks? This actually offers authors a better deal. The industry standard for ebooks through a publishing house is 30-35 percent of net and because it’s an electronic file, there aren’t any printing costs. However, booksellers still take a chunk to host your efile, and publishers get a cut of that, too. So if an ebook is $10 at Amazon, e.g., they get 40-50 percent of that. Which leaves $5. The publisher takes a cut, and then you get 35 percent of what’s left (Amazon grants 35 percent royalties). But a publisher can also offer an ebook in formats through other booksellers that Amazon doesn’t sell, so an author can reach a wider ebook audience that way. For example, through the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Sony e-reader, the Apple versions, and standard .pdf files.

So if I make 35 percent of, say, $2, that’s .70. Which is more attractive than .40, but it’s still not rolling in dough. However, ebooks–because they can be offered through a variety of formats and publishers–do offer authors a little more money. In lesfic, strong ebook sales might garner an author a couple hundred extra dollars PER YEAR. That’s an author like me, probably. 5 books in print, but not necessarily a big name. An author like me is probably pretty lucky to clear about a thousand dollars a year in royalties. Yep. A thousand dollars. A year. Writing, thus, is a second or third job and doesn’t even pay as much as an actual second or third job would.

Back to the matter at hand. Some publishing houses offer “escalating royalty rates.” What that means is that after an author sells a certain number of books — let’s say she sells 5000 in a year (she’s lucky) — her next 5000 books will get, say, 12 percent of net royalties. So let’s say she’s super lucky and sells another 5,000 and her book doesn’t seem to be on its way down. Per the “escalating royalty” clause in her contract, she’ll get 15 percent of net on the next 5000. OMG, she’s totally awesomely lucky and her book is rocking. She sells another 5000 and the publisher grants 20 percent of net royalties. Usually, a publisher will stop there or a little lower. Like, 18 percent. And that’s a rate mostly for print books, not ebooks, which start fairly high.

Okay. I tried to keep this fairly simple, because royalties can also be figured on “retail” vs. “wholesale” price of a book. It depends on an author’s contract, and what an author negotiates with a publisher. Oh, and in case you were wondering, generally, authors get quarterly royalties. That means 4 times a year, the publisher cuts a check to the author for the royalties her book(s) made over the course of that quarter.

So, readers. What this means is if you’re trying to help an author, buy a book directly from a publisher. In lesfic, that’s not always possible, so buy through a lesfic distributor like Bella. Now, wait. Before you get all cranky — I understand that books might be cost-prohibitive. So if you’re not going to buy direct from a publisher or Bella, buy your lesfic from a reputable source. That includes Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Moonhorse Books (good for overseas readers, especially), and Rainbow ebooks. Buy from LGBT bookstores or independent bookstores. If you don’t know where one is, Indiebound can help you locate one.

Keep in mind that authors and publishers get no money from used books. But if you buy used books, again, please buy them from reputable sources and try to buy them from indie bookstores to help them stay in business. Indies are great community resources. You can’t hang out in the Amazon waiting room, after all, chatting to the local booklady and petting the ubiquitous bookstore cat or dog while sipping a cup of coffee.

All right. So there’s a brief foray into the world of royalties. Here’s a link that will explain in more detail about the types of royalties and percentages of retail vs. wholesale and all that good stuff so you can maybe get an even bigger picture about how royalties are calculated. And yes, it IS confusing! But it’s a reality, and it’s something that writers deal with all the time.

At any rate, please do let me know what mysteries of publishing you’d like explained and I’ll do my best to either answer myself or find someone who can. Thanks, and happy weekend!


  1. Amen, kiddo! But you forgot the part about the publisher’s car being out in the snow for all the pallets of books in the garage, er…warehouse.
    Great blog….telling it like it really is.


  2. That was very interesting Andi. I’ve often wondered how the cost is divided up – I never realised that authors recieved so little per book.

    I used to buy books from Amazon cause the postage was better for me to get them sent from UK to Spain but then I read that authors received less from Amazon sales than from Bella Books for example so I started to get them direct. However the postage was a killer so I got an ereader and now buy ebooks and save on the postage.


  3. Wow, I had no idea that writing paid that little. I guess most authors write more for the love of writing than for the hope of striking it rich…?

    I used to buy books from, but I have recently discovered True Colors bookstore in Minneapolis, so I now order all my books from there – costs me a little more, but I think it’s worth it to support a small business versus throwing more money at corporate America. Somehow I just can’t make the leap to ebooks. I love the feel of a good old-fashioned paperback in my hands, and my eyes get enough computer screen glare from playing on Facebook!


  4. Wow. Seriously.

    I guess we (lesfic readers) are pretty lucky that so many talented women put so much of themselves into something that reaps no monetary reward.

    Of course this now begs the question … where is your reward? What’s the author’s motivation? A year of their life. Critics. Endless promotion. All for … what?

    What drives an author? Are they in it simply for the sake of their art? A need to connect?

    Help us (the grateful reader) understand why all of you go to such lengths to tell your stories.



    • Hi, Denise — thanks for stopping by!

      I have a strong background in publishing, from the industry side. I love books. I love the whole idea of making things available for reading. There is no greater pleasure for me than a story well-told, regardless of the genre. Books are a source of knowledge and learning as well as entertainment. They can empower, because knowledge is something no one can take away from you. Historically, books have helped people who might not have had access to formal educational institutions learn, nevertheless. It’s no accident that people who wish to seize ultimate power over others forbid things like reading (think of the not-so-distant past in this country, when the white power structure in the South forbade teaching African slaves to read). It’s because they know that if people have access to knowledge, they can empower themselves.

      Here’s an aside. I’m currently reading a thriller by a new writer for me. He’s got a nice way with imagery and this story he’s telling is based in Zimbabwe. His descriptions are both lush and brutal, capturing, to a certain extent, the way things are in that country. There’s a scene in the book where the main character has to go to a library for information. He walks into one of the run-down rooms where a group of local kids sit at a battered table reading books that are about ready to fall apart, but the kids are absolutely entranced and the main character stops and watches them for a moment, and in the simple act of reading, he notes that the local kids are hungry for things outside themselves, for something to give them ideas, for ways to look to a future. That’s priceless. That’s not about money. That’s about hope.

      That’s what writing can do. Yes, it can be an art. But it’s also a teaching tool. It can be a release for some. A way to reach people and to build community. Why does any artist do what he or she does? What drove people like Caravaggio or Gentileschi to paint, Rodin to sculpt, Woolf and Shakespeare to write? It is about connection, I think. It’s also about conveying something that fascinated that artist/writer to someone else, to look for new ways of seeing, to forge networks, and for themselves to learn.

      Everyone has an inner artist — an inner something that pushes us to explore something, to get really good at something (whatever that something is), and to show others 1) the product of our work and/or 2) teach them about whatever that is they’ve done and, hopefully, 3) to make a living doing that thing.

      All that said, I do offer some of my writing for free. But I also participate in a business industry, which requires certain things of me and has certain standards in place with regard to monetary payments. Sure, I’d love to make my living writing, but I spent too long in the industry and I knew that most likely wouldn’t be an option. Not right away. This is why those of us who do art in any form are referred to as “starving artists.” We’re compelled to create. We are looking to connect, to capture an essence of an era, to share, to provide a snapshot of our mortal contexts.

      All that said, a comment about book piracy, because I have a slightly different take on it. What hurts the most about piracy — especially in the lesfic community — is that it’s a f*** you to artists. It’s saying “we don’t give a s*** about you, we just want stuff for free.”

      If you enjoy art and the communities they support, guess what? Money helps make them go around. It’s not just about me, an individual person, losing money. The community in which I work is made up of books, publishing, and bookstores. Every theft from me affects me, my books, my publishers, and the stores and venues that sell my work. Historically, art communities are supported via money. Art is a product and a commodity. Yes, there has always been theft and there will always be theft because some people just assume the world owes them something and that something should be free, no matter how much work went into it or how many contracts an author signs with a legitimate business outlet.

      Ethically, if you write something and offer it for sale, I’ll make a decision to buy it. If I like your work, I’ll buy it. One thing I absolutely will not do is steal it from you and offer it for free online. Why? Because it’s unethical. It’s not part of my moral code. And maybe that’s old-fashioned in this age of sound bites, internet trolls, and technology. But pure and simple, books are art, and art is also part of a marketplace, and if you enjoy books and want them, then like any other product offered for sale, pay for them. Tell friends about them. Share a book with a few friends. Go to a library. But don’t create your own efiles and post them on piracy sites.

      No, there’s not much money in writing. But I do make some money, and I am able to use it to pay off some bills — I consider it a job as well as a compulsion, and I punch a clock, basically, by turning in a manuscript. So I get paid for the work that I do on a book. I like getting paid for the work I do. I like participating in an industry that tries to tell the stories of LGBT people, stories that can reach people in corners of the world who maybe didn’t think there were any other people like them. Readers and writers of lesfic are part of a movement, I think, and that’s why I have no problem paying into it. I’d like it to keep going! 8)


    • Denise, every author will give you a different answer, because each author is unique.

      Me? I write for money. Seriously, I do. I love the craft, I find the whole industry fascinating, but I write with the intention of selling my work professionally. But I’m also a lesbian, and I want to write for lesbians, and I know that lesbian markets simply can’t pay well because the market is too small, too niche. So I compromise. I write some “mainstream” type works and send them to markets that pay fifty or a hundred dollars per story. But I also write lesbian stories and send them to Khimairal Ink, and I’m okay with earning five dollars instead of fifty or a hundred. I sold a 3000 word non-fiction article to a mainstream magazine for more money than I’ve earned in royalties on a full-length non-fiction book published with a lesfic press.

      Seriously. Write a lesfic romance and publish it with a small lesfic press. You’ll earn maybe five to eight hundred dollars. Change one of the protagonists to a male and give her a penis, and publish it with Harlequin. You’ll earn five to eight thousand dollars.

      In general, lesfic writers write because they love to write, but they write lesfic because they love their community.

      I’m okay with lesfic presses paying me a tenth of what mainstream does, because that’s all they can afford to. But if, as Andi has mentioned, piracy continues to erode away at lesfic presses and drives them out of business, then lesfic readers will be left with nothing to read. And you can’t blame that on the authors. They’re writing. They’re selling their work for a lot less than it’s worth. They’re doing everything they can to fight piracy. If readers want them to stick around, readers need to help fight the piracy problem, too.


      • Thank you both for sharing your personal motivators.

        I’m surprised that more authors don’t cave and write to the masses once in a while, if only to put themselves in a position to finance the stories they need/want to tell. Whatever your reasons for writing, to entertain, to teach, to enlighten … I know I’m not alone in hoping you all keep doing what you do.

        We readers promise to remain insatiable.


  5. Hi, folks–indeed. Most writers do NOT make much money. Now, if you’re someone like John Grisham or James Patterson, that’s a whole other ball game. But keep in mind writers like that have been writing for quite a while and they’ve had the power of big publishing behind them and Hollywood has taken some of their books and turned them into movies.

    Very few writers (very, very, very few) will make it to the stature of a Grisham or Patterson. The vast majority of writers will retain at least one day job. 🙂

    Anna–True Colors rocks! Glad you found them!

    Thanks for stopping by!


    • Yeah, they say that you can make a fortune writing books, but you can’t make a living. It’s pretty much true. A few writers make a fortune (Grisham, Steele, King, Roberts, Rowling), a small number of writers make a living, but the vast majority of (published) writers earn less than ten thousand dollars a year. And those who publish with small presses that service a niche audience make a few thousand at best.

      If you’re publishing with a major publisher, it’s best to get your royalties paid on cover price. That way you get the same amount (for mass market paperbacks, usually 6 – 8% of cover price, or 48 – 64 cents per copy for a book with a retail price of $7.99) no matter which bookstore sells it. It’s easier for publishers to calculate things that way, too, so large publishers invariably pay on cover price. There’s no incentive for the author to ask for royalties on net (what the publisher actually gets paid for each sale, which is cover price minus the bookstore’s and distributor’s discount) since pretty much all sales will net the publisher the same profit.

      If you’re publishing with a small press, quite often the small press will be selling books via its own website as well as through third parties such as Amazon and Moon Horse and Borders. In this case, there certainly is an incentive for the author to be paid on net rather than cover price. The author makes less per copy when the books are sold via Amazon (where a book with a $15.99 cover price nets the publisher maybe $7), but a lot more per copy when the books are sold straight from the publisher’s website (where that same book will net the publisher $15.99). However, the author should make sure that her royalty rate is high enough that she’ll earn more overall via a net royalty than she would via a cover price royalty. Lesfic presses that pay on retail/cover price have royalty rates that range from 4 – 10%.

      What I really strongly advise is for authors to make sure that their contract spells out how “net” is defined. It should be “cover price minus bookstore’s/distributor’s discount” or “the amount the publisher receives in payment for the book from the buyer”. It most certainly ought not be “cover price minus bookstore’s discount minus cost of printing”, or, worse, “cover price minus all publisher’s associated costs.” If the publisher were to subtract from the retail price the distributor’s discount, the cost of printing, the cost of editing, the cost of cover art, the electricity and gas bills, and the cost of the press’s owner’s wife’s three-martini lunch, the author could sell thousands of copies and still end up without a cent. And authors should start getting decent royalties right from the sale of the first copy of their book. If royalties rates are low (or zero!) until the publisher turns a profit….change the contract, or walk away.

      For publishers who use the POD business model, printing a single copy of a book costs, as Andi said, around $3.50. Printing a thousand copies, therefore, will cost $3500. For a publisher who does short print runs, printing a single copy isn’t an option; printing a thousand copies will run around $1500. Yes, the publisher has to invest that money up front before they have any copies to sell. But their printing costs are only $1.50 per copy instead of $3.50. Why should the author have the printing costs deducted from her royalty share, especially when they can vary so widely?


  6. Why do we writers do it, if not for money? Very good question. I write because I am compelled, because something drives me or inspires me or puzzles me.
    I write because I love books. Because I want to discover something. Because an idea burns in my gut and provokes and disturbs me. I write to satisfy a visceral urge. Writing is an organic and necessary process, a habit, and an avocation.


  7. Good job, Andi.

    To add to the net vs retail thing . . .

    Royalties based on net has always been around, but net used to be regarded as the evil twin of royalties based on the retail price. It’s still regarded as the evil twin, but as more and more publishers base royalties on net rather than the retail price, authors have less of a choice of publishers who offer royalties based on retail. So if authors want to get published they have to really negotiate to get to the best net royalty rate and to make sure that net is well-defined and these definitions are in the contract.

    Net not only includes printing costs, it can include whatever the publisher wants to include–percentage of salaries, overhead, postage, office supplies . . . anything. And the royalties change from market to market, depending on the wholesale price for that market. The wholesale price for Amazon might be 45% of the retail price and 35% for a distributor. The worse case scenario is when authors don’t see a penny in royalties from sales to certain markets. And this does happened. This is why it’s extremely important to have “net” very precisely defined in the contract.

    Royalties based on retail price is nearly always better than on net–they usually come out to a higher payment than net and the royalty per book never changes so it’s easy for the author to know how the royalties have been calculated.

    We like to keep things simple and as fair as possible for the author and for us–10% of the retail price for trade paperbacks, 35% of the retail price for ebooks.

    Bedazzled Ink


    • Yes, exactly. Paying 10%/35% on print/e cover price is clear and simple.

      Unless the publisher sells quite a few books directly from their website, there’s not much reason for the author to prefer royalties based on net. However, that scenario does hold for some small print presses and for a *lot* of e-presses, who often find that the majority of their sales are directly via their own website. In that case, the author is better off with royalties on net — as long as “net” is clearly and fairly defined.

      And thanks, Carrie, for sharing BI’s royalty rate. It gives new authors a datum point to use for comparison purposes when they’re considering a contract offer.


      • Publishers, traditionally, have had no problems sharing their royalty rates with everyone. Look at eighty-nine years of Writer’s Market.

        In my humble opinion, if a publisher is within the industry standards for royalties, then they shouldn’t have any problem giving out the information . . .


  8. Well said Bett, on why we write.
    Good blog Andi, I’m sure it’s opening eyes about the stark realities. One thing about lesfic that has been changing the last few years is that is has made forays into the mainstream a little more. More “straight” readers than ever before are reading LGBT fic, so we can grow our lesfic readership beyond our niche market of lesbians. I find that a little hopeful, not only from $ perspective, but also because along with entertaining people, our books have the potential to teach and foster understanding.


    • Tracey — absolutely. I have straight readers, and I think that telling LGBT stories helps them see the realities of our lives. I appreciate every reader I get, even the ones who rip me a new one because they hate my work. Because they read it. And even if they want to bleach their brains after reading my stuff, too late. They read it. (muah ha ha!)

      So I, too, see the expansion of LGBT books into more “mainstream” markets as a teaching tool. And yes, a potential new market. We’ve come a long way since the initial days of Naiad, and it’s been a really fascinating journey. Here’s to more trips!


  9. Thanks, Carrie. Folks, Carrie is one of the hardy souls slaving away at Bedazzled Ink Publishers, one of my houses. Glad to have her here for insight. She’s right. Net includes all the hidden costs that people don’t think about. So thanks for pointing those out. And yes, it’s extremely important for authors to know EXACTLY what they’re getting into BEFORE they sign a contract. If you’re going to write lesfic — and I’m not just saying this because I’m a contributor to this book I’m about to mention, or because Carrie’s here and I’m trying to get brownie points — a good place to start is “Lavender Ink,” which I think is a great guide for writers who want to write in the lesfic industry. Link:

    It includes writing tips, yes, but also tips on putting together your proposals and tips on contracting.

    Thanks, Carrie!


  10. Well, bless all these authors hearts! I never realized the absolute love for telling stories, and telling them well, is such a major drive for all of you!
    I am so glad to have all of you here in my home, on my shelves, in my computer via ebooks, to share what is on your hearts and minds. I now have even more of an appreciation for the pretty books and the lovely words that you share. I cannot go a day without reading. TV and movies, be damned. Its the books!
    I too have discovered Tru Colors Bookstore ( thank you, Andi) and I go there at least twice a month to find another new treasure.
    Thank you to all of you! Please keep it up!


  11. Andi wrote: “However, ebooks–because they can be offered through a variety of formats and publishers–do offer authors a little more money. In lesfic, strong ebook sales might garner an author a couple hundred extra dollars PER YEAR. That’s an author like me, probably.”

    Ebook sales are escalating much faster than anyone could anticipate. Since the middle of 2010, many of our authors are getting $100-$300 more a quarter through ebooks sales.

    For example, in the first quarter of 2011 one of our authors has already earned close to $200 in ebook sales for a newly released title and over $100 in ebooks sales for a book that was released about a year ago, and we’re only two-thirds through the quarter.

    Our bestselling ebook is a title we published in print waaay back in 2006–so the new media can really breath life into backlist titles.


  12. That’s a cool thing to know. I personally think that ebooks and print books are two separate animals, and the one isn’t necessarily going to supplant the other. I like that an ebook platform can bring back books from a backlist! Great news!


  13. Very informative discussion, ladies. Andi, if your compulsion is to write then mine is to read. I really do appreciate all of the time, hard work, and effort you authors pour into your novels for your reader’s enjoyment. I love my books too much to switch to an e-reader but know that eventually I will cave in and buy one.


    • I’m the same way — I love physical books, but I reckon that sooner or later I’ll have to buy an e-book reader, if only because I’ve run out of space in the house to pile books on top of books on top of books.


      • I love my paperbacks and will never stop buying them, but sometimes it’s handy to have an ereader. Like the other night I fancied a new book to read so just went and bought one. I’m waiting for my dad to finish building me a new bookcase cause I’ve filled the ones I’ve got! Then I can finally put away all the books that I’ve got lying around the house.


  14. This is an enlightening discussion with some wonderful contributions. It woould also make an excellent panel for the GCLS in June, (hint, hint). Or even a nice magazine article.
    thanks to all.


    • Point us to the magazine, and we’ll write the article 😉 And for sure push Andi to do a panel at GCLS! (I’d love to participate, but GCLS attendance isn’t a possibility for me due to my geographical location.)


  15. Thank you for doing this post, Andi. It’s true that so many people find the publishing industry a complete mystery. The reality is that it’s a business like any other, and the bottom line is the bottom line. The glamor of the golden age of writing is kind of like Hollywood: There’s an image of elegance, artistry, and fantasy that once existed, but the truth is that it’s now a filthy city with rundown buildings. Well, that’s an exaggerated comparison, but it’s along those lines.

    I don’t mean that as negative as it sounds. I’m only trying to say that behind the mystery and makeup are real people trying to run a real business, and the days of authors being able to “just write books” and survive are over. (Unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, that is.)


  16. What a great discussion! Here at A&M Books I publish partly to keep the legacy of Naiad Press alive and the Sarah Aldridge novels in print. But I also publish to give new writers a voice (as Naiad did) and to see my own newspaper columns in collections. It’s grand fun, I get to meet wonderful people, I have great fans and I travel to terrific places for signings and book events. It’s kind of like the t-shirt: I’ve been in the pubishing biz for 10 years and all I got was this lousy tax deduction…
    Seriously, I guess I do it cause I love it, and once in a while I make a buck or two.
    Thanks for putting all this in print, Andi! And thanks, readers for buying my books!


  17. Wow – what an eye opener. I never would have guessed that writers’ royalties were so small. It makes me appreciate the work of lesfic writers even more. I think a panel at GCLS is great idea. Thanks Andi for your interesting blogs and excellent novels.


  18. Great discussion, everyone! And, special thanks to Andi for starting it off and going so in depth.

    As for making this into an article, that’s an excellent idea. Not only for a LGBT mag, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this explained so well (if at all) in mainstream writing magazines, which is a shame.


  19. Well I think I can safely say that in discovering an ereader, I have developed a lesbian fiction ADDICTION. In Australia the cost of paperback lesbian fiction is usually around $20 – if I buy from kobo it’s $8. I’m not sure who’s making the money, but I’m sure it’s not the writer. In two months I’ve read my way through at least 10 books! At this pace, I’m worried that I’m going to run out of books from authors I enjoy reading.
    I find with the prevalence of ebooks, there are so many stories less than 10,000 words. As harsh as it sounds I’m reluctant to buy/pay for books less than 70 – 80,000 words and I find it frustrating that with many ebook retail sites, you cannot tell how big a book is before purchasing.
    Nonetheless, for the moment I am enjoying devouring Kim Baldwin (independently) and with Xena Alexiou, Ali Vali and Radclyffe.
    Thank you to all who make the lesbian fiction industry possible!!!


  20. The landscape has changed a bit with the indies. I’m one of the lucky lesfic writers who can make a living off my writing because I’m indie. I expect the number of indie lesfic writers to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. How cool is that, making a living doing what you love? 🙂


  21. Not arguing that point. Just trying to help readers understand a bit about how royalties with traditional houses work and that those authors who are published with a traditional house are not rolling in the dough. And not all indie writers, either, get to roll in the dough. So for those who do, kudos to all of y’all!

    Publishing is changing every day. I wrote this post about a year ago, and even in that year, the shifts have been tremendous. It’s fascinating to watch.


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