The Journal, Wednesday, December 19

Hey Folks,

J. L. Parker left a myth-riddled comment on Dean’s post about traditional publishing a few days ago (see the second item in “Of Interest”).

Dean addressed a couple of points in his response. But J. L. aso wrote “if you want your book available in book stores and libraries as well as online … [you] have to go the traditional route.”

This is the kind of misinformation that drives me crazy and can send untold numbers of writers awry. So in response, I left the following comment:

For J. L., I can also say recently a LOT of my fiction and nonfiction sales have been through Biblioteca and other library resources. And all of my books are indie published. (My first two nonfiction books were traditionally published. The best deal I got back then was a 10% royalty and a short run. I’ll never go back.)

Today, I get royalty statements every month (minimum 70%). I get about 1/4 of my writing income through Amazon, about 1/4 (currently) through library sales, and the other half from booksellers both in America and around the world through Kobo, B&N, Apple, Tolino, Overdrive and others.

So it’s not only possible but actually happening, even as dozens or hundreds or thousands of would-be writers sit on their hands waiting for a traditional contract.

Folks, the truth is, traditional publishing can give you NOTHING that you can’t get as an indie publisher except a nominal advance, and even that only happens when lightning strikes.

More importantly, taking an advance in exchange for selling all rights to the publisher for the life of the copyright is just flat-out stupid.

Just don’t do it.

Topic: Traditional vs. Indie Publishing: A Brief Comparison

I’ve had two books (my first two nonfiction titles) traditionally published. The best royalty rate I received was 10%. I will never go back to traditional publishing.

Frankly, indie publishing is so wonderful I honestly don’t understand why ANYone is still pursuing agents and traditional publication.

The Traditional Publishing Route:

You write a book, then sit on your hands while you rabidly pursue agents, eventually (maybe) find one, then endure endless rewrites until you’ve polished all the originality off your story.

The agent you’ve unfortunately found lands a publisher (maybe), and you endure more rewrites.

Eventually, if the publisher finally gives you a contract in exchange for all rights for the life of the copyright, your book is scheduled for release three-to-five (or so) years after you wrote it.

Of course, you receive an advance (maybe), of which your agent takes 15%. And your book appears all over America, mostly in the (now-failing) Barnes & Noble stores.

Then the marketing begins, at your publisher’s behest. Yes, you, not they, do the marketing.

But hey, at least you’ve “made it.” If you’re more concerned with landing a New York publisher than you are with writing, you should probably quit now and save yourself some heartache down the line.

Or, you can go The Indie Publishing Route:

You write a book, publish it, and start your next book.

Your book is distributed by D2D and Smashwords. It appears all over America and in every other continent on Earth, including Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and the Far East. All within a week or so.

You finish your second book, publish it, and start your next book.

Following that discipline, say you write only four novels per year. (Writing four 60,000-word novels per year means you’re averaging 658 words per day over that year, yet most will consider you “prolific.”)

When your traditionally published contemporary’s first novel is released in three years, she will have written and published one novel. You will have written and published twelve novels.

If her traditionally published novel is released five years after she wrote it, she still will have written one novel. You will have written twenty.

As a bonus, during that three-to-five year period while your traditionally published counterpart is sitting on her writing hands, you’ve been learning and practicing your craft. While her writing skills atrophy, yours are growing and improving.

And five years after publication of her one book, she might have earned out her advance and begun receiving her tiny royalty (4-10%), paid semiannually or annually (if at all). And of course, her agent still takes 15%.

In the meantime, your books have been earning a steady 70-80% royalty every time you sell one from the first book you released through the last.

Any questions? Seriously, if you have any questions or comments, please share them with me. I’ll respond. I promise.

I caught up on some much-needed sleep last night. Basically I crashed and burned for close to ten hours. Very unusual for me.

Still, another slow start to the day, mostly because of the stuff above. Totally worth it.

It’s almost 6 a.m. as I write this. Soon I’ll take a break up to the house, then return for the writing day.

I started writing at 9:30, and with a few breaks in between I wrote 2500 words by a little after noon. Then a longer break to the post office.

Turns out one of the segments I’m writing as part of this novel wants to be a novel on its own. (grin) I’ve had short stories that popped out of novels before, but this is the first time I’ve had a novel come out of another novel.

Well, I fell a little short today. I could have hit 4000 words, but if I had I’d have been forcing myself to do so. And that isn’t my goal.

My goal beginning January 1 is to write 4000 words (on average) per day, but they have to be during the normal course of writing, not forced. I’d rather “fail” at the challenge than suck the fun out of it.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Last Hours On Two Things” at In this, Dean mentions one comment in an older post he did. That post is listed below.

See the (82) comments on “Stay Away From Traditional Book Publishing” at (The comment he mentions above is by J. L. Parker.)

Via Linda Maye Adams, see “What if Somebody Steals Your High Concept Book Idea?” at I don’t often mention Anne R. Allen here because she’s so often dangerously wrong. But she makes a few valid points here. Just bring along your salt shaker.

See “Stuff it in Your Underwear, and Other Details to Add Sizzle to Your Tale” at

Fiction Words: 3527
Nonfiction Words: 1030 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4557

Writing of Cazadores (novel, tentative title)

Day 1…… 4917 words. Total words to date…… 4917
Day 2…… 1873 words. Total words to date…… 6790
Day 3…… 3453 words. Total words to date…… 10243
Day 4…… 4191 words. Total words to date…… 14434
Day 5…… 3527 words. Total words to date…… 17961

Total fiction words for the month……… 42471
Total fiction words for the year………… 501154
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11630
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 183316
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 684220

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 10
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 36
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31