Best-selling self-publisher Hugh Howey has a revealing article in Salon where he writes about under-the-radar writers who are making substantial sums from their ebooks.
Howey, author of the highly successful Wool series, set out to discover whether many Kindle authors were making decent money from their books. He posted a message on a Kindle forum board asking for responses and got hundreds of accounts of publishing successes from writers going it alone.
A few examples include Jan Strnad, who makes around $2,000 a month, Rachel Schurig, who has sold 100,000 ebooks and made six figures last year, Rick Gualtieri, who pulled in over $25,000 in 2012 from his writing, and Robert J Crane, who was making $13,000 a month towards the end of last year.
Howey points out: “None of this is meant to say that everyone who self-publishes — even those who study the craft, take their work seriously, and produce a constant stream of material — will find material success. There is also luck involved and the fickle tastes of readers. But what is becoming more apparent with every passing day is that you have a better chance of paying a bill or two through self-publishing than you do through any other means of publication.”
Howey famously turned down seven-figure offers from publishers for his Wool ebooks and sold only the print rights because he didn’t want to give up a monthly income for a one-off payment and adds that print sales even at thousands of dollars a month, are only a fraction of his total self-published earnings. “Digital is where it’s at,” he says, “even major publishers understand this.”
You really should read the full article at Salon.