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Smashwords boasting about one of it's authors

Hugh

Member
Smashwords: Smashwords Author Brian S. Pratt to Earn over $100,000 in 2011

If they aren't lying about the sales figures, then this is good news for people who want to go the self-pub route. I just have a bad feeling about it though, maybe they aren't lying but it's possible they are fudging. And the "projected" earning are surely BS.

I really want to feel good for an author making money in this business, but I've seen over and over again how self pubbing is a road to failure. I really hope that this guy is an exception to the rule.
 

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
I wouldn't celebrate just yet. Those "projections" could go anywhere, especially down.
 

Hugh

Member
Exactly, sparky. And with so many fantasy genre books out there with the full force of the Big Six publishers behind them, he's in an uphill battle.

And that's part of why I doubt the story, if he really were that good, an agent would have picked him up by now and signed him with one of the Big Six.

I really hope I'm wrong, and Brian Pratt is doing as well as they say.
 

DavidRM

New Member
I think they should've focused on his success so far and left the projection out of the headline. Projected earnings create a nice, round numbers but they're not useful otherwise.

Still, selling $25K worth of books in 3 months is quite a feat. I would say that his "uphill battle" is working out pretty well for him. With or without an agent or publisher.

-David
 

Will

Active Member
I kind of look very much on this model as like success in blogging - some folks really do pull it off and, granted for usually short-to-medium terms anyway - make a nice bit of cash.

Personally, the one reason I won't go near self-published stuff as a reader is getting burned way too often with the thing reading like a badly edited high-school assignment. Funnily enough, he mentions that himself in the article:

1.0 out of 5 stars - January 15, 2006
Present tense is an amateurish way to write.....,
.....and this book reads like it was written for a high school English class. Worst book I've read in a long time. I like lots of books, especially ones written by Robin Hobb, George Martin, and Stephen Donaldson to name but three. These books were well written. This one was not. Just wondering - how many of you are still in high school yourselves?


The last line was directed at the other reviewers who said they liked my book.

Needless to say, this devastated me and I stopped writing for a few weeks. Of course, I've had much worse ones since. But then, my books kept selling. And I always told myself that as long as my books keep selling, even if it is marginally, then it would be worth it to continue. I've come to realize that there will always be those that do not like my books, and so what? They simply are not in my target audience. And my target audience is me. I write what I would like to read. And it looks like there are many "me's" out there for I've sold lots of books. If you want to see what may be in your future, check out The Unsuspecting Mage at Amazon.


Whilst the odd typo in a blog/forum/online story is fine, seeing it consistently in something that you buy and pay for... nah. But you know what, I don't begrduge anyone success in any field, so good luck to the guy. He's getting paid doing what he enjoys, long may it continue for him.

I do like the traditional publisher model in many ways for me though, as there are simply too many books out there to read given our time on this rock, and the traditional publisher acts like a nice safety net filtering out stuff. That said - if I were to get strong recommendations on something self-published, I would probably consider it...
 

Hugh

Member
Writing's like any other field, many are called few are chosen. Oftentimes, the many who are called but not chosen hate the ones who have been chosen. They deride the success of the best selling authors, criticsizing their writing as trash or junk or worse. Puffing themselves up, they claim that they don't want to be on the best seller list. They rattle off title after title of books that no one has ever heard of, (except for the weird college professor who tells them that this is real writing), and tell everyone else who will listen that this is what they should be reading, real literature. And then you see a sample of that person's writing. And it's horrible. Horrible by anyone's standards. And then you know why they went the vanity press route - no one else would touch their writing. Not with a ten foot pole. And you realize why they hate the success of the authors on the best seller list - it's because they can't have it. Like the people in a garage band who deride pop music as vile auditory poison, they self righteously proclaim that the world of lemmings just don't get it.

Assuming that Smashords is being truthfull here, then I congratulate Brian Pratt and I toast his success. He's one of the few. But that other 99.9% on Smashwords, or at Publish America should be honest with themselves. Even if they can't be honest with themselves and admit that their writing sucks, at least stop deriding the few who did make it to the top.

I'm an aspiring author and have been writing a manuscript for over a year now, and that's why this story caught my attention. Brian Pratt is somebody who came from nowhere and made it. However, most of the people on Smashwords have not made it and never will. There's a reason for the term "vanity" press, it appeals to a writer's vanity, (even though Smashwords and PA reject the term "vanity press"). I can look at my own writing and be objective enough to admit when it sucks. I won't bypass the agents, editors and publishers who know what good writing is just so that I can get my work printed and "published". I could do that and be holding a copy of my very own book in my very own hands, but the problem is it won't be in any reader's hands.
 

Toni Ressaire

New Member
Hugh, I agree and disagree. There is so much bad writing in self-publishing that it can be difficult to wade through. But I have found some gems, too. It's so difficult for writers, even good writers, to get noticed by the big publishing houses. I applaud those who try to make it on their own. But it's not easy. Even self-publishing requires lot of work. Technology is a hinderance to some. And then you have to promote the work. It's not an easy road.
 

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
Are you steering me clear of publishing because you're looking out for my well-being or are you protecting your multi-million Dollar/Pound/Euro/Ruble/Kroner/Rupee empire? ;)
 

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
I think that books that are "sellable" just need to find the right (read niche) publisher. A book that may only have an audience of 500 people is still worth being published. I run into this quite a bit with regards to certain kinds of reference and history books.
 

Toni Ressaire

New Member
I quite agree, Sparky. I have the content for a book I want to publish (and need to find the time to do so) that is very niche. It's a historical collection pertaining to one particular, very small region in Pennsylvania. Not many would buy it b/c the market is so small; but I want to put it out there to preserve these historical articles. In cases like this, sellable is not an issue. It's good to remember that books are not about sales (although in business, certainly that is true). Books are about information, preservation, entertainment, pleasure... . And ultimately, books are for readers, not publishers. Which, sort of, takes us back to the original topic posted here.

Ok, I'm putting away my soapbox now. Back to work. I have an un-sellable book to publish, I'm sure.
 

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
I used to live in PA so I might just buy that book. Let me know when it becomes available.
 
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