Mythbuster: The Truth About The Stars of Self-Publishing

The stars of self-publishing certainly shine bright and cast a long shadow. But beyond the Amanda Hockings and J.A. Konraths of the self-publishing world, have you ever wondered exactly who it is who is making it big? Recently we bought you great feedback from Smashwords founder Mark Coker, designed to help you self-publish smarter. But today join us for a rousing game of Mythbuster: The Truth About The Stars of Self-Publishing.

Our questions are based on the statistics of self-publishing found in Not a Gold Rush by Taleist bloggers Steven Lewis and Dave Cornford. The men conducted a survey asking 61 questions to 1,007 self-published authors in more than 40 countries. You can purchase the complete results in this e-book, but in the meantime, we encourage you to join us in a fun game of true or false based on Epublishabook’s report of the Taleist survey’s findings. We’re taking a look at the profile of the people who make enough money self-publishing that they don’t have to have another job or are “top earners”. With that out of the way, let the game begin!

Okay we’re going to start out with an easy one …

True or False: Self-publishing stars are all people who were once rejected by a traditional publishing house.

False. Only 32% of people who can live off their self-publishing earnings received rejection letters from publishing houses. (This figure becomes even more intriguing when it’s paired with the following: Self-publishing successes who went straight to “doing it on their own” and did not stop at traditional publishing reported making 2.5 times the amount of those that originally tried to go the traditional route and then failed.) If we had goatees, we’d be stroking them and slowly saying, “Very iiiinteresting.”

True or False: Self-publishing is a woman’s world, more women than men make enough money that they can live off their self-publishing profits.

True! Women make up two thirds of those who make enough money to rely on self-publishing as their sole income. (A fact that prompted RT’s Whitney to bust out some celebratory Beyonce-style girl power moves.)

True or False: It’s called self-publishing because you do it all by yourself. You won’t make money if you share your profits with a team.

False. Those who paid to have their books professionally edited ended up with a product that earned approximately 13% more than those who did not. And a professional cover earned books 18% more revenue  on average. (Although those who used the services of professional e-book formatters only earned 1% more, so take that tidbit of information as you will.)

True or False: It’s better to get reviews that are sometimes bad than to get no reviews at all.

True. Send your book out for review, send your book out for review, send your book out for review! The stars of self-publishing had almost four times as many reviews for their books than those who weren’t able to live off the money that their self-published books brought in. What we’re taking away from this statistic is that more eyes on your book (and voices talking about your book) is better for you. These reviews get people interested and eager to check out the read for themselves. So send your self-published books to popular Amazon reviewers, to book bloggers and to magazines.

True or False: You can make a living on your self-published books quickly and easily!

False. Those who made “top earner” status on average spent 69% more time writing than those who did not see as much profit for their endeavor. Additionally, these authors who can live off their sales write about one third more words and spent more time (approximately 24 % more) on those words.  

How did you do on our quiz? Let us know in the comments below. You can pick up your own copy of Cornford and Lewis’ Not a Gold Rush, which is available exclusively on Amazon now! And for more great e-publishing features, we suggest you check out the ePublish a Book site here