Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

Au­thor Ver­non W Bau­mann be­lieves he will be able to make a liv­ing in five years’ time by writ­ing full-time and selfpub­lish­ing on Ama­zon.

“It is an oner­ous task even at the best of times for or­di­nary writ­ers sim­ply to at­tract the at­ten­tion of pub­lish­ers. A pitch can take four weeks sim­ply for an ac­knowl­edge­ment. Ed­i­tors speak of 200 books pro­pos­als – on av­er­age – per month,” says Bau­mann, who writes crime fic­tion. While pub­lish­ers his­tor­i­cally con­trolled who and what will get pub­lished, Ama­zon has changed the game, al­low­ing writ­ers to self-publish on its Kin­dle Di­rect Pub­lish­ing (KDP) plat­form. Au­thors who used KDP in part to achieve global suc­cess in­clude Hugh Howey, au­thor of the sci­ence fic­tion se­ries and Rus­sel Blake, who writes fast-paced sus­pense and thriller nov­els.

Just like iTunes for the mu­si­cian, the Ama­zon e-book al­lows almost im­me­di­ate pub­lish­ing grat­i­fi­ca­tion for the au­thor, Bau­mann says. “But the Kin­dle-own­ing [Ama­zon’s e-reader] pub­lic is still rel­a­tively young and not very dis­cern­ing. This means ‘trashy’ gen­res like vam­pires, gothic ro­mance and erot­ica and zom­bie thrillers are still by far the best-sell­ing gen­res on the Kin­dle plat­form.”

As KDP pays roy­al­ties of 70%, com­pared with the stan­dard 15% usu­ally of­fered by pub­lish­ers, popular au­thors may be bet­ter off self-pub­lish­ing.

Bau­mann says that his first few pub­li­ca­tions on Ama­zon achieved vir­tu­ally zero re­sults. “How­ever, my

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