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