Selling My Soul…

I spent a portion of my night surfing the web because I was too uncomfortable (and suffering a bit of pain) to sleep.  I found a blog post ranting about how Indie authors were shit.

I managed to get through the blog rant and at the end all I could think was the writer must be very lonely and very angry.  The post was an anonymous piece on another person’s blog (something I find fishy) and claimed to be written by someone in the traditional publishing industry.

This morning, as I reflect on what it had to say, there were a few points I agreed with: most Indies will not become overnight successes and it is a lot of hard work.

However, that seems to be the same with traditional publishing as well.  The last contract I was offered didn’t have much of a marketing budget.  As a matter of fact, most of the marketing would have been my responsibility.  The same is true as an Indie.  I don’t make as much money a year as the contract offered, but I’m not sure I make a whole lot less.  For those interested, the contract was for 4 Cain novels over 5 years for roughly $15,000 a book until some magical number had been reached at which point I would have started earning royalties.

Their marketing responsibilities included sending out a press release and getting a few reviewers as well as putting it in brick and mortar stores.  That was it.  Everything else would have had to be done by me.  I would still be bugging bloggers to read and post on my work, paying for adverts to run on Twitter, Facebook and newsletters.  I still had to manage my own author accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).  And they strongly urged me to start a blog.

Oh and they retained the rights to the Cain characters.

Chances are good that Tortured Dreams and Elysium Dreams would not have existed.  The plot lines might have still been somewhat recognizable, but they wouldn’t have those books.

It wasn’t the first contract to be offered.  That last clause though was in all of them… We retain the rights to the Cain Characters.  Uh, no, I refuse.  It means I would have made roughly $60,000 for five years worth of writing and could have lost the ability to write another Cain novel at any time.

Did I mention that deal stinks?  Not the money, although it is hard to live on $12,000 a year, but the clause about my characters.

For the record, I do not make $12,000 a year on my writing now.  But I’m working on it.  And there is no magical number I have to hit before I can start earning more than that on each of my books.  Not paying editors would be nice, but I like talking to designers about my covers.  I enjoy writing more than one series at a time and I enjoy keeping the rights to my characters.  I also enjoy the freedom to title my books.  So rant all you want about Indies being shit, it still beats the hell out of selling my soul to the devil to get a book deal.

On a happier note, I think we’ve gotten the cover for the next Daniels’ Novella finished (and titled).  I am working on it today, when I am not loopy or sick from the meds.

Leave a comment


  1. I think I ran across the same post, or one very similar to it. I wrote a reply to it in my own blog.


    • Hadena James

       /  August 11, 2013

      Yep, that would be the same article. Your response was eloquently written.


  2. Maria D.

     /  August 11, 2013

    That is so aggravating – sure there are some indie books out there that aren’t well done but that doesn’t mean that you can judge all indie books based on that. I’ve read books published by traditional publishers and wondered how they got published so ….you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover any more….which is why I like sampling books:)

    On another note, I’m glad you didn’t give up the rights to the Cain novels – i love them as they are and can’t wait to read more;)



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