Amazon put out a press release in the UK today that talks up the success a few authors are having in self-publishing their ebooks via Amazon KDP. They're boasting about details like 15 of the top 100 best selling ebooks were self-published titles, and:
Since KDP launched on Amazon.co.uk, 61 KDP authors have sold over 50,000 copies of their books; 12 authors have sold in excess of 100,000 copies. With Amazon’s popular 70% royalty option KDP authors have the opportunity to make even more money from the books they sell – 50 authors have earned in excess of £50,000, and 11 of these have earned more than £100,000. Royalties earned through borrows from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library are not included in this figure and if included would make the earnings even higher.
While this is good news in that it is proof that success as a self-published author is possible, today I feel like injecting a little reality into the ebook hype. Here's the pin which I hope will puncture the balloon:
Just because an author has that level of success doesn't mean everyone will. Nor does it mean that the success can be achieved overnight, or without a lot of work.
To continue my point, just because Amazon only named 61 authors as being the cream of the crop does not mean that that those in legacy publishing can proclaim self-publishing a failure. The average author with a legacy publisher doesn't exactly get to make a living on his writing, and given the current upheaval in publishing it seems quite likely that whatever job security an author used to have way back when is long gone.
I suppose some will think that obvious, and if you do then just please ignore me. I'm simply the guy riding in the same chariot as the conquering hero, whispering in his ear "thou art mortal".