I read a pretty intriguing blog post today, from a pretty successful indie author, regarding the midlist. For those who don't know, the midlist used to be this kind of sweet spot, where authors could sell moderately well, enough to make a living without having to be in the top 1% (i.e., bestselling). It was where the mass market paperback lived, the place where someone browsing through a rack at the airport or wherever could pick up a book for $6.99 that sounded interesting. The rise of the ebook reader and massive changes across the publishing world due to people reading more on their phones/tablets/e-readers/et al sang the death knell of the midlist. People saw it coming for years, and eventually, it happened.
Now, the mass market paperback is pretty much no more. The midlist is no more. They have something called "digital first" these days, where a first time author often will be published first in digital only format, and then if that sells well enough, an actual paper book will be printed. But that has not resurrected the midlist, or so say many of the industry blogs I read.
Today, I read a post by an indie (self published) author, regarding the numbers she and another pretty successful indie author have regarding money and the sale of their books. Basically, she theorizes that indie authors are the new midlist, and that even a non-bestselling, but just good, middle number selling indie author can make a living. Her friend, who was the focus of the article, grossed $500,000 over the past three years on her indie books, of which she has published 12 novels, 3 boxed sets, 2 novellas, and a short story.
It certainly isn't the norm among indie authors to make that much, but it is interesting that they can, without even being considered a "bestseller".
I am certainly not saying I am going indie instead of the traditional NYC publishing route, but it is food for thought. In order to be that successful, one has to have several books one can market and publish, be able to successfully market them, etc, etc. It isn't without its downsides.
Aaaand I'm sure this isn't very interesting for about 90% of then 10 or so people still around reading this journal, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to post about it and just kind of think about it.