What Do Authors Want?

Digital Book World hosted a webinar a while back, called “What Authors Want.” The webinar was meant to promote DBW’s survey of 5,000 authors. The survey was submitted to the Writer’s Digest community (whose writers tend to be female and over 35, and write fiction), as well as SFWA (mostly male fiction writers), Romance Writers of America (mostly female writers), and perhaps a couple more places.

But the webinar was useful and offered some highlights.

First, it turns out distribution is number one concern for all types of authors–including self-published, traditionally published, and hybrid authors. They just want to get their books into the hands of readers.

But there are other reasons authors want to be published.

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Also, hybrid authors earn approximately $38,500 annually from writing, compared to $27,800 for traditionally published authors and $7,600 for self-published authors.

92% of traditionally published authors, 71% of hybrid authors, and 68% of self-published authors said they are interested in publishing their next manuscript with a traditional publisher. Many of them believer working with a traditional publisher will ensure their books are professionally edited and presented. Some of them want books traditionally published because they believe it’s a complex process that a publisher would handle better. And some believe publisher’s add value to a book because they know what the market wants, though this is less than 50 percent.

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Regarding royalties, hybrid authors believe authors should receive advances of about $35,500, while traditionally published authors believe advances should be $29,000 and self-published authors believe advances should be $27,700.

And there were some interesting insights about self-publishing.

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The full report costs $295, and is an in-depth study. It seems to provide some interesting insights, but it is expensive, and there are other surveys out there on self-publishing.


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