Only one author who provided information had only one title published. Her success was not as dramatic. Many of the authors had previously been traditionally published or were currently traditionally published. One thing I’ve heard lamented is that the time period authors give themselves to achieve success is so short, as if everyone can publish a book and be immediately successful and if you don’t, then you will never be a success. Clearly a larger body of work leads to more income. Few authors achieve instant success. Many of the authors contributing to Force’s informal survey have in excess of 6 titles to their name.
One development has been a greater pressure on them to market themselves; via festivals and other live events and on traditional and social media. The chatter around books – which their publishers always hope will become “buzz” and, even better, translate into “word-of-mouth success” – is greater than ever, and much of it is very enjoyable; the creation of readers’ communities often yields unexpected insights and recommendations. Whether it translates into hard cash is trickier to quantify; and how damaging the threat to writerly solitude yet to be seen.