Pareto and the Published Writer

Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-epublished authors

This article refers to the Pareto Principle: (Wikipedia): “The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the” whole is 20% of the profit/problem/solution/​etc. The writer claims the self-epublishing bubble will burst based on the Pareto Principle: 20% of self-published authors are earning 80% of the profits while 80% are earning just 20%. Ah, but… The very same ratio can be applied to traditionally published authors… Statistics work both ways.

Very few writers make enough money from their work to hang up the day job. Morrison (the writer of the above article) uses that fact against the legitmacy of self-publishing but it is the same for traditionally published authors. The facts speak for themselves. Writers (published or not) are at the bottom of the feeding frenzy. Although we provide the fodder, we get few, if any, of the treats.

The actors who perform our characters on stage or screen are paid more than we will ever see. The list of top-feeders is too long to include here. Morrison probably made more for his article than I have made (so far) from Wait a Lonely Lifetime.

Otherwise, the writer of the Guardian article makes an excellent case against social media and the amount of time we spend wooing potential readers. For every post I make to this blog or on my social media page, I lose that time from working on my next novel. I have been encouraged to do this by industry experts as well as many of my fellow writers. They readily admit they spend less time writing than “social marketing”.

I have a background in marketing but I’ve left that career behind. However, I admit, there is something satisfying about “talking” to you in this way. Will this ensure Wait a Lonely Lifetime wins another reader? Remains to be proved.

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