“Blowing Stuff Up…” followed by “…And Making People Care About It.”
This two-part lecture rehashes the content on Jim’s LiveJournal, but rife with lots of anecdotes and attached to a fun Q&A. Lots of spoilers for Dresden Files and Codex Alera, so beware, but there are some real gems in here.
Of particular surprise to me were a pair of anecdotes regarding Jim’s path-to-success.
Someone asked him (paraphrasing) when he became a successful author and he said it was the day his wife came home from a job that she hated and they realized that she didn’t need to do it anymore. When did that happen? Six books into the Dresden Files and after having sold the Codex Alera series. Essentially, after eleven books (existing or projected). That actually tracks a lot worse than my projected “five book minimum” for self-publishing and so was a nice shot in the arm. If it took Jim-freaking-Butcher eleven books, I’m doing just fine.
Another person asked if he’d considered going indie and he surprised me by saying that he had! He has crunched the numbers and knows that he would actually make a great deal more money if he went indie at this point. However, he also wouldn’t be able to continue growing his audience at the same rate, which is why he remained with traditional publishing. This exactly tracks with my own research and in my case, I prefer the self-sufficiency and immediacy of the indie route to the reach of the traditional route. In both our cases, our priorities dictate our respective choices and I 100% respect Jim for his, even if it’s not the choice I would make.
Of course, I’ve got my work cut out for me before I hit 11 books in circulation. Need to get on that…