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Author of a newsletter about writing called The Novelleist. About to release my gothic novel via Substack. ellegriffin.substack.com.

But maybe that’s changing

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The New York Times caused a stir recently when, in an article about pandemic book sales, it disclosed that “98 percent of the books that publishers released in 2020 sold fewer than 5,000 copies.”

Though this statistic was shocking to many, it is not new information. People don’t read books — and the ones that do aren’t buying them. To make matters worse, “books that publishers released” are only the “success stories” — those books that scored a hard-won Big-Four publishing contracts — and those are already a small piece of the book publishing market.

According to Bookstat, which looks…


The author Zogarth started serialzing his novel The Primal Hunter on Royal Road in September of 2020. One month later, in November of 2020, he launched his Patreon page, earned $5,000 in his first month, and quit his day job. Now he’s a full-time author earning $20,000/month from his 3,200 patrons.

As I get ready to publish my own novel as a serial, I reached out to Zogarth to ask for some advice. He agreed to join our Discord server for Substack writers and answer some questions as part of a live conversation. …


Lindsey Stirling dances while she plays the violin. If you haven’t seen her do it yet please watch this video. It is mind-blowing.

Sometimes she is a woodland creature dancing in the forest. Sometimes she faces off against guitar players in a wild west showdown. Sometimes she performs dazzling interludes while spinning in place. Live shows are a feat of performance engineering and her most recent album listens like a lo-fi utopia.

You know what else Lindsey Stirling does? Sells out 20,000 person stadiums. Collabs with artists like John Legend. Runs a very successful YouTube channel with 13 million…


Emilia Rose writes erotica — specifically werewolf erotica — for Patreon. She builds her audience by serializing chapters on Wattpad, then at the end of each chapter she directs her readers to subscribe to her Patreon if they want to read the complete book, then when the book is done she pulls it off both platforms and puts it up on Kindle.

As a result of this strategy, she is earning tens of thousands of dollars a month from her 2,897 patrons on Patreon and an equal sum from her readers on Kindle. As I try to learn more about…


I have a dream…

That one day we will be able to find and follow the writers we love — just like we do on Twitter.

That we will be able to subscribe to those writers — just like we do on Substack.

That we will be able to read their books as they come out — just like we do on Wattpad.

That we will read those books in an app on our phone — just like we do on Kindle.

That we will be able to support our favorite authors financially with subscriptions — just like we do…


I’ve been debating what I want to do with my book when it’s done serializing on Substack. Do I leave it on Substack and require a subscription to read it forever? Or do I put it on Wattpad, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Vella, etc. to extend its reach as I start serializing my second novel on Substack?

To answer this question, I know I need to learn a lot more about those platforms and how they work for authors, so I asked around my discord server for Substack writers whether anyone had success writing on those platforms — DC Kalbach


I recently found myself falling into a tiny cupboard of a bookshop. It was disheveled and eclectic, the very sort of thing one dreams about owning if it were possible to earn a living reading the day away on a Hogwarts set.

Within the stacks I found a small treasure, an old copy of The Three Musketeers (which, despite my obsession with Alexandre Dumas, I still haven’t read), and then behind the counter as I was checking out, I caught the twinkling gaze of an old copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Illustrated by Margaret W. Tarrant and inscribed with…


“What I would love to have is a homeostatic, isometric, self-managing greenhouse that looks into my iris and my retina, takes a blood sample and looks at my breath, checks my toilet assay, and grows the stuff I need for me.”

So says David Gobel who, as co-founder of The Methuselah Foundation, hopes to increase the healthy human lifespan.

He’s onto something, because in 2000 NASA asked him to create the very same thing―but for space colonies. …


Shirtaloon’s first Amazon novel

Travis Deverell — aka Shirtaloon — earns between $15,000 and $20,000 a month writing fiction for Royal Road. His first two books debuted on Amazon this year and his second one already reached number five — across all genres — on the Amazon charts. Here is our interview, edited for clarity.

How did you start writing serial fiction?

I had gone and done a university degree — an English degree — and had done a lot of creative writing. …


“I make about 2.5x more from my self-published books than I do from my traditionally published ones, and that’s largely due to earning MUCH more on each individual sale,” says the author Michael J. Sullivan in a comment on one of my articles.

Sullivan, as it turns out, secured his publishing deal with Orbit Books around the same time N.K. Jemisin did — his advance was $22,500, hers was $25,000. Initially, he sold more books than she did, but eventually she did, their paths crossing as each attempted mastery over their perspective genres.

But then they diverged — Sullivan decided…

Elle Griffin

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