Jim C. Hines’ annual writing income post for 2013.

Not necessarily directly related, but one of the things I think self-published authors have the upper hand on is income transparency. Not necessarily income per se, just the ability to actually talk about what they earn from what they do. Self-pubbed authors don’t have gag orders and non-disclosure clauses in their contracts, nor have they necessarily been indoctrinated in TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING™’s culture of, “Ew, don’t talk about the money. Talk about the art.”

Yeah, well. The thing about not talking about the money is that the only people it screws over are authors. Particularly new authors, who generally have no freakin’ clue what they can expect to be earning (or not earning) in the midlist’s murky mire.

Income transparency is good for authors, particularly when it’s being pushed by successful indies. Because that’s the market the traditional publishers are going to have to compete against. Yes, tradpub will always, I think, be able to trade on its label. But increasingly it’s also going to have to be bringing more to the table than exploitative contracts, slim royalties, and a crushing fear of change and technology.

But that pressure isn’t going to come from within.

Viva la revolución.