It varies widely. Suffice it to say that a bestseller in trade publishing would probably need to sell closer to 10,000 (or even 100,000, in some cases) copies a month for the first few months, rather than 1,000.
Also, if you're putting King and Patterson and Rowling at the high end, which they certainly are, you should also consider that these indie eBook authors are still outliers. The vast majority of self-published books sell fewer than 50 copies.
It's depressingly difficult to be a successful author regardless of the path you choose. The difficulty of finding a publisher has simply been supplanted by the difficulty of finding an audience.
That's a lovely nostalgia fallacy. There are plenty of modern games with depth, and there are plenty of horrible, shitty games made in the Days of Yore. There are also plenty of recent well-received space-sim games.
Re: Which is why I headed my post 'Soundbyte Failure'
Great video. I think a lot of people underestimate how much work goes into producing something like this. Even if you're not making a "physical artifact," preparing a manuscript for electronic publication -- and doing so professionally -- is not insignificant.
"That being said, for how long will we need editors? Google's new editing software in google docs will consider context, e.g., "Can we meat for dinner?" will throw an error."
Are you serious? When we get to the point that computers can understand natural language, we'll have a lot more relevant issues than whether publishers should still exist.
(and a good counterexample, Google Docs considers "all right" to be an error).
"writers won't submit their book to a publisher in the hopes that they pick it to publish, instead, writers will hire one or more people to fill the roles they need filled, and, well, press "Publish"."
And that might be a salient point, but it's not the one the article made. In that scenario, the writer has just become the publisher. It doesn't make the publisher's job any less necessary.
He acknowledged it incorrectly by claiming a publisher is something which it is not. Writers go to publishers for marketing, editing, etc. That's what a publisher is. To claim anything else is simply redefining terms.
And everything a publisher offers is still highly relevant. Marketing. Editing. Art. A writer can do that himself, and that's fine, but that just means the writer has become the publisher. And a lot of writers have no interest in being publishers.
But Mike's the one playing in semantics here. "Publishers aren't required anymore, if we define publishing to mean everything other than marketing, editing, art commission, etc. You know, all the things a publisher actually does."
He's redefined "publisher" to mean something it doesn't mean, and then claimed that non-existent entity isn't necessary anymore.
I agree with everything except "stand some chance of being seen." I've seen no evidence that self-publishers now are any more successful than they were in the print days -- most self-published books still sell less than 50 copies. I agree it's less of an investment now, so it's not like you lose a whole lot when you fail. But again, pretending like just creating makes you successful is provably false.