Before delving back into our earnest investigation into the Men Who Saw Science (Fiction), it might be of use to take a look at some of the top-selling names in independent Fantasy and Science Fiction today. Virtually unknown to the Hugo voters, nearly invisible (unless you know what to look for) on the Amazon charts, these are the independent authors who are clearly selling the most units in their respective fields:
The thing to keep in mind with this list of high unit-sellers is that sales for independent publishers can be quite a bit lower than what most readers tend to think of as “bestsellers” (which is a horribly misleading term, by the way. But I’ll let Sarah Hoyt get into the mud on that one, if you are interested.) For example, Lalonde is one of the top names in independent science fiction, and the last estimate I saw for his sales was north of 100,000 units. I’m sure it is more than that by now (it was last year some time that I saw the mention), but still, not the “millions” that people think of. The fact is that 100,000 units for an independent author translates to significantly more income than for most traditionally published author contracts.
While the breakout stars of independent publishing could be confused for a traditional publisher’s “midlist”, the fact that these independents can:
Means that their readers can be rewarded with more content in a shorter period of time.