There are lots of reasons why self-publishing success stories tend to concentrate around writers of “genre” fiction, but it’s a mistake to assume that success is impossible if you write literary fiction or historical fiction (which tends to get lumped in with literary fiction, even though it’s just another genre… like literary fiction!).
The first is demographics: romance and erotica readers were the first to switch to digital, followed by mystery and thriller fans, leading to the success stories of Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath, and John Locke.
I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people like David Dalglish and BV Larson breaking out, and the rest of “genre” fiction soon followed.
The rise of “genre” self-publishing was also aided by the mistreatment of the midlist…
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