Has the fall of indies begun?
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Welcome to Sacha Black's Newsletter

Instead of my usual silly face photo this month, I decided to share my new website logos with you. They were designed by the amazingly talented Allie Potts - if you're in need of a logo, marketing materials or even a book cover, drop her a line here. What do you think of mine?

The question of the month for October is linked to the publishing news section below. The Author Earnings Report shows a massive decline in indie sales and a huge loss of our market share. I am keen to know what you think is happening to the market?

Book Updates

Much to my irritation, I discovered that I wasn't a super hero; in fact, I'm just a bog standard human monkey wordsculptor. So I had a bit of a wobble over the last month on 13 Steps to Evil, the non-fiction book, which means I didn't reach the word count I wanted.

But thanks to your amazing feedback in the survey, I spent some time planning and restructuring the book and now, I am pleased to say I am back on track. I want to get a HUGE chunk done in November and if I can, finish the first draft completely.

Keepers is still with beta readers. I've had lots of interesting feedback so will be making a stacks of changes in November/December ready to hand to my editor.
Competition Time

So, November closers:

There's just time to squeeze in for the first one:
Esther Newton's 500 Word Flash - Entry fee FREE, up to 500 words. Prizes: £20, publication on blog and free book of short stories. Closes 31st October.

Frightening First Line -Entry fee FREE, less than 31 words. Prizes: writing class of your choice. Closes 21st November.

Writers Bureau Flash Fiction Competition -Entry fee £5, up to 500 words. Prizes: £300; £200; £100. Closes 30th November.


2.5 years of continuous growth and sadly the indie boom is over. Since May 2016, indies have lost 10% of the market share, finding unit sales and gross $ losses. Interestingly, it's not the trad pubs that have gained the most market; it's Amazon imprints and small/medium pubs. The Author Earnings Report doesn't have the answers and only speculates as to the causes. But it is a HIGHLY fascinating report and I strongly recommend you read it.  

Aside from the major retailers, Bookbub remains the biggest influencer when it comes to book sales. That's why so many authors strive to get a Bookbub. But The Author Earnings Report goes on to analyse the deals and actual sales from Bookbub deals. The news is not good for us indies. The graphs in the report are frankly shocking.
"As a cohort, indies are being accepted for less than half as many discounted BookBub deals as they were 2 years ago… and because of the categories those indie deals now mostly end up in selling only a third as many BookBub-listed books."
In summary, if you're an indie and you want a Bookbub you better work twice as hard. Oh, and it helps if you write in particular genres: "Crime Fiction, Mysteries, Thrillers, or Contemporary Romance."

Worried you might forget a media platform or overwhelmed by the options on all the different print on demand sites? Check out this awesome self-publishing checklist. I've printed it to study in depth.

If you have a burning desire to just fucking finish your novel and you keep procrastinating, then NaNo might be the solution for you. 'National Novel Writing Month' is a month long challenge to write 1667 words a day, EVERY DAY for the month of November. You get support from fellow writers and shiny badges for hitting word counts. I entered and won my personal challenge in 2014. Give it a go.


This month hasn't been great for me: I got totally overwhelmed by detail, which led to burnout, procrastination and not a lot of work done. Angela Ackerman recommended I use the Eisenhower table to help me prioritise the necessary from the 'shit that can wait'.

James Clear details more on the table, but in essence, you have a box for today, this week, this month and this year. You force yourself to decide what's REALLY urgent from the not so urgent and assign tasks to the boxes. You start with today's tasks and can only do tasks in the next box (this week) once the first box is complete. It's REALLY helped straighten out my mind. So I've popped my table template here, if you would like to download it.

Missed Any Posts?

Writespiration of the Month: Black Out
I find the black out from a general anaesthetic bizarre, but black outs can happen for all sorts of reasons. Write about a black out.

Something I definitely suffer from and I'm sure many other writers do too: the fear of not being good enough.
Halloween Wonder of the Month: Dracula
The Atlas Obscurer (a source of continual inspiration for me) has a Halloween theme this month and provides a picture tour of Transylvania from Dracula himself.
"Pick up the pen. The right time is always now."
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