PLUS: Writing fiction doesn’t pay
"Writing fiction *for traditional publishers* doesn't pay."
There, I fixed it for you, Simon. I find it almost unfathomable that in 2023 you can still find articles, like that one from Esquire, that don't even mention independent (or self) publishing. It's gone beyond journalistic malpractice to parody at this point. I published two books with Simon and Schuster, and am very proud of those books, but I never would have been able to make a living writing fiction if I hadn't started my own publishing company. Sure, it's tough, especially if you're not writing in popular genres, but I personally know dozens doing it. I thought Hugh Howey and Bookstat (originally called Author Earnings) pretty definitively proved how big this shadow industry is years ago, and it's only gotten bigger since, so I'm honestly surprised that you would link to those articles without any kind of qualification or criticism, especially as someone who's written frequently about the "creator middle class." (Posts I've enjoyed!)
Here's a tidbit from Bookstat's most recent public report just to put things in perspective:
"The creator economy continues to fuel the growth of independent, self-published authors as indie published ebooks captured 51% of overall ebook unit sales and over 34% of ebook retail revenue in 2022, up from 49% and 31% respectively year prior
Jezebel was a victim of being terrible, just like most of MSM. Their laid off staff should go learn to code.