Careercow Chuck Wendig / Charles Wendig / TerribleMinds - Terrible author, terrible person, ruined Internet Archive's online library

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RomanesEuntDomus

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Chuck the Cuck's sales numbers are pretty much what I thought. Aftermath got a bunch of press because it was the first big Disney EU Star Wars book and basically positioned like the Thrawn Trilogy was to the original EU, turns out it was such fucking shit most people just skipped the next two and EVERYONE skipped the rest of Chuck's miserable output. The drop between books 2 and 3 aren't as bad as I thought. I guess that's your core market of Star Wars consoomers, not normal Star Wars fans or more casual audiences
It's just hilarious to think about...

Disney scrubs the EU, the pathetic losers that simp for the Rat or anything with an SW logo attached to it bargain and cope hard by claiming that the EU was always shit with too silly stuff going on. So a fresh start with Disney's amazing foresight is just what the franchise needs, right? Cool, let's make our faces go numb from soygrinning as we seal-clap in anticipation of next product and our consumption thereof.

Disney is working on the new trilogy, undoubtedly a massive, herculean effort to create the best fucking trilogy in SW -NAY!- in movie-history!
And then there's the book trilogy which will lead into this MAGNUM OPUS. Aftermath is published a few weeks before the movie.
Fans everywhere, those that disliked the EU, those that liked the EU (but want to see if the new books will be worth Disney's decision to wipe the EU), casual movie fans, book enthusiasts
and so on grab this new exciting installment to the SW franchise, the cornerstone of the new direction SW will take, the very foundation for the new trilogy and every movie, game, show, book or comic that we'll ever get from SW. With baited breath they open the book, flip through the pages and get... and get...

Artsy-fartsy present-tense half-sentences and grade-school-essay-tier descriptions containing -unironically!- terms like "herkily-jerkily".
My fucking sides.
 

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That sounds too low considering it's been in print for what, 50 years and several editions? Wikipedia says Children of Hurin, a posthumously published part of Tolkien's legendarium, has over 1.2 million copies in circulation, and the Silmarillion is far more famous than that.
1 million was the only number I could find. I'd agree that it seems like a small number for a book that's been around as long as Star Wars, but I think a lot of that can be attributed to the Silmarillion being notoriously lore-dense and hard to read, since it's not so much a coherent narrative as it is a bunch of short stories and mythopoeia that Tolkien wrote over several decades and his son assembled into a book after his death. It's not nearly as accessible as The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, or even Children of Hurin. Anecdotally speaking, of all the people I know who've actually read LOTR, only a handful of them have even started Silmarillion, let alone finished it. Guarantee you that if Chuck ever tried to read it his brain would short circuit from the lack of hyphens and sentence fragments within about three pages.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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1 million was the only number I could find. I'd agree that it seems like a small number for a book that's been around as long as Star Wars, but I think a lot of that can be attributed to the Silmarillion being notoriously lore-dense and hard to read, since it's not so much a coherent narrative as it is a bunch of short stories and mythopoeia that Tolkien wrote over several decades and his son assembled into a book after his death. It's not nearly as accessible as The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, or even Children of Hurin. Anecdotally speaking, of all the people I know who've actually read LOTR, only a handful of them have even started Silmarillion, let alone finished it. Guarantee you that if Chuck ever tried to read it his brain would short circuit from the lack of hyphens and sentence fragments within about three pages.
It's kind of amazing, really.

The Silmarillion is the holy grail of LOTR-Nerddom, only a select few have bothered reading it (compared to people who have read LOTR or the general population), and a lowball estimate still adds up to more than twice as many sales as Chuck's entire library can muster.
I mean, sure, it had a headstart of a couple decades, but the Silmarillion will be read and enjoyed a hundred years from now by the random fantasy Nerd. A decade after Chuck Wendig's death, his entire career will be lost to time, like pee-droplets in an ocean of piss.
Fuck me, I would not be surprised if the Silmarillion would outsell his books in the coming decade. Let alone The Hobbit and LOTR, which most likely outsells Chuck's entire works on an annual basis.
 

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It's kind of amazing, really.

The Silmarillion is the holy grail of LOTR-Nerddom, only a select few have bothered reading it (compared to people who have read LOTR or the general population), and a lowball estimate still adds up to more than twice as many sales as Chuck's entire library can muster.
I mean, sure, it had a headstart of a couple decades, but the Silmarillion will be read and enjoyed a hundred years from now by the random fantasy Nerd. A decade after Chuck Wendig's death, his entire career will be lost to time, like pee-droplets in an ocean of piss.
Fuck me, I would not be surprised if the Silmarillion would outsell his books in the coming decade. Let alone The Hobbit and LOTR, which most likely outsells Chuck's entire works on an annual basis.
Years after Chuck's death, you will be able to walk into any given used book store and find more copies of Tolkein's work than Chuck's. You'll be able to find more copies of niche authors like Mercedes Lackey or Marrion Bradley Zimmer than Chuck.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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Years after Chuck's death, you will be able to walk into any given used book store and find more copies of Tolkein's work than Chuck's. You'll be able to find more copies of niche authors like Mercedes Lackey or Marrion Bradley Zimmer than Chuck.
Well yeah, but that's the case right now, too, I'd argue.

In order for his books to show up in used book stores, they need to be pre-owned, and fat chance of that :story:
I mean, technically, they need to be sold twice to hit shelves in used book stores, so not only does a regular customer need to buy that book from somewhere, a used book store needs to purchase it back from the customer again, too.

Happy Holidays everyone! This thought will get you through many cold nights, I promise.
 

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Anecdotally, many people who read the Silmarillion borrowed it or got it secondhand. The number sounds really low, but it could be real.

Chuck is a blowhard and I wouldn’t read with him.
Heh. I did loan my copy to a friend and never did get it back.

I should go buy a second to fill in my library... (help those numbers a bit)
 

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Anecdotally, many people who read the Silmarillion borrowed it or got it secondhand. The number sounds really low, but it could be real.

Chuck is a blowhard and I wouldn’t read with him.
Anecdotally, you might be right. I've borrowed my dad's copy to read (first edition hardcover, still has the map!), though I'd like to have my own copy at some point. But first I need to get through it, and due to holiday stuff I haven't had the time to get back to it, so I'm still on like chapter 2. It'll be a bit.
 

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Anecdotally, you might be right. I've borrowed my dad's copy to read (first edition hardcover, still has the map!), though I'd like to have my own copy at some point. But first I need to get through it, and due to holiday stuff I haven't had the time to get back to it, so I'm still on like chapter 2. It'll be a bit.
Some of it reads much like the trilogy, other parts are more like a fictional NKJ Bible. It’s still good literature. Unlike Chuckle’s toilet paper.
 

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So... who wants Chuck Wendig's sales numbers?

Nothing on his self-published work, but his trad stuff

The Complete Double Dead: 1,864 total

Zer0es 2,408 HC/7,247 PB
Invasive: 1,031 HC/2235 PB

Star Wars: Aftermath: 130,826 HC/81,184 PB
Star Wars: Afermath - Life Debt: 31,806 HC/43,027 PB
Star Wars: Aftermath - Empire's End: 29,064 HC/38,339 PB

Wanderers: 17,563 HC/6,408 PB
Book of Accidents: 16,732 HC

You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!: Monster Motivations to Move Your Butt and Get You to Do the Thing: 2,331

I have his comic TPB titles too!

Hyperion: Daddy Issues: 192
Star Wars The Force Awakens: 2,336
Turok Vol 1: Blood Hunt: 57


Merry Christmas you filthy animals.
If it's not a problem, do you mind telling me how you got those numbers. I don't want to imply that you're lying and if you can't tell me that's fine. I'm just really curious.

Edit: Also what about that Miriam thing (I forgot the name and can't remember if it's self published or not).
 

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If it's not a problem, do you mind telling me how you got those numbers. I don't want to imply that you're lying and if you can't tell me that's fine. I'm just really curious.

Edit: Also what about that Miriam thing (I forgot the name and can't remember if it's self published or not).
It's from Nielsen Bookscan the industry standard for comparing book sales numbers; to PL on the second hand @Boston Brand works in the Publishing industry and has access to a Bookscan account
 

kaien

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Anecdotally, many people who read the Silmarillion borrowed it or got it secondhand. The number sounds really low, but it could be real.
Just generally, that kind of new sales figures probably represents only a modest fraction of Tolkien's reach over the years. Those books have surely been borrowed, traded, sold used, or stolen millions more times.

I mean, I'm probably in the 99th percentile as far as lifetime Tolkien consumption -- I read the whole Silmarillion, I think I read most of the Lay of the Children of Hurin in verse -- and yet I'm hard pressed to remember if I've ever *bought* any of his books. Certainly not new. That's what the school library was for.
 

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Chuck Wendig and his works should be taught in colleges and universities on how not to write as a professional writer. Seriously, reading his stuff is such a chore. When you write a book you want the reader to want more and to turn the page to see what happens next. With Chuck I couldn't be arsed to finish anything he wrote, even his tweets. They lack everything that one expects a good writer to have. Like wit, subtly and nuance. I guess when you have the right politics and connections you too can get work in Hollywood no matter how talentless you are and also be allowed to fail upwards.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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Chuck Wendig and his works should be taught in colleges and universities on how not to write as a professional writer. Seriously, reading his stuff is such a chore. When you write a book you want the reader to want more and to turn the page to see what happens next. With Chuck I couldn't be arsed to finish anything he wrote, even his tweets. They lack everything that one expects a good writer to have. Like wit, subtly and nuance. I guess when you have the right politics and connections you too can get work in Hollywood no matter how talentless you are and also be allowed to fail upwards.
Really makes you wonder if there's going to be a time when the dumb masses that mindlessly consoom Marvel crap and books by hacks like Wendig will ever accidentally get in contact with works selling on merit (and not the producer's political opinions and ability to suck up to the regressive left) and if that will rejuvinate the entertainment industry.

As I see it, everything runs on fumes and most franchises rest on their laurels. It's oftentimes easy enough to watch, but it's formulaic as fuck and sometimes you get shit like what Wendig inflicted upon mankind and I just think to myself, at some point the average consoomer must tire of the ever-same shit and yearn for something different, branch out and realize how poorly made the garbage he's been watching for a decade was compared to all the other awesome shit out there.
 

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So... who wants Chuck Wendig's sales numbers?

Nothing on his self-published work, but his trad stuff

The Complete Double Dead: 1,864 total

Zer0es 2,408 HC/7,247 PB
Invasive: 1,031 HC/2235 PB

Star Wars: Aftermath: 130,826 HC/81,184 PB
Star Wars: Afermath - Life Debt: 31,806 HC/43,027 PB
Star Wars: Aftermath - Empire's End: 29,064 HC/38,339 PB

Wanderers: 17,563 HC/6,408 PB
Book of Accidents: 16,732 HC

You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!: Monster Motivations to Move Your Butt and Get You to Do the Thing: 2,331

I have his comic TPB titles too!

Hyperion: Daddy Issues: 192
Star Wars The Force Awakens: 2,336
Turok Vol 1: Blood Hunt: 57


Merry Christmas you filthy animals.
Well to be brutally realistic, sales like these will probably be fine for an author getting the publisher minimum advance…. At 7k paperback he’ll live to write another day! Book sales aren’t what they used to be…
 

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Well to be brutally realistic, sales like these will probably be fine for an author getting the publisher minimum advance…. At 7k paperback he’ll live to write another day! Book sales aren’t what they used to be…
Publishers often have a very few writers who are more or less guaranteed to earn out their advance and maybe as few as a dozen books that get promoted heavily and are expected to make money. The rest of them are like Cuck here, sink or swim, and usually sink. About Cuck's only strength as a writer is he is indeed capable of actually finishing stuff on time and regularly, so he can probably continue to eke out a living just based on volume.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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Publishers often have a very few writers who are more or less guaranteed to earn out their advance and maybe as few as a dozen books that get promoted heavily and are expected to make money. The rest of them are like Cuck here, sink or swim, and usually sink. About Cuck's only strength as a writer is he is indeed capable of actually finishing stuff on time and regularly, so he can probably continue to eke out a living just based on volume.
It also helps that the publishers most likely don't bother wasting time and money to have an editor read over it to improve it.
Chucky Boy is just churning out cheap, quick content while the publishers hope they'll get a tiny bit of money in profits as they wait for talented writers to finish their works.
 

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It also helps that the publishers most likely don't bother wasting time and money to have an editor read over it to improve it.
Chucky Boy is just churning out cheap, quick content while the publishers hope they'll get a tiny bit of money in profits as they wait for talented writers to finish their works.
Yes, there was a quote somewhere (Nick Mamatas - I think that’s the name/origin) that said most authors are really there just as shelf warmers in between the lead titles - they aren’t expected to do anything more than earn back their own printing costs and carry the “brand” in between the big title releases.

Apparently that figure of earning back printing costs can be a much lower percentage of the advance - one thing I heard was that if you ever start earning back your advance, you asked for Too Little. There’s a sweet spot where the publisher profits but not enough that your per-book-sale has dropped to the point they can start paying you royalties. Creative Accounting FTW
 

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So even with the power of Star Wars branding and the anticipation of a new Canon/Trilogy he couldn't even crack a quarter million in sales with the first Aftermath? Is 210k sales considered successful? I always imagined being a best seller would be in the millions range. Or am I overestimating the market for books?

The entire Disney NuEU has been a massive failure compared to the former EU... books selling over 100k copies in the former EU was not uncommon, and quite a few of them, most notably Zahn's original Thrawn Trilogy and Stackpole's Rogue Squadron novels, sold well over 1 million each. Remember the Thrawn Trilogy's massive sales numbers were what sparked the Star Wars' renaissance in the 90s, and got Lucas interested in making the prequels.

Only 5 books in the Disney EU have sold over 100k copies: the first Aftermath novel, the first High Republic novel, and Zahn's first new Thrawn trilogy. The first was literally the starting point of the New EU, the second had Disney dumping millions in marketing behind it, and the latter is Disney's attempt to at least have SOMETHING in the NuEU pull in respectable book sales. As it stands, paperback reprints of the original Thrawn trilogy are outselling more recent High Republic titles.

So Chuck's professionally published works have sold, all together, 414,650 copies. And, you know what, that's not a bad number in this day and age. But then you deduct his Star Wars books, and you wind up with 58,068 copies sold. The only reason anyone anywhere has ever given a shit about Chuck Wendig's writing was Star Wars, and he squandered the opportunity he was given because he couldn't stop being a loudmouthed, self-righteous ass on Twatter.

So how's Tolkien doing in sales numbers? The Hobbit: 140.6 million copies.
Lord of the Rings: ~155 million copies (Solid numbers are pretty much impossible to nail down because LOTR's been sold as a single volume and a trilogy and there have been many cases of unauthorized or pirate editions being published, but it's at least 150 million, with some estimates going up to 400 million)
The Silmarillion: ~1 million copies.

So, all together they've sold nearly 300 million copies. Methinks Chuck has got some major sour grapes going on here, given that the densest and least accessible book of Tolkien's legendarium has still comfortably outsold all of his pro-published works combined.



Depends how you qualify "bestseller", but in America at least it's rare for books not by a big-name author or from an established franchise to crack the 1 million mark. The usual benchmark in this country is the New York Times bestseller list, but their method for determining that list isn't a straightforward process of tallying sales numbers and they've admitted in the past it's not an objective list. That said, their current No. 1 bestseller, Call Us What We Carry, has sold about 462,000 copies in hardback, which is pretty damn good in this day and age. Chuck's sales numbers on that first Aftermath book are definitely enough to qualify it as a bestseller by that metric. The fact that he didn't do better with all of Disney's marketing muscle and the cachet of the SW franchise behind him is a pretty big indictment of his abilities as a writer and Disney's handling of their IP.

Remind me later and I'll look up Silmarillion's exact sales numbers... but Tolkien is the only author in history who has a claim to possibly have outsold the Bible. Using him as a measuring stick is almost unfair, for spec fiction authors, he's not a rival to measure yourself against, he's the fucking mountain you're standing on.

Doesn't make it any less funny that when authors try and tear down said mountain, it's always some shmuck with less than 50k sales, like Wendig (sans Star Wars) or Fonda Lee.

As for the New York Times Bestseller list, it's all a marketing gimmick - sell as few as 5-10k copies in the right stories in a short period of time, you can make the list, sell 100k in the wrong ones, you may never make it, and worse, if editorial likes/doesn't like you, you may make it or be ignored regardless of your sales numbers.

It's why BookScan is the industry metric... plenty of books that make the New York Times Bestseller list never turn a profit for a number of reasons... and plenty that go under the radar with steady sales for years make rich men of authors and their publishers alike.

Huh, I got a hardcover copy of Zer0es from a little free library in the town where my place is up on Cape Cod. I'm surprised that it is so uncommon. How small of a print run will a major publisher actually print? The unfortunate thing is that the book is a discarded copy originally from the actual town library, so my taxes paid for it in the first place. I wonder how many of his books were bought by institutions rather than individuals.

As I said in the Zoe Quinn thread, the dirty little secret of many woke trad publishers is libraries, public and school alike, subsidize them because librarians choose what to curate if the public doesn't care. For some titles, a full 20 percent of their sales will be to libraries.

Luckily, anybody with a library card and a few minutes of free time can submit book purchase requests, taking the curation power away from crazy lefty cat ladies and putting it directly in your hands. Something I encourage everyone to do. Don't let your tax dollars go to authors and publishers who hate you.

As for your question about print runs, THAT is the million dollar question. I've said it before, but the formula that determines if a book is successful or not is determined, not only by sales numbers, but by size of the print run, cost of the author advance and marketing, and the sell through percentage.

An author who took a small advance and sold 90 percent of a small to midsize print run is very successful. An author who sells 15k copies out of a print run of 60k is not, especially if they got a sizable advance.

Chuck the Cuck's sales numbers are pretty much what I thought. Aftermath got a bunch of press because it was the first big Disney EU Star Wars book and basically positioned like the Thrawn Trilogy was to the original EU, turns out it was such fucking shit most people just skipped the next two and EVERYONE skipped the rest of Chuck's miserable output. The drop between books 2 and 3 aren't as bad as I thought. I guess that's your core market of Star Wars consoomers, not normal Star Wars fans or more casual audiences.

My only question is how these numbers compare to the usual Star Wars EU book like the last of the old EU novels or some other Disney EU junk. I bet Tim Zahn's Disney EU stuff outsells Chuck handily even though it's not very good.

The rest of it is a fucking joke, especially those comics. Double digit sales numbers LMAO, no wonder why nobody reads American comics these days. Even a shitty writer like Patrick S. Tomlinson could probably equal Pat's performance here.

That sounds too low considering it's been in print for what, 50 years and several editions? Wikipedia says Children of Hurin, a posthumously published part of Tolkien's legendarium, has over 1.2 million copies in circulation, and the Silmarillion is far more famous than that.

A more than 70 percent drop off is disastrous, especially for what is supposed to be the foundational work of the Disney NuEU.

One of these days I will actually do a full list of sales numbers of the old Star Wars Expanded Universe vs the Disney NuEU... that just requires a ton of intensive data mining from book scan given how many titles there are and how many factors there are...

But there general average for the former EU was around 100k sales, with a few performing worse, and some doing much better, and a dozen or more selling over 1 million copies. Meanwhile, only five Disney NuEU titles have broken 100k in sales at all... Wendig's first aftermath novel, the first High Republic novel, and Zahn's first new Thrawn trilogy. You can count their successes on one hand.

Oh, and sales numbers be damned, none of the Disney NuEU authors are making much, if any royalties form these Star Wars books. One of the reasons they keep getting YA authors like Roanhorse or Carson, or hacks like Wendig, is they'll work for a flat rate without royalties, and authors actually worth a damn probably took one look and told the Rat to take a hike.

It's just hilarious to think about...

Disney scrubs the EU, the pathetic losers that simp for the Rat or anything with an SW logo attached to it bargain and cope hard by claiming that the EU was always shit with too silly stuff going on. So a fresh start with Disney's amazing foresight is just what the franchise needs, right? Cool, let's make our faces go numb from soygrinning as we seal-clap in anticipation of next product and our consumption thereof.

Disney is working on the new trilogy, undoubtedly a massive, herculean effort to create the best fucking trilogy in SW -NAY!- in movie-history!
And then there's the book trilogy which will lead into this MAGNUM OPUS. Aftermath is published a few weeks before the movie.
Fans everywhere, those that disliked the EU, those that liked the EU (but want to see if the new books will be worth Disney's decision to wipe the EU), casual movie fans, book enthusiasts
and so on grab this new exciting installment to the SW franchise, the cornerstone of the new direction SW will take, the very foundation for the new trilogy and every movie, game, show, book or comic that we'll ever get from SW. With baited breath they open the book, flip through the pages and get... and get...

Artsy-fartsy present-tense half-sentences and grade-school-essay-tier descriptions containing -unironically!- terms like "herkily-jerkily".
My fucking sides.

All to pull down the kinds of sales numbers that, at one point, would have gotten authors axed in the former Expanded Universe.

Years after Chuck's death, you will be able to walk into any given used book store and find more copies of Tolkein's work than Chuck's. You'll be able to find more copies of niche authors like Mercedes Lackey or Marrion Bradley Zimmer than Chuck.

Hey now, Mercedes Lackey is a bonafide master of spec fiction.

Wendig's more akin to one of the Tor diversity hires that wins a Hugo and then will never be heard from again a decade from now.

If it's not a problem, do you mind telling me how you got those numbers. I don't want to imply that you're lying and if you can't tell me that's fine. I'm just really curious.

Edit: Also what about that Miriam thing (I forgot the name and can't remember if it's self published or not).

Nielsen BookScan.

Chuck Wendig and his works should be taught in colleges and universities on how not to write as a professional writer. Seriously, reading his stuff is such a chore. When you write a book you want the reader to want more and to turn the page to see what happens next. With Chuck I couldn't be arsed to finish anything he wrote, even his tweets. They lack everything that one expects a good writer to have. Like wit, subtly and nuance. I guess when you have the right politics and connections you too can get work in Hollywood no matter how talentless you are and also be allowed to fail upwards.
Really makes you wonder if there's going to be a time when the dumb masses that mindlessly consoom Marvel crap and books by hacks like Wendig will ever accidentally get in contact with works selling on merit (and not the producer's political opinions and ability to suck up to the regressive left) and if that will rejuvinate the entertainment industry.

As I see it, everything runs on fumes and most franchises rest on their laurels. It's oftentimes easy enough to watch, but it's formulaic as fuck and sometimes you get shit like what Wendig inflicted upon mankind and I just think to myself, at some point the average consoomer must tire of the ever-same shit and yearn for something different, branch out and realize how poorly made the garbage he's been watching for a decade was compared to all the other awesome shit out there.

The sales numbers for Wendig and the other wokies in spec fiction's in group AREN'T there, that's the thing. Tor alone is largely kept solvent almost entirely because of their back catalog from guys like Terry Brooks and Orson Scott Card, and the rare new authors like Brandon Sanderson and VE Schwab whose books sell enough to subsidize the dozens of charity cases whose books DON'T sell.

There's still good stuff coming out, but it definitely is fighting an uphill battle to stand out amidst all the crap around them. Which is why people need to support people who deserve that support wherever you can. Put up or shut up time.

Well to be brutally realistic, sales like these will probably be fine for an author getting the publisher minimum advance…. At 7k paperback he’ll live to write another day! Book sales aren’t what they used to be…

Depends again, on advance, print run, and sell through percentage.

With numbers like his, even a best case is a small print run that barely earns out and he may never see a dime more than the advance. And that is his BEST case scenario, the worst is he will be the latest in a long line of authors bleeding Tor dry.

Publishers often have a very few writers who are more or less guaranteed to earn out their advance and maybe as few as a dozen books that get promoted heavily and are expected to make money. The rest of them are like Cuck here, sink or swim, and usually sink. About Cuck's only strength as a writer is he is indeed capable of actually finishing stuff on time and regularly, so he can probably continue to eke out a living just based on volume.

It also helps that the publishers most likely don't bother wasting time and money to have an editor read over it to improve it.
Chucky Boy is just churning out cheap, quick content while the publishers hope they'll get a tiny bit of money in profits as they wait for talented writers to finish their works.

Yes, there was a quote somewhere (Nick Mamatas - I think that’s the name/origin) that said most authors are really there just as shelf warmers in between the lead titles - they aren’t expected to do anything more than earn back their own printing costs and carry the “brand” in between the big title releases.

Apparently that figure of earning back printing costs can be a much lower percentage of the advance - one thing I heard was that if you ever start earning back your advance, you asked for Too Little. There’s a sweet spot where the publisher profits but not enough that your per-book-sale has dropped to the point they can start paying you royalties. Creative Accounting FTW

All spot on, mostly.... more than half of authors lose money for most publishers, and another 40 percent break even. Another 9 earn a small profit, and another 1 makes enough money to bankroll everything else.

The one exception is I actually recommend authors take small advances if they can afford it - the fastest way to get the axe, or even blacklisted, is to lose a crap ton of money for your publisher, and ideally, you will earn more in the long run from royalties than you would from an advance.

Small advances, build your back catalog, keep writing and building your brand and fanbase, and watch the royalty checks grow... that's the sustainable success model for most authors who aren't lucky enough to strike gold with a big hit... and a lot of people who go slow and steady like that make more money than the people who DO strike gold.