The intriguing thing about publishing these days, is not only that the playing field has been leveled by, Barnes & Noble, and others, but also that with POD and ebooks, a title can remain “in print” for many decades (and can do so without the costs of advanced printing, storage, or taxes on unsold books).

For an author, this means a single book can generate money year after year (and can even continue to do so after the author has died — for 70 more years according to US copyright law). That means even if a single title earns only a little per year, over time this the earnings can accrue into a tidy sum. That being the case, today’s book can out-perform the “flash in the pan” of the mid-list book of the recent past, which often only earned enough to cover an author’s advance, after which the publisher let the title go out of print (often leaving the author with no more earnings on that title for the rest of his life).

But now that’s changed.

Today, the key for an author wanting to earn a living at writing appears to be quite simple: Sticking with the task, regularly writing new titles and self-publishing, or publishing through a small press interested in printing everything an author writes. That’s it. Just keep generating product to sell and then patiently wait for it to keep earning more and more over the years.

As things now stand, authors can succeed by regularly writing new books, putting them into print, and planning on staying with the business over the “long haul.”