As the original post with Frank's commentary is 5 days old and hasn't had a comment in 48 hours before +Kevin Crawford 's this afternoon, I'm breaking Kevin's comment into a post of its own. It deserves to be read and commented upon.
I'll be reserving my thoughts to the comments section of this post...
Here's Kevin's comment in text format:
"Speaking purely for myself, the OSR has been a very good market segment to me. In the past two years, I've had gross sales of about a half million dollars worth of Sine Nomine books. That's not mansion money on the post-tax net, but it is an extremely comfortable location-independent living for a single creator.
And that, I think, is the key. The OSR as a market segment can absolutely provide a comfortable living to more creators than it does now, but those creators have to be able to take a project from inception to print with minimal outside involvement. My per-book profits are huge compared to the royalties I'd get from a publisher. They have to be, because in the last year I've sold 12,000 copies of one title or another, and if I were with a conventional fiction publisher they'd burn my rolodex card if I moved less than 20,000 on one title in a year. I can make a very comfortable living on 12,000 copies sold, but that living gets a whole lot less comfortable if I have to pay authors and layout designers on every product I issue.
And by the same token, those creators have to _produce_. One swallow does not make a summer and one hit product does not make a living. They have to be able to hit their project deadlines and constantly create new, compelling products that draw new buyers and keep existing fans coming back for more. They can move tremendous amounts of back catalog this way, but only if they _have_ a back catalog. You know what a hit OSR product means? It means the customers are willing to see what else you've got."