Tiring of the TV writing game, Goldberg fell into novelizations, continuing his work on shows like Monk and Diagnosis Murder by writing novels that carried on the stories after the shows had ended.
He does modestly well. No blockbusters, but enough to pay the bills. And he has also been a known, vociferous critic of the concept of self-publishing.
Before June 5, 2009, he'd earned a grand total of $0 on his out-of-print work, Then he published them on the Kindle. As he states:
...out-of-print books that I wrote years ago  were earning me nothing before June 2009.
If those sales hold for the rest of the year, I will earn $77,615 in Kindle royalties, and that’s not counting the far less substantial royalties coming in from Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and CreateSpace.
Even if my sales plummet tomorrow by fifty percent, I’ll still earn about $38,000 in royalties this year…and I’d be very, very happy with that.
My most profitable title, in terms of hours worked and pages written, is THREE WAYS TO DIE, a collection of three previously published short stories. In print, it’s a mere fifty-six pages long, but it’s selling 24 copies-a-day on the Kindle, earning me about $1500-a-month. That means I could potentially earn $18,000 this year just from those three short stories alone.
That is insane.
So far, so sensible, but then he drinks the Kool-Aid with a smile.
But what would be more insane is if I took my next, standalone, non-MONK book to a publisher instead of “publishing” it myself on the Kindle.
That’s right. I’d rather self-publish. This from a guy who for years has been an out-spoken, and much-reviled, critic of self-publishing. But that was before the Kindle came along and changed everything. I was absolutely right then…but I’d be wrong now.
The Kindle offers mid-list writers a real option to consider before they sign their next, shitty contract extension with their publisher…and it has given new opportunity to every mid-list author who has been dropped…and it has dramatically re-energized the earnings potential of every published author’s out-of-print back-list.
That’s incredibly exciting. I believe that any midlist author who isn’t self-publishing, either their back list or new work, is making a costly mistake.
And then there's a caveat for new authors.
If you’ve never been in print before, I believe you’d be a fool not to take a mid-list paperback or a hardcover deal…even a terrible one…over self-publishing on the Kindle. Financially, you might make less (either in failure or modest success)...but the difference will be more than made up for in editing, marketing, wider readership, wider name recognition, and professional prestige (and that prestige does mean something, whether you want to admit it or not).
You can always go back to self-publishing... and when you do, you will be bring that wider readership, name recognition, and professional prestige with you. But a book deal doesn't come along every day, and that's still going to mean something for a long time yet...and I suspect it still will even if half the bookstores in America close tomorrow.
Read the whole post here.