This morning I tuned into Jessica Faust’s BookEnds LLC blog, as is my usual routine when I first wake up. Before my eyes are even clear, I grab my iPhone off the nightstand and open to her blog. Her posts are usually quite brief and include some bit of advice, whether it be about writing a book, or querying, or the publishing business in general. All the stuff I want to know more about.
I love her blog, especially Critique Wednesdays where she puts up someone’s query for the benefit of others so that we may see what is good or bad, ineffective or inappropriate. Fridays are for Author Speed Dates where we get to better know one of her clients.
Today was similar to that, but the author who participated, Ellery Adams, answered questions regarding cold hard facts, especially about the numbers: How many books she’s written, under what names, what genre, word count and whatnot. I found the most interesting facts pertained to money, that is, the average advance she received from her publishers, how much they give her for promotion, and how much she makes in income off of her writing.
While I know writers, in general, do not make much off their writing, I was rather shocked by the dismal numbers from such a prolific writer. I do realize that the Stephen Kings, J.K. Rowlings and Stephanie Meyers of this world are rare, but I found the actual statistics quite sobering. Now, I certainly didn’t get into writing novels for the money, but I did think the financial payoff would, on average, be a little higher. Perhaps it’s the author’s genre, God knows I don’t read cozy mysteries, but I think it is likely indicative of the industry overall, especially with the tremendous changes it’s undergoing in today’s market.
Then I thought, does this really make a difference to me? Will I stop writing because— even if I did manage to land an agent then a publishing contract—the money’s just not there? Nah, I don’t think so. I write because I enjoy it, because I love meeting new characters and delving into their world. I’m not sure what my other motivations are other than I’ve found a hobby I really love and which brings me great joy, along with frustration. But I do get a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of it. So even if my story lives on only in my computer and I make nothing for all my efforts, I will still write.
What about you?