Does Money Matter?

By on May 29, 2018
Does Money Matter? Writer's

When we first start to write, one of the thoughts that must go round every writer's head is, how can I make money from this?

That’s not to say that every writer is money driven, but at the same time, whether you are writing a novel and trying to get it published, or have decided to pack in the day job and set yourself up as a freelance writer, many of the decisions about how much time you can dedicate to your writing will revolve around the possibility of being able to make a living from it.

While it is true that there is money to be made in writing, particularly for fiction writers often we have to make a choice, do we want to write or do we want to have money?

Writing takes up a lot of time, and while it is possible to fit your writing in around a full-time job, doing so requires a tremendous amount of dedication. Even then there are no guaranteed rewards.

It’s also important to decide how important money truly is to you. For most writers being published is their ultimate goal, and many writers assume that if they do get that all-important ‘yes’ from a publisher that their money worries will simply drift away and they’ll be given a considerable advance and can write their stories living a life of leisure.

Unfortunately for those lucky few reality soon kicks in. Advances aren’t likely to be enough to retire on, and when it comes to royalties often the percentage taken from agents and publishers is so high that the author doesn’t see a massive return from book sales.

Of course, if your book is a huge success you could end up extremely rich, but if you think about how many books are out there, and how many rich and famous authors you can name, the two don’t quite add up. That’s because the majority of authors, yes even published authors , aren’t wealthy, and in fact, many have to do other work alongside their writing to make ends meet.

Writing costs money too!

It’s also worth remembering that writing is likely not only to cost you in time but money too. Even if you self-publish which means you can keep all or most of the money from any book sales, you are then solely responsible for getting the book edited to a publishable standard, getting a book cover designed and printing and sending copies to any readers -all of which will take significant dollars off your sale price. Not to mention marketing costs actually to get your book noticed in the first place.

There are lots of ways, however, to make a lucrative living from your writing, it might just be that selling books isn’t the one you should rely on! If you can land yourself a consistent writing gig, this is a great way to pay the bills while still allowing the freedom and flexibility necessary to get the novel written.

At the end of the day many writers have to make difficult decisions, choices and sacrifices when it comes to their writing career, and being firm about how far you are willing to go, and just what sacrifices you are ready to make will help you to stay focused and purposeful and make everything much clearer in the long run.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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