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Is writing your main job?

Joined
Jan 28, 2019
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64
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Standish, Michigan
Sadly, not my full-time job, but, who knows, maybe someday. I'm between jobs at the moment (was let go when my surgery recovery went longer than expected), but working towards a goal of self-employment. Whether that's through my jewellery, writing, digital art, or a smattering of each I really have no preference. I'll be happy with any combination thereof.
 

Phyrebrat

ba-Ba-ba-brat
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In your bedroom wardrobe...
Would I really want it to be? No. It would take the fun out of it. Would I still want to be properly published? Yes.
I think this is how I’d be, too. I think the reason I enjoy writing so much is because I do it at my own pace.

When I’m pottering in Photoshop or choreographing for my main job I’m free to do what I want and I think that works well for my creativity/methodology.

As long as David Lynch lives long enough to make my wip into a film, I’d be happy

pH
 

OHB

Crazed Writer
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
123
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somewhere in time and space
As long as Lynch doesn't butcher your masterpiece... Like Alien 3.
That was David Fincher, who actually is a pretty good director. He just blew it with that one movie.

Anyways, I don't write for a living and don't think I'd ever leave my job to become a full-time writer. I spent years working my tail off for little (and sometimes no) pay and racked up a lot of student loan debt getting my master's degree all so I could get the job that I have now. I love my job. I love my coworkers. I love that my work got me out of hurricane country. I love that for once in my life I am not living below the poverty line. Basically, the only way I'm leaving my job is if they fire me. And even then, they'd have to call security to drag me out of the building.
 

Stephen Palmer

author of novels
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Shropshire
5% of British authors make enough to survive on.
Google the issue - there are plenty of new links to the bad state of affairs at the moment, eg. the recent ALCS report.
 

thaddeus6th

Well-Known Member
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To be honest, I'm surprised it's as high as 5%. Although if that's survival, rather than an actual living, that could make sense.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Iowa
To be honest, I'm surprised it's as high as 5%. Although if that's survival, rather than an actual living, that could make sense.
Where do you consider that line in Great Britain? My sense would be that £20,000 would be the demarcation line between making a living and hardly living for a single adult --- judging by my area of the U.S.A. I've heard that among S.F. authors in the States that there are at most 50 or so who make a "living" at writing.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
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Oct 5, 2011
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blah - flags. So many flags.
Where do you consider that line in Great Britain? My sense would be that £20,000 would be the demarcation line between making a living and hardly living for a single adult --- judging by my area of the U.S.A. I've heard that among S.F. authors in the States that there are at most 50 or so who make a "living" at writing.
If that’s the case I know at least 25% of them - which I think is highly unlikely ;)
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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If that’s the case I know at least 25% of them - which I think is highly unlikely ;)
I was quoting Orson Scott Card from a decade or more back. I thought he would be a likely source.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Iowa
He is almost certainly referring to trad published authors. I know more self published than trad who earn their living at it - including our own @ratsy.
True .... I'm sure he was talking about Trad published authors. I read that before I became a chronner which was (can it be?) 13 years ago now? So It's more likely a quote from 20 - 25 plus years ago when non-trad was not much of an option.

Insight: I'm going to have to consider more clearly how much time has passed before throwing dates I did things around again.
 

L.L.Lotte

The Anime King
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May 1, 2019
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281
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A Land Down Under
It seems like you could potentially make more money going self-published than traditional. You control the price and value of your work, and you are not limited to the agent's tastes and what they feel your time is worth -- aren't advances from publishers deliberately undervalued?

You write something, you publish it, then go on to the next project. There is nobody around telling you "no, we will not publish this." -- unless of course it is something obscene and offensive... then Amazon might step in.

A lot easier to get more stories published, and the more you publish, the more you could potentially make. And even with Amazon fees, I'm sure your take home percentage of the sale is more than what you'd get from a traditional publisher, especially when there is a middleman agent involved. (of course I realise there is the argument that you'd get more sales through traditional publishing, but that comes down to the next point.)

But I do see that it would be much more work than traditional. You have to do all the marketing yourself, whereas an actual publisher would handle all that for you, and organise book tours and what not -- good luck getting a book signing event in a bookstore for your self-published novel...
 
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sknox

Member and remember
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Mar 25, 2013
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Idaho
It's not my job nor would I want it to be. I'm content with aiming to break even.

BTW, L.L.Lotte, the actual publisher doesn't handle all that marketing. Not any more. At best, they'll help, and probably only for a limited time.
 

thaddeus6th

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UK, Yorkshire
Parson, depends a lot on the area. London especially, and some other cities (I've heard Newcastle is expensive) would need more, if you're in a village in the north of England that doesn't have house prices increased by second home-owners you could perhaps manage with less.
 

abuckley23

New Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
1
I think it's actually very tricky to have a career as 'just an author' these days. The market is so flooded that it's almost impossible. Having said that, I make my living as an author and professional writer and have for the past 5 years. I have 6 traditionally published novels, with a 7th contracted for 2020 release. I also work as a copywriter writing for website and producing marketing copy for all sorts of industries. Most of my income tends to come from public speaking these days. I visit schools, comic-cons, and writing conferences speaking about writing, storytelling, and publishing. It took me around ten years of work to get to the point where I can support myself and my family this way though.

Next venture is launching an online writing school which is happening this fall :) Always forward, never back ;)
 
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Dennis E. Taylor

Formerly Bizmuth. Destroying Worlds Since {mumble}
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Nov 28, 2014
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I compare writing for a living with playing hockey for a living. Hey, I'm Canadian. Hockey metaphors is what you get.

Most people who love to play hockey never play again once they leave school.
A much smaller fraction play casual hockey at the Eight Rinks at 1 in the morning on weekends.
A much smaller fraction play on a farm team, but still need a day job.
A much smaller fraction play in the NHL for a season or two, then vanish.
A much smaller fraction play in the NHL for a career, but aren't particularly well known and make average wages for an NHL player (which still puts them in the top 1%)
The last remaining few are superstars and make more money than they could ever need.
 

Dennis E. Taylor

Formerly Bizmuth. Destroying Worlds Since {mumble}
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Being self-published is potentially much more lucrative than being trad pubbed. You get to make your own decisions about publishing schedules, etc; you get to keep more of the $ from Amazon and Audible; and you don't have the issues of holdback or glacial royalties schedules as with trad publishers.

OTOH, publishers can help with promotion, even if it's only by making suggestions. And it's difficult to get your books into book stores without a publisher behind you.
 
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