I believe there is a misconception out there in the great wide world regarding authors and their earnings. I can put some of the gossip to bed right now. Writing for a living does not automatically ensure a healthy bank balance.
In the harsh light of day that can be a very depressing turn of events. Take for instance, when I say, ‘I’ve sold 3 paperback copies of Vastian Lore,’ and the person I’m talking to looks back at me with shock and says, ‘Three?’ Like it’s some sort of dirty word. An insult. The first line to a horror story…(need I go on?) I don’t think so.
Anyhow, you get the gist, right? There are many out there, aspsiring writers and those who don’t have the ambition, but assume authors earn millions right off the bat, just like J K Rowling (when we all know, these things take time and it was never easy, not even for the big names). They were people like they anyone else before fame stepped up to the plate behind the so-called ‘fat’ cheque and film rights.
And it’s so very hard to sit back and think, well I do this because I really love to write (I do, by the way) when there are no sales, or very little in the way of progress. It takes a lot of work, emotion and determination to complete a book, a short story, a novella, or piece of good flash fiction.
Despite my husband being on a good wage and I go out to do the odd bit of paid cleaning, things are tight. I can’t afford to spend thousands of pounds of covers, editing, formatting etc. I’ve had to learn a few things for myself, call in favours and budget, budget, budget!
For instance, my next two projects are both novel-length (so about 80,000-100,000 words each) and I know I can’t put out anything sub-standard, so I’ve commisoned covers, I’ve learnt formatting from doing Vastian Lore and I’ve also got to research an editor for the professional finish before publication. I will get through a lot of printer ink and paper when re-writing and going over the MS at least a dozen times for typos, grammar mistakes and any alterations to the story, which may be needed.
It’s no easy task being a writer, but what else is there?
An office job. I could do that. Sure. Once the need for school run is over. Would it be as much fun? Possibly? It’s still an option in the near future, but even if I ventured into the world of admin again, I’d still write.