Hi, I’m Mandy and I’m a new author.
I made my first mistake of giving away my first story and since then a few notions have been driven into my brain.
“Get Paid!” and “Contracts can be Changed!”
(Thanks Kelli Owen!)
Today, I’m focusing on the “Get Paid!” part… While this seems like a simple concept, I see (and hear) about a lot of non-paying (or low paying) projects out there. I’ve heard about “for the love of” projects, new publishing houses just getting started or whatever new excuse they are using to not pay the writers, I know these books aren’t being given away…
My author friends (who have been in the business for a lot longer than me) have told me authors are getting paid less and less as the years go on.
Now hold on a minute, when I started buying books, paperbacks were 4-5$. Now when I pick up a new book, I’m easily paying 10-12$.
Ebooks cost nearly nothing to produce, but authors are receiving itty-bitty amounts of coin for the stories they do everything for (write, edit, design, submit online and promote).
My questions is… where is all the money going?
FOR THE LOVE PROJECTS:
Theres a lot of discussion about whether or not exposure is worth much these days. Exposure is exposure. Sure, great, awesome… BUT WAIT! Are they giving these books away? NO! Someone is still making money off the books they are selling. So unless they are giving the book away (with an amount taken to cover printing or whatnot), it’s not a “for the love of the project”.
SOMEONE is making bank from your hard work and this makes no sense to me.
Don’t insult authors by offering them 3$ for their story (or 0.0004 cents a word) and then sell the ebooks for 3$. There’s a tiny disconnect there. (Tiny like the amount you’re getting paid per word…)
Charity is fine. As long as the all of the profits are going to a charity or a good cause.
If it weren’t for us writers, Mr Editor, Mr Publisher and Mr Reader would have nothing but a pretty cover and a shit ton of blank pages. We writers are the ones who birth ideas and turn them into stories for everyone else, why are we the ones being paid less and less???
Oh, right… Because we allow it to happen.
Sure there’s no union for writers, we are stuck taking care of ourselves and supporting each other. Which is perfectly fine. So is giving your away your work, it’s your work. (Just don’t complain when you want to be a “real” writer instead of a writing enthusiast and no one wants to pay you for it.)
The other side of the coin: Yes, I can make 500$ on a story I gave away, if I get a discount on copies and I promote, presell and push the books myself. This is fine to make rent or the car payment you’re falling short on, but you also have a lot more work to do that isn’t writing.
I want writing to be my job, therefore I must get paid.
I work hard on my stories, so why would I give them away?
I REALLY like what Harlan Ellison says here about getting paid.
Stand up for your writing/art/work and get paid!
***If and when you can, see if the author has copies to sell, rather than ordering from Amazon. This way the author makes money for stories they may not have been paid for and copies of books are usually personalized and/or autographed!***