To pay or not to pay.

Kelli Owen, my friend and mentor, has driven a few notions into my brain since I started submitting my writing. “Get Paid!” and “Contracts can be Changed!”. The one I am choosing to focus on today is “GET PAID”.

Harlan Ellison link to blog
To pay or not to pay

So being a new author I obviously still have a lot to learn. I made my first mistake of giving away my first story, and learned my lesson pretty quickly from that.

However, I hear that authors are getting paid less and less as the years go in. Now hold on a minute, when I started buying books paperbacks were4-5$. Now when I pick up a book, I’m easily paying 10-12$ and those are still paperbacks. My question is in the giant funnel of money from reader to author… Who’s taking more than their share?

Theres a lot of discussion about whether or not exposure is worth much these days. Exposure is exposure. Awesome but someone is still making money off the books they are selling. Unless they are giving the book away, it’s not a for the love of the project. Mr publisher is making coin from your hard work. Makes no sense to me.

I personally want writing to be my job, therefore I must get paid. I work hard on my stories, why would I give them away?

It seems like a lot of projects are for the love. Which is fine but I’m sure they aren’t giving the books away. Someone is making money on these and it sure as hell isnt the authors.

Charity is fine. As long as the money is going to someone other than the guy who won’t pay us.

Don’t insult me by offering me 3$ for my story or 0.0004 cents a word, don’t laugh, it’s out there. To top it off, the publisher is selling the ebooks for 3$. There’s a disconnect there.

If it wasn’t for the writer, 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, cause we allow it to happen.

Sure there’s no union for writers, we are stuck taking care of ourselves and supporting each other. That is perfectly fine, so is giving your work away it’s your work. But don’t complain when you want to be a “real” author instead of a hobbiest and no one wants to pay you.

(Now, here’s the kicker. I can make 500$ on a free story, if I push the books myself. This is fine to make rent or the car payment, but the publishers aren’t learning their lesson. They won’t make as much as they usually do and more money goes to the writer, so when you can, ask if the author has copies to sell, rather than ordering from the publisher. All copies of my books are personalized and autographed!)

Stand up for your writing and get fucking paid!


  1. C.W. LaSart (@CWLaSart)

    Even at pro-rates, one cannot make a living selling short stories. If a person wants to make a living as a writer, longer works are necessary. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough pro markets around these days. Keep plugging away and submit to markets that you feel are valuable. Only you can decide what your time and effort is worth to you πŸ˜‰

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s