Thank you very much to Shay Laurent for featuring me in a book tour and interview for the Convergence series!
You can read the full interview on her blog.
It’s no secret that most writers are starving artists. There are few who have won the best-seller Lottery and can afford to live on their royalties alone. Most of us struggle just to afford the up-front expenses involved in being a writer. Arguably in today’s modern world of self-publishing, you can do a great many things for free, but not everything. If you want a leg-up in the publishing world, you’re going to have to drop some coin, even if you’re a small-time self-published Indy author – there will be expenses. What expenses? How much?
Well, here’s the truth of how much it really costs to be a writer.
There are a lot of predatory practices in the publishing industry, but one I only discovered after I published my first novel is the prevalence of book resellers. What’s a book reseller? Well, they’re just like any reseller. They buy things cheap or at-cost, then mark up the price and skim the profit off the top for themselves. They’re nothing new. Back when I worked retail in my college days, we’d have resellers who would come in and buy all our printers when they went on sale. It got to the point where managers would limit them to one per person because they knew nobody needed THAT many of the same printer and that they were just turning around and selling them for a higher price on eBay. Book resellers work in pretty much the same way. They’ll make a listing on eBay, Amazon, and other 3rd-party market websites and offer YOUR physical book at a higher price than you sell it for.
Wait where are they getting my book? I keep track of my sales. How are they doing this? Where are they getting their stock?
The answer – from you.
All right, you just published your first novel. Now to sit back and rake in all those sweet, sweet royalties.
Oh, wait, yeah, there’s not a whole lot of that is there? Not if you’re a first-time or indie author unless you win the Lottery as I’ve discussed in one of my previous posts. The truth is most writers (even the traditionally published) cannot make a living from their writing. Most writers can barely recoup their marketing, editing, and other writing-related costs. So what are you going to do with your first book? Well, the best thing you can do is give it away for free.
Yes, for free!
Fanfiction is a subject of contention among the writing community. Many vehemently hate it and consider it to be a desecration of the author’s original intent and copyrighted works. A lot of people hate it because there are so many fanfictions that are just poorly written garbage, and to be fair, most of them are pretty terrible. Others believe that it’s a harmless creative outlet for die-hard fans that have fallen so in love with the universe and characters created by an author, that they can’t get enough and so continue to explore the story/characters on their own. Isn’t inspiring the imagination of others with your work a form of flattery? A lot of fanfiction greatly deviates from the source material to the point of being almost unrecognizable from the author’s original fiction (aside from some names, physical descriptions, and settings), but the author’s original work is still what set off that spark of inspiration that caused them to write that story in the first place. Many modern original fiction authors actually cut their teeth by writing fanfiction first.
So what do I think of fanfiction and what is my personal policy on it?