There are many people out there that have the strange notion in their head that book advances, royalties and the like come pouring through your door as soon as you type THE END. They picture oodles of notes and coins spilling through your letter box every time someone buys a copy of your book, there is so much of it that you can’t get out your front door.
Now, let’s be realistic. Yes, you will receive a nominal amount for the publication of your esteemed words but it’s not going to pay the mortgage or set up your retirement fund. More and more amazing and talented writers have a main job, a bread winning job that does what is says on the tin. The bills need paid after all. They work 9-5 or part-time around the kids/school/nurseries etc. They leave the nagging characters in their brain until the house is quiet and the moon is usually high in the sky before switching on the screen of their laptop and rushing down the next chapter before they fall asleep, ready to do it all again the following day.
It’s not fair. Why should writers be financially punished for the trade they are part of? Why should they only gain a small percentage of their sale? Why can’t they write all day and not just when they get in from work,dinner, kids to bed? Some can, but the vast majority can’t.
There have been many news stories recently about what is perceived to be a writers salary. Here is one that caught my attention and made many of my already published and successful on-line author acquaintances weep into their lap tops.
I am under no illusions that if I get published and people actually like it, I may receive something, a token gesture, if you will. But I won’t be swimming in sterling or buying a Rolls Royce or holidaying in the Maldives four times a year or retiring to the Bahamas.
I will be using said pennies for my next creation..and to pay the bills.
It’s every creative writers dream to see their words spill out into the big bad world, regardless of the medium. In this digital era there are hundreds of ways to do that: blogs, web sites, magazines, self-publishing to name but a few. It’s an acknowledgement of sorts for all the hard work, sweat and tears that have gone into the production of your masterpiece. A light at the end of the writing tunnel that sometimes seems to stretch out way beyond your reach.
To see your name on a glossy cover in a well-known bookshop’s shelves or to sit down on the bus and the person next to you pulls out a copy of your latest novel and burrows their head into the crisp,clean pages…that is what dreams are made of, well for me anyway. I don’t want to just get published, I want the world to read my stories and hopefully like them. I want to take readers away from their deadlines, daily tasks and commitments and show them a new world, a world where they can come along and join in the adventure – they just have to open the book and start at the first page.
I’m sighing because I’m not quite there yet but I will be. I have a troublesome stubborn streak and the sheer determination and grit to do it. I don’t give up that easily!
I will not be a millionaire in monetary terms but I will feel like a million pounds if my dream comes true.