Saturday, May 20, 2017

The cost of being an Author

No, folks, we aren't all rich. That's one myth demolished. And no, I don't do this as a hobby. That's number two shot down. And three - we don't all swan off to lunches with publishers and hire picture perfect cottages to commune with our muses - er, WHAT muses?

There are some authors who are lucky enough to have an independent income (or their husband's) to support them. They don't have to conform to the pressures of the industry. There are some who have taken the wild leap into Indie Publishing, or self publishing, as it used to be called. Those who have done it properly, with proper editors, cover designers etc I admire tremendously. I haven't got the energy. And those of us with old fashioned traditional publishers are not taken to lunch once a month, or given publishing parties. No, we flail around working out which industry do will be most worthwhile. That is, if we can afford to go.

Parties and conferences can be great fun - ARE great fun. But they're expensive. And if you're a traditional author who relies solely on the income from his/her books, they are frequently out of reach. It isn't just the cost of the event itself, it's the travel costs and - ahem - the drink.

Please understand I'm not complaining and/or whining. I consider myself extremely lucky, as I said in my last blog post, to be supported by my books, but as one after another friend in the business asks me if I'm coming to this or that function and I say no, I felt I should explain. I'm not going on the annual jaunt to Turkey either, because if ever I do manage to accrue a spare £1000 it will have to go on a new laptop. I can feed and house myself, the cats, occasional boomerang offspring and the odd guest. I can run a car and wifi. But that's it. Much like anyone else working below the minimum wage - or maybe a bit better because I don't have a mortgage.

As I said, I'm not moaning. Just remember that I'm an ordinary member of society doing a job. As I say boringly, when people ask,  "Well, it's better than stacking shelves at the supermarket."