Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Free Money

Just got a royalty check, so, relevant.

It's very weird to me that people think like this, but sometimes they do--maybe not so much for people like me, who as such have not secured a book deal that results in financial security to the point that they don't have to work, but more for authors who strike it rich and can pretty much rest on their laurels for the rest of their lives.

The very fortunate few in ANY field are like this. Sports stars, musicians, authors--and to a lesser extent, you have people in typical office jobs, retail work, or food service who don't spend as long in the trenches and get promoted to more elite, better-paid positions for some reason. Luck is a thing. Being in the right place at the right time is a thing. Being good at your job is also a thing. It all works together.

Most authors compose their works on faith. They have no idea if they will ever get published or reach success--and some of them don't even plan to approach publishing. Those that do want to be published end up spending a long time, typically, attempting and failing, or the process simply takes a very long time by nature. The point is, we spend a LOT of our own "free" time when we're NOT making any money from it attempting to let our work see the light of day. When we're unpublished and unestablished writers, we do this with no idea whether it will pay off (well, in money).

Those of us who do get a book deal usually have to collect royalties for quite a while before we're "paid back" a reasonable wage for what went into our work (though of course this is not to say any specific person owed this money to us). We created FOR FREE with no guarantee that we'd ever be compensated, presumably out of love for the art.

So please have some respect for this. Book deals require a lot of work upfront for uncertain results, and the work is almost without exception very emotional and personal as well as time-consuming. When we are lucky enough to be paid for what we love, don't ignore all the time we spent doing it for free, and don't imply that us continuing to be paid for book sales long after our work is done is somehow unfair.


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