Poor, Poor Writers…

 

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I came across this interesting and revealing article from my publisher’s website, Arrow Gate Publishing, and I know I just have to post this. Read on, and when you see a book, or any creative work for that matter, do know that a lot goes into the final work.

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                                                                    Writers And The Unpredictability Of Their Profession!

A new article by Alison Flood of theguardian.com has created divided opinions. She painted a very gloomy picture of the pittance authors make from their trade and she reveals that, ‘figures show the vast majority of authors, both traditionally and self-published, are struggling to make a living from their work.’

Astonishingly, she is right, and as a publisher dedicated to getting the right book out to readers, our roles seems interwoven. Are we taking a gamble in this unpredictable business? Or just doing it because we love the written word? The answer is simple, we love writers and their stories. It is a noble but lonely profession, where writers could hole up in a room for several months trying to put the thoughts in their heads to life.

The words of this article are not necessarily our opinion, however, it is a compelling read at the same time. Please enjoy!

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The publishing industry has never been so sharply divided. In the week when the erotica writer Sylvia Day signed a staggering eight-figure two-book deal with St Martin’s Press, a survey reveals that 54% of traditionally-published authors and almost 80% of go-it-alone writers are making less than $1,000 (£600) a year.

More than 9,000 writers, from aspiring authors to seasoned pros, took part in the 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey, presented at this week’s Digital Book World conference. The survey divided the 9,210 respondents into four camps: aspiring, self-published only, traditionally-published only, and hybrid (both self-published and traditionally-published). More than 65% of those who filled out the survey described themselves as aspiring authors, with 18% self-published, 8% traditionally-published and 6% saying they were pursuing hybrid careers.

Just over 77% of self-published writers make $1,000 or less a year, according to the survey, with a startlingly high 53.9% of traditionally-published authors, and 43.6% of hybrid authors, reporting their earnings are below the same threshold. A tiny proportion – 0.7% of self-published writers, 1.3% of traditionally published, and 5.7% of hybrid writers – reported making more than $100,000 a year from their writing. The profile of the typical author in the sample was “a commercial fiction writer who might also write non-fiction and who had a project in the works that might soon be ready to publish”, according to the report.

Fortunately only a minority of respondents listed making money as “extremely important” – around 20% of self-published writers, and about a quarter of traditionally-published authors. But authors’ top priority was not divorced from commercial concerns, with around 56% of self-pubbers, and almost 60% of traditional authors, judging it “extremely important” to “publish a book that people will buy”.

According to the report’s co-author and Digital Book World editorial director Jeremy Greenfield, the report confirms the finding that “authors of all stripes, but particularly self-published authors, don’t earn huge sums of money doing what they do”.

“Most authors write because they want to share something with the world or gain recognition of some sort,” Greenfield said. “There are, of course, outliers. The top 2% or so of authors make a good living and the most successful authors – including self-published authors – make a tremendous amount of money.”

“The question of money is a tricky one,” agreed Greenfield’s co-author, professor Dana Weinberg. “Publishing a book for sale is a matter of both art and commerce. I would argue that for most writers publishing is not only about money; it’s about a lot of other things including touching readers and sharing stories, but the money is important in a lot of ways.”

The dream of quitting the day job to pursue writing is only a reality for a tiny fraction of writers, she continued. “Writing good books is a big time commitment, as much for many writers in the survey as a part-time job, and income gives writers something to show their family and friends for all of their effort and hard work. Some writers are looking for validation, and in the world of self-publishing, where you don’t have the prestige of being chosen by a press, the money is a tangible and rewarding substitute. While writers aren’t motivated purely by money, the money does matter on many levels. The high royalty rates in self-publishing also give writers higher expectations about their potential income.”

So too, do success stories like that of Day, who originally self-published her erotic novel Bared to You, or the author Hugh Howey, who sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his dystopian novel Wool himself on Amazon before landing a publisher. But according to Howey, the survey casts self-publishing in too gloomy a light.

“This survey does not capture the fact that self-publishing is going through a renaissance,” Howey said. “It expects a group of authors with two or three years of experience and market maturity to line up against the top 1% of authors who have had several generations’ head start. Remember that not all books that go the traditional route are counted here, just the few who get published. Meanwhile, every self-published book is tallied.”

For Howey, self-publishing plays a vital role by allowing writers to “hone” their skills. “I would say the results of this survey cloud how nearly impossible it is to make a single cent through traditional publishing (because only the top 1% who ‘make it’ are tallied). The simple fact is this: getting paid for your writing is not easy. But self-publishing is making it easier. How much easier? We don’t have sufficient data to know. But a conservative estimate would be that five to 10 times as many people are paying bills with their craft today as there was just a few years ago. And that should be celebrated.”

NP: Well done if you managed to read this article, would love to know your thoughts! 🙂 Now, back light-hearted matters, Valentine is around the corner, but my husband says that everyday is supposed to be ‘lovers day,’ and I think he’s right! 🙂 I hope you would have a great time.

Have a pleasant weekend my friends. Much love, always!

🙂 🙂

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Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TIME NOVEL COVER PHOTO! 78

‘What in heaven’s name are you screaming about?’

My dad asked harshly, his eyes going a shade darker, turning blue, then white and finally yellow.

Is my father an enemy? I thought sadly as my insides itched with desperation. I’m consumed with grief, and my days were at an end. I called to Hades but he refused my plea for death.

‘Can’t help you young lady, I am under strict instruction to let you be,’ he said with a certain amount of pity. First time I’d seen him shown any feelings for me.  You see, I had to work with him, since I’ve realised how important, he was to my job.

I bet you don’t know what I’m rambling about but I guess you’ll have to wait a while for Seyi Sandra to tell my story, but I do need help, I don’t want to stay hidden forever…

Seyi  Sandra is playing with my fate, say, can you help?

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Hey dear friends, how are you? I’m terribly busy and out of the blues, I remembered ‘TIME’ the story I whipped up ages ago about a nineteen year old girl fighting against an invisible enemy. Now, I’m at a cross road, I’ve got the gut feeling to self-publish ‘TIME’ as a short story but ArrowGate  (my publisher) is interested in publishing it as a full length novel, (I’m gonna write it first, I’ve written a couple of thousand words now) and not a short story. I have another novel coming out in a couple of months. What should I do?

Here’s a recap of the first draft of the story here: https://seyisandradavid.org/2012/11/21/time/

By the way, I own the rights to that IMAGE and I did the cover myself while playing around with Photoshop.

What think ye?

Much love, always!

Your friend,

Seyi Sandra David. 🙂

To Kill Or Not To Kill?

The Kill

The Kill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’ s a little frustrating for me when I kill off some of the characters I don’t like in my novels. Like the current one I am writing now, I had to kill off a guy I loved ( I thought he was going to be good and then decided against it) I noticed he’s got some hidden secrets and so I just had to let him go, if he stayed, it could ruin things for a lot of people (characters).

It’s funny because I actually FEEL my characters… I often questioned their motives, behaviour and reasons they are in the plot. Boring and time-consuming isn’t it? But that’s just me, a realist fiction writer!

I was still battling with my decision when my children came back from school and they asked me about the novel, this conversation ensues between my 6-year-old daughter and myself, her name is Elizabeth.

Me: ”Hey guys, how was school today?”

Elizabeth: ” It was ok mum, how was your writing?”

Me:  ”Not bad, I am thinking of killing one of my best characters,” And I told her a little about the plot (She’s written a hundred word story by the way, we’re still looking for publishers, she told me she wanted to be rich like me, I wish!)

Elizabeth: ”I think you should still give him a chance…” then there was a pause and she added, ”Don’t you think you’ll go to jail if you kill XXA (name of the character)

Me: ” No, I won’t, I created him, so I can kill him.” I explained smiling, such innocence.

My son entered my office, ( a cool corner in the house) and the expression on his face was one of uncertainty (he’s ten), he asked politely if he could give his opinion and I agreed.

Samuel: ” Why not ask your readers what they want?”

Me: ”Thanks dear, I’ll put that into consideration.”

And that ended our conversation but I was back to square one, to kill or not to kill? At the end of the day, I decided to give him another chance but I am still going to kill him, soon…

I am a very shy writer, I get so protective of my work so I won’t be asking what you guys think yet until the novel is out.

And I am feeling emotional right now, I have met some wonderful people on this blog journey. Creative, intelligent and brilliant  friends and I  just want to say I love you guys!

Au revoir…

I’ll be back! (Arnold used to say that in most of his films, right? How weird!)