Today's going to be a bit of a tough subject, I'm afraid. But it's another of those things you have to know before you start writing a novel. Or before you devote too much time on it.
Brace yourselves, kids.
Writing novels makes almost no one rich.
It also doesn't do much towards bringing in an income.
But but but! I hear some of you shout back. J.K. Rowling! Stephanie Meyer! And any other one of the writing giants. And yes, they did make a lot of money. J.K. Rowling is richer than the Queen of England.
I don't think all the bestsellers put together make up 1% of the writers out there.
And I'm all for aiming for the skies. In fact I do too. Deep down, I'm really hoping that my books will be a huge success. But that's not why I write.
I write, because I love writing. Because I feel cranky and annoyed when I don't. The money and possible success doesn't really factor all that much.
Because to me, the thought of expecting money a lot of money from writing is a bit (sorry to those who disagree) ridiculous. Think about it. Even if you're only planning to survive on your writing income, you'll starve more often than not. Because it usually takes over a year to get as far as submitting a book. And then, it might not even be accepted. And if it is, it can take anything from six months to two years to see the book in print. So you'd better pray you get an advance. Because these days, it's by no means a given.
Or... you might say... you'll self publish. Great idea. But if you want to produce something that's going to build you a career, you'll need everything a publishing house would have given you. Editors. Cover design. Marketing. Formatting. And on. And on. And on. Unless you're really good at any of these, you're going to have to pay for everything. Actually, I should say you'll pre-pay everything. Because you'll be paying without being anywhere near to selling the product you're preparing.
I would have been willing to self publish if I hadn't sold my book to a publisher. Not because I thought I'd starve if the book didn't come out. Rather, because I was passionate about the story.
Sorry if this disappoints you, but I just feel that someone needs to tell you. If you're writing a novel for the money instead of the story, you're fighting a losing battle already.
Still, if you want to try, let me know how it goes.
Who agrees with me? Has any of you decided to write novels for money? How did it go?