Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did It All for the Nookie

Someone writing books strictly for monetary gain will never break into the business unless A:  They know someone.  B:  Are so talented, it’s retarded.  And C:  They have some love of the craft to begin with.

It’s incredible how many people I’ve told I’m writing a book who have turned around and said ‘wow!  You’re gonna be rich!


In a land where purple pixie puppies with unicorn horns fly around.

In our world though, writing is NOT the best way to go about making money.

Today I found an article on the book : 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reason Why It Just Might which pretty much puts in a nutshell why most of us are doomed.

Then, if that doesn’t make you want to tie a noose around your neck, there’s the article from Writer’s Beware Blog with links to information on how much first time writers actually earn here .

Now, I’m definitely not writing for the Nookie.  Although it would be nice to justify spending so much time in front of the computer with a little monetary compensation.  But then it occurred to me…I kind of am saving money by writing.

Book number one- eight months writing. 
Book number two- three months
Book number three- two months

So that’s 13 months- let’s say an average of two hours a day.

780 hours.

Well, that right there is 260 movies I didn’t buy tickets for! –about  $2,340!

52 dinner dates that I spent eating grilled cheese in front of the computer instead of going out to a restaurant -  $2,080!

780 hours spent without television, or lights on!  Let’s deduct 10$ a month from my utilities- $130

This is GREAT!  I'm getting richer by the minute!

So, in a 13 month period, I’ve gained from writing, a WHOPPING….

$5 an hour…L


That can’t be right.  Come on people, what else do we save on from all those hours spent in imaginary places?  I must have missed something!:)


Avo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom M Franklin said...

i tried reading that book...and found it too depressing. so i stopped, vowing never to pick it up again. i know the realities of publishing as a business, i know there is often a strange balance of skill and pure, dumb luck in terms of getting published. why would i need a 78 detailed reasons why it won't happen?

writing is an act of faith. blind faith, at that. i'll be happy with that.

-- Tom

Laura Pauling said...

All we need is a little bit of hope to be able to continue to do what we love and maybe call it a career! Why else would everyone keep trying? It's how we're wired. We like risks and challenges. Imagine where'd the human race would be if we didn't try things if there was a huge chance of failure? Not far. Great post, Katie!

Avo said...

There's all the funding required create the parallel dimension hopping technology that would allow you to visit places you can only currently go in your imagination...

The medical bills you aren't paying for whatever exotic other-worldly diseases and hurts you might have gotten hobnobbing with wizards, dragons, zombies, and handsome adventurers. ; j

Yeah totally worth it!
Besides, can you put a price tag on satisfying your urge to write, not to mention the joy it seems to bring you? : j

Suzie F. said...

Love your blog, Katie. You always make me smile :)

When my hubby and I go over finances, sometimes I'll say, "Just wait until I get the advance for my first book!" Then we look at each other and laugh heartily.

I'm definitely not in it for the money (though I certainly wouldn't mind if someone wanted to pay me). I guess I save money by not shopping as much since I started writing, but I've almost made up for that with the snacks I need to keep my butt in the chair. I guess it all balances out.

Dan said...

Well, on the bright side, writing's a relatively low cost venture. All you really need is a computer, a pen, and some paper. And you could live without the computer if you had to. Thinks of all the musicians, painters, and athletes who pore thousands of dollars into their dreams and also have nothing to show for it.

So in that regard, we are saving money.

Stina said...

I shudder at how much money I've spent buying books because I'm a writer. ;)

I blogged two weeks ago on the QT blog about how you shouldn't be a writer if you're doing it to be the next Stephen King or JK Rowling. One commenter told me I was wrong. You should only be writing because you want to make money. Um, what universe is he living in?

Kelly Polark said...

It's a start! :)
I clearly remember an author visiting my school in fifth grade and someone asked how much money she made (she was in a fur coat, btw). She said I think $500 a month around. And we all "ooohhhed and ahhhhed", and she said, "That isn't that much!!!" Though I'd take it about now over the ZERO I've earned. Okay, I have actually earned $ on mag pubs. But that is laughable too because the most I've earned for one poem is $45 for the whole thing! :)

j.m. neeb said...

If you really want to inflate the number... When you're at the computer writing, you aren't buying houses. So I suppose it's even more profitable than you would have thought.

(Because -- naturally -- if you aren't writing, you're out buying houses left and right.)

JE said...

I'll take that $5 any hour and smile. Writing is what keeps me sane, after all. ;-)


Anne Gallagher said...

I did the math one day too and I think I figured with a $3K advance, with all the work I put into it, I made 27 cents an hour writing. Yay!

Melissa Gill said...

This is a really interesting take Katie. This is how I look at it, writing is my passion and it's all I want to do in my free time, but before I started writing, I spent a lot of time on hobbies like knitting, scrap booking, you name it. I spent thousands of dollars on those hobbies. Writing is relatively cheap in comparison.

So while everyone dreams of making a living writing, I'm not counting on it. But the only thing I know to do is try.

I just hate it when fictional books, movies, and TV shows make it look so easy to get published.

I about bashed in my TV over the latest episode of Private Practice, where Violet writes her 837 page memoir, prints it, sends it to a freind in NY, and gets word back that it's being fast-tracked. PLEASE!!!!

Matthew MacNish said...

No hot water for showers ... no drug habit ... no spending money on clothes that are nice enough to be seen in public. I'm sure we can come up with more here people.

Dawn Ius said...

You make $5 an hour writing?! I am SO jealous ;-)

Pepe Le Pew said...

Every author isn't a millionaire? I feel like life has lied to me.

Carolyn V. said...

LOL! I've had people tell me that too. If only they knew.

Elena Solodow said...

Just remember all that time spent procrastinating on the internet while you should be writing...all those online purchases sucking away at that 5 an hour.


Colene Murphy said...

HA! That is a BRILLIANT way to look at it. Huh. I'm making money! Sorta.

But you're right on the other point. It isn't something you should go into expecting to make a fortune. Nope. You do it for the love of the book!

Kristie Cook said...

When I'm writing, I save tons of money. I'm not exactly sure how, but at the end of the draft, my bank account has grown. Maybe because I forgot to pay the bills? No. I think because:

Fewer showers = lower water bill
Sweats and T's = no new clothes
The same sweats and T's every day = less detergent and water used
Get-in-get-out attitude at the grocery story = no compulsive purchases
Writing instead of shopping = no wasteful spending on handbags that hang in the closet, shoes that hurt my feet and other crap I don't need
Never go anywhere more than 20 steps from the computer = less gas

I'm too lazy to add it up. And, of course, there are the added costs of books, coffee and chocolate that could negate all these savings anyway. But what a fun way to look at it!

TK Richardson said...

This is great! I must be super rich by now, too. Guess I should go add it up.

Thanks for the laugh. :)

Stephanie said...

LOL! Great post!!! Money would be nice...just a enough to pay for dinner out once a month. That wouldn't be too bad! :) Maybe one day I'll even bring in enough to let the kids come with us for dinner!

Old Kitty said...

Erm.. calories!! Writers gather, save and store calories!!


Take care

klahanie said...

Very good. I wish I could make $5 an hour from writing. Then again, anyone who reads my crap should be demanding money from me:-)

Nicole L Rivera said...

Writing makes me happy and feel at peace, so I'm going with future therapy and prescription drug bills :)

Keep writing Creepy (Kaite), I believe you will be one that will be able to make a living at this thing we all do. :)

Christopher said...

Actually, if you believe what the TV says the best way to get rich is to not know how to read.

Anonymous said...

I love it when your post titles leave me scratching my head in regards to what the hell the post could be about.

That book sounds undeniably depressing.

Also, the comment just above me is hilarious :-)

Melissa said...

I love the breakdown! But...not so keen on the only five dollars an hour thing....

Jessica Bell said...

LOL! So true. If you're writing because you think you're gonna get rich then you should be a writer. LOL. You'de just spend your life totally depressed!

Hart Johnson said...

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, this was great! You probably should add that you didn't go shopping as much... you certainly saved on the clothes you didn't need to buy for those dinner dates... maybe you can get it up to minimum wage.

I figure though, on the UP SIDE... if we stick with it until we start rolling, then we keep getting royalties for early as we sell more and more... so by retirement, i figure I might be able to replace my income, which would be very cool... The key is persistence... don't give up.

Anonymous said...

With all this discouraging news, why do we delude ourselves and keep writing? There must be another payoff somewhere--it's not getting published (well, the *hope* of getting published is there, but it's not a guarantee), it's not the money, it's certainly not sacrificing hours and months and years of "real life" and time with our families/friends, etc, so what is it???

Ama B. said...

People need to right because they love writing. Not to get published (although that would be nice ^__^)

Please check out my blog, if you have time, at

Jamie Gibbs said...

A saving's a saving, I suppose. I imagine if I wrote more or less full time then my coffee consumption would go through the roof, taking away all my savings, hehe.

The money is a nice bonus, though it would be awesome to be one of those who can buy a new house out of the profits from paperback sales alone. So long as our story get out there and people like it, that's all that matters, right?


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