Tag Archives: pay

As a Writer, What If I Am Just Average?

On WordPress, I continue to be amazed by the collection of talent. Sometimes an author’s writing floors me with its power, cleverness, raw emotion or beautiful use of language.

I am none of those things. I am a nerd who can correctly string together a series of words. As a writer–as a word artist–I am average.

How then do I expect to compete in the commercial marketplace? The same way an average employee competes in the workplace. By showing up. By giving my best effort. And like a tidal wave, by sheer volume. A dose of self-promotion is important, too. If I don’t market, I won’t sell. (Please don’t stop reading here. The best of this post is yet to come.)

I’ve said this before and I will say it again: throw enough at a wall and something will stick.

Part of succeeding as an average writer is finding my audience. I do that by writing in all the ways that appeal to me–short stories, haiku, flash fiction and novels. (In 2013, I hope to add internet content to the list.) Then I analyze. Of those things I like to write, what are people reading?

I need to look at my statistics. What do statistics tell me about what readers like in my work? Is it my true confessions? Is it self-improvement or how-to articles? Pop culture? Or factual pieces? Humorous stories? The off-the-wall?

Success is finding the match of my abilities with a need in the marketplace.

Ask the reader.

So I am asking you right now. What do you like best about this blog? Why do you stop by? Is there something which you’d like to see more often? Any answer is a helpful one. Silence hurts. So tell me something, anything, that will make this blog a better experience for you. Even if it is what you don’t like. Say, “Fay, dump this. Keep that.” Bring it on. Help me get better.

For me, that’s what it is all about. The best part is serving, helping, pleasing you, the reader.

The next best part is getting good enough to earn a paycheck! But that’s another post for another day.  🙂

A Word on Commissions

Tina L. Hook, author of Enchanted by Starlight, offers insight into the “paycheck” side of writing. This message was excerpted from WriteonEdge.com:

So how do traditional authors get paid anyway?”

[Author Amanda] Hocking was making 70% commission on her [self-published] books priced at $2.99 and over, and 30% on her books priced at 99 cents. It was hard to understand how books with such low price points could be competitive with the traditional publishing houses charging $12 and $15 a pop. Uncovering the real numbers, however, was shocking. First time non-established authors (meaning you are not a celebrity or don’t have a built-in audience) are generally offered a commission of 10% or less. That means the $10 paperback you bought on sale at the bookstore could have potentially netted 60 cents to a dollar to the debut author. Surely mass distribution to mega-stores from a traditional house means more books get sold, and that dollar commission hits the register many times over. Still, 10% versus 30%, or even 10% verses 70%, puts the upside potential of self-publishing into perspective. Add to that the cost of marketing and travel that many authors are paying out of their own pockets, and it is easy to see why self-publishing is becoming more attractive.