Evernight Teen Publishing

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Joys of Being Asked What You Make As An Author

I've been vacant from a blog that I feel I once dedicated myself to quite frequently. I'm sure I've addressed in previous posts the joys of working, reading, writing and balancing family life. I guess I'll recap that subject.

I'll be honest, as an aspiring author I really had no idea what life would be like after potentially publishing a novel. Now having three novels under my belt I can say that life is quite the same as before with the exception of questions that crop up from a person here or there and usually the number one question is, "How much do you get paid?"

I'll be honest, that question always throws me a bit off. Let me explain why. I think as an author I'd much rather receive questions like:

  • "How did you get published?"
  • "What was that like?"
  • "How did you come up with the idea/s for your novel/s?"
  • "What's going to happen next? Can you give me a hint?"
Something, anything that would give me the feeling that a potential reader was interested in something pertaining to my work as an author other than the royalties I receive.

And here's why (I don't know how other authors feel, so I'm only speaking for myself):

  • Well, the number one reason after being asked that question is that it certainly makes me feel that there is no substantial interest in my books from the person asking.
  • It's a bit discouraging to press on when you feel that people are only interested in what money your characters make for you rather than the characters themselves.
  • I don't want to say that it's rude because that sounds a bit harsh, but as an author, it does make me feel that others measure the success of my work based off what the pay outcome was.
And for me, while a large paycheck would always be nice, I was with these stories from the moment of their inception. I stayed up late at night trying to make them better, polishing them until I thought for sure my fingertips would bleed. I've never deserted them in the hard times when they received rejection after rejection and there was no one on this planet that loved them but me. For me, it's so much more than a paycheck. There is no better feeling than receiving a positive review on your work from some random blogger, reviewer or customer that you don't know from Adam. It gives the author the feeling of, "Yes! Someone out there on this planet who doesn't know me loves my work and they actually want more!"

But you want to talk about a buzz kill? Ask an author how much they get paid. To kill the curiosity, I'll say this. I'm not a NY Times Bestselling author. I'm sure things are quite different financially for them. I'm with a smaller press, but I am no less proud. Publishing is...tough to break into. When I received my quarterly royalties this summer I was able to pay my insurance. I was thrilled with that. With that said, it certainly is nothing that I can up and quit my day job over, but it sure is money I didn't have before. So in my mind, it's a win/win.

Also, I think it's a bit frustrating for me as I don't have the luxury of staying home, drinking white chocolate mocha while gazing upon my computer screen conjuring the next greatest idea for a novel. I have to work like many authors in addition to writing and therefore know and appreciate the struggles of trying to squeeze in another novel in between work and life in general. Many of my author friends have day jobs. Two off the top of my head are teachers that have to bring work home and work long after that final bell rings.

And as the Director of Nursing for a large facility spread throughout 3-4 counties, here's a glimpse of what life is like for me:

In addition to the above, I have two little girls, I carry a pager (I call it the spawn of Satan), take work home with me, actually have to deal with real life issues (after all, my family are not robots) and somehow try to fit writing books in there. So, I'd rather not discuss pay. I'd love to talk about my books, would love to have someone interested in them, because for me, that is an escape from the above that I live everyday.
Questions anybody?