Mark Terry

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Miscellaneous

June 27, 2008
First, some interesting statistics from Publishers Weekly:

Authors & Writers by the Numbers

-- Publishers Weekly, 6/23/2008

185,276: Total number of authors and writers, 2005

39: % increase in authors between 1990 and 2005

51.9: % of authors who work full-time writing

$50,800: Median income for full-time authors, 2005

$38,700: Median income for entire civilian labor force, 2005

$38,800: Median income for all authors, 2005

$47,300: Median income for male authors, 2005

$33,300: Median income for female authors, 2005

54.9: % of authors who are female

10.8: % of authors who are minorities

26.8: % of authors under age 35

83.1: % of authors with at least a bachelor's degree

45.9: % of authors who are self-employed

50,000: Estimated number of writers living in California and New York

1: Rank of Santa Fe, N.Mex., among cities, authors per capita

Source: National Endowment for the Arts study Artists in the Workforce: 1990–2005

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Personally, I find the breakdown lacking in specificity. Does "authors" refer to fiction, nonfiction, both, academic textbooks, academics who write textbooks, business report writers, self-published, POD-published, what?

So, in this case, reader beware, just throwing these stats out there do not meet this particular market researcher and writer's usually rigorous standards for documentation. I'd have to read the original report to determine it's veracity, plus, you know, it's already at least 3 years old. Bah!

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If you haven't popped over to Spy Scribbler's new website about spy novels, you really should. Here's a link.

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We drove to Olivet, Michigan to pick up Ian from karate camp yesterday. That was a little over 2 hours. Then there was a 90 minute "show" or presentation where they do karate stuff. My son's group--the Eagle Kumi (Kumi refers to group of fighters, I guess)--used a lot of sanchin-ryu's techniques in hand-to-hand examples. Lots of knocking each other to the stage. The Dragon Camp--the oldest and largest group, made up mostly of black belts and senseis--showed all sorts of different applications for forms and then actually did the first two katas back to back, which you almost never see. Very impressive. Oh, and Ian also received his paperwork to advance to first degree brown, the same rank I have. After that is black. Kudos, Ian!

On the way home, my wife drove, Ian rode shotgun, and Sean and I were in the backseat. Everybody had brought their iPods except me (because I drove on the way there) and I'm sitting there as we're driving through the night, the windows open, hot air flowing in, listening to all three of them sing along with their iPods--different songs! I will say that Ian and Leanne seemed to be singing and listening to the same Dave Matthews album, but were singing different songs.

*  *  *

Got two more comments in on the WIP. They're great, although now I'm starting to get discrepancies between all the commenters. These commenters had some issues with things, but often different issues than the first two did, particularly the main character's age. Everyone seems to agree there should be more emotion--4 for 4 on that one. Thank you Stephen and Mary.

I hope the teenage readers get back with me soon, that ought to be interesting.

Have a good weekend.


Mark Terry


Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Just an FYI, since I sell late YA and younger YA and middle-grade . . . when you get the teen readers . . . really try to correllate that to their age. I.e., LATE-YA readers are 16, 17, even freshmen in college. Will they read it? Or is it a "middle grade adventure" with an out-of-character older heroine. Or do 13 and 14 year old readers (YA) LOVE her and want her to be THEIR age. Etc. Do they usually read adventure? It will be helpful to see how it plays out on the age spectrum.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I am, I am!

And as I've commented ad nauseum, changing the age fixes some problems and creates another. I think making Jeri 13 might work really well, but I want to think about it some more & get more comments.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Hi Mark:
Absolutely. ANY time you do a "fix" after the fact (I remember one book in which I changed my mind on the villain) . . . it is always a can of worms somehow.


7:25 AM  
Blogger MissWrite said...

Aren't Ipod's great? Hubby is the only one in the house here with an actual 'Ipod' but we all have MP3 players. What the heck did we do before them? Oh yeah, fight over the radio station, cassette, or CD to be played.

The discrepency between male and female author median incomes kind of left me with a tense feeling bordering on suicidal... haha, no, not really, but then again, I'd be happy with just about ANY of those incomes from just my novels.

You're right though, the actual specifics are too vague to give a really accurate picture.

Interesting to read anyway though.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

Notice that the discrepencies are coming from people who are not consulting one another. I've always thought the practice of posting a writing sample and asking for a critique from the masses---and necessarily inviting "group think"---was a poor approach.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

By the way, if you lower Jeri's age the only plot contradiction I can see is that she wouldn't be able to fly the plane. But Ash would. (Jeri technically breaks the law anyway when she carries passengers.) I don't see any character contradictions.

8:31 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Thank you for mentioning it! I should be updating many more this weekend. That's the plan, anyway. :-)

I read the average fiction writer makes about $6,000 a year. It was a study this past year, and I thought it was a reputable source at the time. I haven't a clue where or who, though, so take that into consideration when relying on my memory, LOL.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

It wouldn't be a problem for her ability to actually fly the plane, and under the circumstances, who's going to say, "Oh no, you're not legal."

9:27 AM  
Blogger MissWrite said...

I think Spy's figure is a little more 'overall' accurate--unfortunately. (In my experience anyway, it sure holds true.) LOL

12:49 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

I'd really be interested in hearing what the teens say. I've never had a teen perspective before.

About the whiteboard wall discussed on Erica's blog...
Aren't you a chemist? They have paint that makes the wall a blackboard that can be written on, right? Can you invent that in whiteboard? (I hate the feel of chalk.) But a white board uses magical markers.
This needs to be invented!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I got a degree in microbiology and public health and worked in genetics for 18 years, but no, I'm not a chemist. I'm a writer. Chemistry was interesting, but not my best subject. :)

That would have been English and History. Put me in the get-a-clue Club. Took me a while.

8:48 AM  

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