Mark Terry

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Non-Writer Question I Found Most Amusing (In a horribly ironic sort of way)

April 18, 2010
Had another typical/successful book signing yesterday.

Today we got together with friends. We were talking and I mentioned all my book signings. One of my friends said, "Do you get paid for those?"

Meaning: Does the bookstore or your publisher pay you to go to a book signing?

Your hysterical laughter may now commence.


Blogger Eric said...

Yeah, people don't understand the money (or lack thereof) in writing. I once answered honestly a question about what I was paid for the essays and articles I was selling at the time and the questioner could simply not understand why I "wasted" my time doing it.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

This was a perfectly innocent question, which was a bit of a reminder that I've often assumed (years ago, seemingly in another life) that if you had a book published you musts be making a bunch of money. And that people of course only hear about million dollar book advances and how a thousand people (God knows why) showed up to have Sara Palin sign her book and assume that's how they all are.

And I'm reminded routinely that big readers and writers aren't really always aware that most "normal" people not only don't read habitually, or if they do they might get a book from a library, or they've never been to a book signing in their life, but they're totally clueless about what the actual economics of the publishing industry are like.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Eric says in response (but some glitch is making it not post):

Another factor, I suspect, is that people naturally suppose that work results in pay. That if one works successfully, which would seem to be indicated by having a book out, one receives reasonable compensation. As you say, people don't understand book publishing and that it isn't set up like that.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

My guess is that when TV and movie actors go out to promote their shows and films, they get paid. Otherwise, writers don't.

4:38 PM  

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