Mark Terry

Friday, May 27, 2011

Writing For A Living

May 27, 2011
John Gilstrap did a blog post today on The Kill Zone about how book advances that might be considered a living wage were one of the first casualties of the current book publishing revolution going on. And he wondered if there would be any full-time novelists except for a very select few. (John, by the way, apparently makes enough money from his novels that he COULD and DID write novels full time for a while, but ultimately decided he was too Type A to just do that, so he went back to his consulting business and continued to write. Go figure. I think I can understand that, sometimes, though. Really).

Anyway, here was my response.

Well, I am a full-time writer, but not a full-time novelist, which maybe is fine and the way I like it, at least when I'm in a sensible mood.

In terms of the whole "legacy" v. "self-publishing" battle, on June 7th my "legacy" published novel, The Valley of Shadows comes out.

Sometimes in July probably I'll e-self-publish a MG/YA novel, The Fortress of Diamonds.

Yesterday I sent off a fiction proposal to my agent.

Two days ago I sent off a nonfiction book proposal to my nonfiction agent.

And today: plan to finish two magazine articles, work on a two columns I regularly write, deal with some issues related to the technical journal I edit, deal with some website content I'm writing and editing for a client, look for some more work...

I sometimes think that except for a select few, it's very tough to make a living JUST writing a book a year or JUST fiction, but if you work hard and are willing to be flexible, you can make a living writing.

Kind of like the professional musicians I know. Most don't JUST make a living performing, but they also teach. One of my guitar teachers played in about 3 different bands while teaching almost full time.


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Making a living just from writing fiction is a far cry from making a living as a writer, but still, the latter has most of the advantages of the former, though not the fame.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I know what you mean, or at least, I assume you're referring to not needing to market your books and/or yourself in the same way. And I totally agree with you in that.

9:48 AM  

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