Recently, during a discussion about my book, the subject of royalties and book costs came up. My friend looked taken aback when I told them how much I earn from a sale. They thought that after all my effort and hard work I should earn a lot more than that, but I only smiled politely an assured her that it doesn’t bother me too much.
Really, when it comes down to it, one has to decide why they are writing. Is it for the sake of writing alone? Or are they doing it to earn some money? Is it both?
Personally, I don’t really care much about the money. I already have a full-time job, so anything I earn from my novels is just pocket money. I haven’t even cashed in on any of my royalties yet! I’m in no immediate need for them, so I’m perfectly happy letting them build up until I can collect a decent sum eventually. ;) Sure it would be nice to live off royalty money and never have to work again, but for the moment I’m just happy writing.
I like to write. It’s something I need to. I always have a million ideas in my head and I have to let them out somehow. First and foremost I write for myself, as a hobby, a pass time, an indulgence. I also write to be read. Nothing makes me happier than when I receive a compliment for one of my stories. No amount of money would give me the same pleasure a glowing review does. In the long shot, a review will always be there for you, but you’ll quickly run out of money.
Honestly I feel kinda miffed when I encounter someone who thinks it’s useless to write if it don’t bring you any riches, or those who write with the purpose of earning money. I’m also annoyed by those celebrities who seem anything but the bookish type (Example: Snooki and the Kardashian sisters) and yet write a book and gain a lot of money. That is, if they even wrote those books to begin with; for all we know they could’ve hired ghost writers. Even if they did write those books, how do we know that their editors didn’t just rewrite the whole thing?
An actual line from A Shore Thing by Snooki:
“But we’re hot girls,” Gia pointed out. “We don’t need to pay for anything.”
I mean really? As for the Kardashian’s novel, from what I’ve seen from the Amazon preview, it is filled to the brink with ridiculousness and bracketed explanations, that you don’t even know where the actual story is. It bugs me to think that these people’s books earned a lot of money and fame when there are thousands of writers who deserve it a lot more.
In an ideal world, people would write for pleasure and royalties would be a way of showing support to the writer’s art, but unfortunately, that is far from the case.
Why do you write? Were you hoping to become rich when you started your writing journey? Or did you just want to get your work out there?