I have an acquaintance who says he’s my friend. Actually, he’s not. I have nothing in common with the man except we come from the same country.
He’s the type who asks personal questions disguised as though he’s interested. Most ranchers know what I’m referring to: 1.) “How many cattle do you have on your ranch?” 2.) “How many rental houses do you own?” 3.) “How many books do you sell each month?” 4.)”How much did you pay for your house?”
These questions and many like them are asked by these types of people. In my mind it translates to — HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HAVE IN THE BANK? or — HOW MUCH DO YOU EARN? Am I being rude by pointing this out? Perhaps, but the rude people in my mind are the ones who ask those kind of questions.
This guy scoffed at my response to his question about my royalties. “Christ, you are wasting your time!” he stated in an angry tone. “I have part time employees who earn more than that each month!”
I didn’t argue with him. I smiled at his response and exited his space. Frankly, I haven't seen him since nor do I wish to. He’s what I call a NN person (narcissistic nincompoop)
So to enlighten some of you folks who don’t know authors, I’ve decided to post this set of facts and opinions on my blog.
HERE’S SOME TRUTHS ABOUT AUTHORS
Authors don’t write for anyone except for themselves. They write to salve the inspiration they received in some form.
Authors seldom write for money. They accept money but it’s not what drives them.
Authors seldom write for fame. Show me a writer who glories in the limelight and I’ll show you an author who has a ghostwriter.
Authors have enormous freedom. (In more ways than one can imagine.) Think about it : we can work anytime from anywhere. But that’s not all. We choose — everything!
Authors don’t care what anyone thinks. The harshest critic cannot contain or quash the creativity of an author.
Authors create legacies within their genre. Think about it: no one writes like Jack London, Elmer Kelton, Edward Abbey, Hemmingway, Dunbar, Louis L'Amor, Zoe Saadia, or Robert Hatting.
Authors educate, entertain, and perhaps enlighten. No matter the genre — a reader will take something away from a well written book.
Authors create estates —
Let’s break down that last statement. I’ll use my inventory as an example. I have 25 novels published and another 4 completed and in the Que for editing/formatting. Two others are WIP. Fifteen are outlined.
As an Indie — all my rights and all my revenues belongs to me. LET’S ROUND OFF to 30 novels with an average net to me of $4.00 (digital) $18.00 (print)
Take one digital unit… if I sell 5 per week = $20. 52 weeks in a year = $1040. I plan on living another 20 years, so I’ll make 20 grand more or less for this one novel. But it doesn’t stop there. My copyright is good for another 51 years after I pass. My designated heir will continue to receive my royalties. Do the math. 71 years x 1000 m/l = $71,000. X 30 titles? 640K? Not bad but there's more.
Let’s talk about those 20 additional years. I can produce at least 2 novels per year. If I quit dicking around with my inventions, I can write 4 per year. Just for grins let’s assume I can at least produce those 2 per year. That’s 40 more novels for a total of 70. $ 70,000 X 70 = 4.9 mil. That’s an estate!
Okay… maybe this is a stretch with a digital novel ( especially after I pass). But, what if one of the 30 (or 70) novels gets some upward movement? Perhaps a second title gains some traction? Then we have the proverbial jump rope scenario — the 2 handles raise the belly of the rope — all the titles get more exposure and consequently there is much more revenue. It’s happened with a lot of my contemporaries. Edward Abbey for one… DESERT SOLITAIRE was a mild hit. Then MONKEY WRENCH GANG was published and took off like a rocket. Overnight (after 40 years of writing), Ed became a star in our industry.
My point is — investing the time to write a book may seem like a vanity play or a waste of time to the NN types. Over time it’s actually rewarding. Ask any author that’s published over five books to describe the feeling one gets when they finish the first draft of a manuscript.. By typing finis or ‘30’. Most can’t. I know I can’t put it in words.