1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Have you made any worthwile money from your novel? Also, has one of your novels failed miserably :)

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Flying Geese, Jun 4, 2015.

    The title is basically all I'm wondering. I'm not in it for the money. But I would like to hear from people who have stories of either success or failure and what they think contributed to their outcomes.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've made okay money. I've been publishing for about five years, and for the last two years I've made more from writing than I would have if I were working a full-time minimum-wage job. So, not enough for me to want to live on it, but not bad for a hobby.

    I've definitely had flops, though, mostly when I try to step outside of the box readers seem to expect from me (contemporary m/m romance). I think it connects to the idea that it's really hard to get new readers, but not as hard to keep the ones you've already got.
     
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  3. EmptySoul
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    EmptySoul Active Member

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    My income from writing varies greatly. Over the last ten years there have been times I made as much as $6,000. Other years I barely cracked $100. Generally speaking, my successes usually were the result of rewriting and reworking rejected pieces, salvaging what I could from even the most abysmal failure, and closely tailoring my work to the market I was aiming for.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've made some money from writing. It used to be my main source of income (I was a journalist) but now I'm a teacher, I don't have the newspaper.
     
  5. EmptySoul
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    EmptySoul Active Member

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    One of the few people I know who has made writing a career in which she hasn't been forced to use ramen as all of her major food groups used a three year financial plan. Using a strict budget she lived off of the money made two years prior. Granted this required a Herculean level of budgeting and record keeping, but she explained that this helped her not only realize that she was capable of living off of her writing income but also allowed her to make adjustments when the lean years inevitably came.
     
  6. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    That's pretty good going! Is that traditional/self publishing? A mix?
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've done okay, and can't complain. Paid for a family vacation last summer. Sometimes made a truck payment with a royalty check. Now, I'm saving up to tear down and replace our garage.

    What contributed to the outcome? Persistence and a willingness to learn and improve, and a little luck.
     
  8. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm certainly bound to win the Royal Society for Literature's competition, £1000, so yes. Also, when important, key people (my people) read the entry, my entry, they shall not hesitate in paying for my texts, receipts, discarded shopping lists, no doubt. I remain positive. There is legacy to consider, probably the British Museum. Please be aware that for some of us, the pursuit of prose is no mere financial penny chase, quite grubby in my opinions.
     
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  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    A mix, but mostly with e-first publishers. I got my first Big 5 contract last year, but no books have come out from them yet, so I've just got my advance, which I don't count as income for complicated reasons of my own that don't even make sense to me most of the time. So on the plus side, I'm pretty well guaranteed to make more than the minimum wage this year as well, because I've already got that advance to go toward the total once the books are actually published.
     
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  10. rincewind31
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    rincewind31 Member

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    Mind your own business :D
     
  11. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Actually I was surprised last year when I got my Amazon tax stuff. Last year I made nearly 20k US from my writing before tax. Not enough to retire on, but it's something.

    This years not looking so good, but I only got out my first book of 2015 ten days ago.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  12. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Wow this makes me sigh with relief. I had feared that we were all just miserable-failure-wannabe writers and no one was telling anybody — like a religious cult or something where everyone smiles and doesn't mention, "Hey! We're all losers!"

    Yes, that is a relief. I had to ask because with the feedback for the current novel I'm working on, I am starting to get quite hopeful. The feedback for the story content itself gets better as I reveal more, so I have decided to go all out with it. I expect to be a bestselling author one day.
     
  13. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is really inspiring. Thanks to everyone who shared their success stories, even if success hasn't meant becoming filthy rich.
     
  14. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    I've always self-published and I have made some money yes. Whether it's a worthwhile amount I suppose depends on the person. It's certainly not enough for me to live on but it has paid for a couple of treats here or there.
     
  15. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    How did you get two educations in ~7 years?
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't understand your question. Translation?
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    [Double post]
     
  18. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    7 years, both a journalist and a teacher. How?
     
  19. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    Doesn't seem that difficult to believe he could be both a teacher and journalist in a seven year period.
     
  20. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Means approximately.
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Teaching takes up almost all the year beside the summer - since the summer is the school holidays. All a teacher needs to do unless they work in research is plan the next academic year, and that leaves ample time to work for and write for newspapers.

    You can easily do both without one hindering the other.
     
  22. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, but I mean how did you get both educations and work a reasonable amount of time in each field in that time?
     
  23. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look, he wrote a couple of stories for the Harrogate Argus. His mum works there. Then he did 'A' levels and went to university. He is a journalist, lecturer and a novelist, leave him alone.
     
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  24. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What do you mean 'both educations'? I have an English degree. Most papers are written to a young adult's reading comprehension, and it's not hard to write in that style at all. exactly terribly complicated.

    Also, I was a journalist before I even trained to be a teacher, because it's hard for graduates to get a job in anything. Never mind in what they wanted to do. So when I left uni I didn't want to do nothing, and I wanted to write for money, so I went free lance and volunteered at my local paper. Then got myself a short contract as an aide. It was just beer money, with a few short story and magazine publications, but it was something.

    With a little bit of backbone and a little determination you'd be amazed what you can do in a year.

    Pah, I wish I could say I'm a novelist. I have a colleague who is very happy to remind you he's a 'lecturer'. I call myself a song and dance man.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
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  25. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I misinterpreted what you said. Thought you had a formal degree in journalism. My apologies.
     
  26. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Nope. My degree is transferable, because it's not so specialized. Like I said, I'm a song and dance man people are stupid enough to employ.
     
  27. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fair enough.
     

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