1. DarylMacDonald
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    DarylMacDonald New Member

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    Making Money From Writing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by DarylMacDonald, Apr 11, 2012.

    I've been writing since I was a child, I love it. I've never thought about making a career from it, or even just money now and again, until a few years ago.

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    I work in a dead end job I dislike while I study Screenwriting at Uni. I'd love to be able to do something with my ability to write and create stories. I just don't know where to start.

    One thing I want to do is write short stories and adapt them to short films. That way I can develop all the skills I want to; novel writing, screenwriting and adapting, and filmmaking. Once I do this, I intend to enter them into film competitions and see where I get.

    That's one route.

    How do you go about getting published? I get told a lot, "get an agent,' but this is unrealistic. How many agents are going to take on someone who's looking to turn a casual hobby into some form of a career? There's also the financial implications. I'm a struggling student trying to carve out a career, I couldn't afford that kind of thing even if there was someone willing to represent me.

    What's the next step?
  2. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger New Member

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    Well first off, you don't pay agents out of pocket. They make their money when they sell your manuscript and will usually take 15% on your earnings. (So that's not a problem.) Secondly, if you write something that an agent knows they can sell and a publisher really wants the story, it doesn't matter if you only write one book because they are both still making money off of your writing.

    Short stories you can earn money from winning contests and there are some magazines which pay a little... though I don't know which ones as I have never tried to publish to one, but google it.

    The next step is to write and to write well and to not stop writing ... "write!":eek:. The more you produce, the more you send out, the better chance you have of making money from it.
  3. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    There are a lot of ways to make money at writing. It depends on how good a writer you are and the types of writing you can do. People write short stories for magazine and the like. Others write news articles for web pages. And of course you can write books and short stories for publication. You have to do the reseach and find out who is doing what. Never pay to get published or pay someone to get on a list or anything else.
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

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    i have to disagree with z on the 'you can earn money winning contests' with short stories, or anything else... the odds agains you winning contests on a regular basis are beyond astronomical and don't forget it costs money to enter the ones with large enough prizes to justify entering... so by the time you deduct all those entrance fees from your winnings...............

    short story writers make money by selling their work to magazines and literary journals, not by entering contests...

    he's right about agents, though... it doesn't cost you a penny to have a legit agent... they only get paid when/if you do...

    however, agents don't rep short stories or short films... you'd have to have books or feature film scripts to offer, for an agent to take you on...

    so your next step is to take z's advice and WRITE!... first, decide what you want to write most and what it is you can write best... then work non-stop on submitting your work to who-/whatever might pay you for it...
  5. DarylMacDonald
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    DarylMacDonald New Member

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    In terms of writing a novel or screenplay, shouldn't I have someone to edit, or help edit it for me? The problem I have is that, while I write a lot, I'm not so clear on my skills or weaknesses per se. I've written a lot of stuff that I never finished because I was never really sure where to go with it, or it got too complicated or whatever. To make a career from this, I need some kind of guidance. Is that available out there? How many people on this forum write for a living? How was it achieved?
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

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    writers need to be able to edit their own work, daryl... if you can't write well enough to turn out a marketable ms, then you should probably work on perfecting your basic skills, before trying to get your work published... i mentor new writers of all breeds [for free], so would be glad to take a look at your writings and give you some feedback on the quality and let you know what you may need to improve...

    as for paying an editor, i provide that service for paying clients, but you have to know that you'll most likely never make back what it will cost you [good ones aren't cheap!] and even the best editor alive can't guarantee your ms will ever be accepted by a publisher, as the odds are heavily against a new writer selling her/his first novel or script...

    to get an idea of how much an editor will cost you, google for ms editing services... if you want a mentor, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
  7. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger New Member

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    ^ Good point ;-)
  8. Woody
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    Woody New Member

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    Writing to make money? Hmm. Writing because you love it and that leads to a successful career - more likely. However, if you're looking to make a living from writing, consider branching out of your preferred genres. Advertising, blog writing, copywriting... all good methods for making a living off the page. And then in your off hours, write for your heart.
  9. aimeekath
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    aimeekath New Member

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    Well, try to get some writing done and get it out there. Post it on a blog and write in to magazines. Normally your manuscript won't be looked as unless they can see you've had some sort of experience.
  10. bmillard
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    bmillard New Member

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    There are a lot of ways to make money from writing. Some aren't as glamorous as others. I part-time as a SEO web content writer. It's not as exciting as writing fiction but it keeps you connected, and you get paid.
  11. michaelsbearre
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    michaelsbearre New Member

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    I never considered writing for a living until I was in the same situation this person is. What would be more worth while doing what you love for a living? When you're forced to work 9-5 or whatever, you must obey every command your employer dishes out to you. Atleast if you're a writer, you pretty much set your own schedule (Especially if you're a novelist) and what not.
  12. blyish
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    blyish New Member

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    I write full-time and make a good living at it. In fact, I make more money writing than I ever made at any of my previous jobs (and they were good jobs). So yeah, it's possible. However, it depends largely on what type of writing you do or are willing to do. Make a living writing and selling short screenplays or short stories? Not likely. At least not at the beginning of your career. Make a living writing articles and ebooks? Very likely, although it might take some time to find your niche and learn what works and what doesn't.
  13. Poltergeist
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    Poltergeist New Member

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    hi first foray into the world of wanna be writers or is that of, as yet undiscovered writers I have barely an idea how to manipulate the technology let alone much else you stated in the above you mentor well.....would appreciate any help
    Cheers Poltergeist
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