Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Being a writer - the lowdown on advances, contracts, and more

If you are an aspiring author - or you are just interested in how these things work - check out this video blog from Megan Hart and Lauren Dane. Megan and Lauren talk about earnings, advances, contracts, and a whole stack of related stuff about the business. These ladies really have their finger on the pulse! Megan and Lauren are huge names in erotic romance and very canny ladies they are too. They’ve got some interesting stuff to stay, and I found myself nodding away in agreement as I watched it. It’s about 25 minutes long, so get yourself a coffee and get the low down.

One of the things Megan and Lauren reflect on is how many uncertainties there are in this industry. As writers we have to be prepared to learn, to develop what we do, and to continue to work, even when there is no security and we are working towards a…(don’t hold your breath) “maybe.” :o) On a day-to-day basis that demands a determined, levelheaded approach. To be a successful writer is hard work, and it always, always, always comes back to the writing.

When I meet people I’ve never met before and they ask me what I do, the first thing I say is “I am self-employed.” If you say you’re an author (or a writer, take your pick,) people immediately have huge expectations about what you earn (because of course J K Rowling writes books and she’s rich :o) and they also tend to assume you have a leisurely lifestyle (because of course we all know that these little books write themselves ;o) When they go on to ask me what nature of work, I’ve already given a hint at the crux of the matter – I have to work hard and I have no security because it’s just me who does this work.

The bottom line is we are exactly the same as Joe the self-employed builder down the road. If he's lucky and reasonably talented, Joe will get a contract to build a house for somebody, and if he does he might even get a handful of cash upfront. Wahay! But Joe still has to build that house, and it has to look good, so he had better like laying brick after brick - and he’d better like doing it even when it’s a rainy, cold, dark morning and he's alone and he doubts his ability to lay even one more single brick in a straight line without the house crashing down and he’d much rather be at home in bed with a cup of cocoa.


Oh and the next house has to be different, bigger, and better, don’t forget that!


Well, anyway, check out the video. These ladies know what they’re talking about!


Nikki Magennis said...

Wow, I love the brickie analogy, Saskia! Also, there's the bacon rolls, strong tea and loose waistbands that writers and brickies have in common ... but maybe that's just me.

Saskia Walker said...

LOL! No, that's not just you. :)

jax said...

Thanks for the 411, I'm gonna go watch that vid.

I don't think I'll be making the big bucks for a while but I know when it happens, I'll remember this valuable info you've just provided!

Saskia Walker said...

Hi Jax! Ah well, if you've watched the video you'll know the big bucks is a nice daydream. ;-)