Tag Archives: getting paid

Authors Answer 143 – The First Book Advance

Writing books is a job. Most authors do it with the hope that they can become a full time author, and be able to support themselves on the income they receive. But that first advance is a big milestone in any author’s career. This week’s question comes from our very own C E Aylett.

I would also like to take a moment and thank Beth Aman for her contributions in the past year. She’s going to college, and will be concentrating on that. Good luck, Beth!

Question 143 – What would you/did you spend your first book advance on?

Linda G. Hill

I would spend my advance getting myself out of debt. …wait, how much are we talking? More than $30,000? I’ll probably go out for coffee.

Cyrus Keith

Probably a car. I’ve never had a car that I didn’t have to spend dark, cold evenings in my driveway effecting repairs to get to work the next morning. Even my best cars needed the Desperation Treatment at least once. At least I’m a halfway decent backyard mechanic.

D. T. Nova

I’m not sure what, but I’m sure that whatever special thing I spent part of it on right away wouldn’t cost a very large portion of it.

Paul B. Spence

Cookies? What does anyone spend any money on? Bills? Food? Books? Whatever? I’m not sure that I see an advance as anything other than a paycheck.

Jean Davis

I splurged on a comfortable writing chair. Not that my advance covered the whole purchase, but it did go towards it. I figured if I was finally going to be serious about this writing thing, I should have a chair that I wanted to sit in, one that felt like a reward for years of toiling over words and would motivate me to continue to do so.

Gregory S. Close

Any book advance I receive, if I ever am so fortunate, would go in the bank to pay the bills like any other income. If we’re talking a ridiculous sort of advance, where the money spilleth over… well, then I’d like to do something nice for the family – maybe a remodel of the house, or something really exciting like saving for my daughter’s college.

Eric Wood

I would spend it on a vacation. Naturally, while on vacation I would be looking for more writing inspiration – new characters, new settings, new plot twists, etc. It’s always fun to people watch and it provides ample opportunity to find people to put in a book.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

It really depends on the size of the advance – the average of which I am woefully uneducated in – but after some thought on the topic, I think I’d go with a couple of new gadgets, specifically a new phone and laptop. My current laptop is huge, heavy, and bulky, and is getting old enough that it’s starting to act up in some really annoying ways, which makes things like writing, for example, rather annoying. My phone is way too old, gets way too hot, and I actually recently dropped it and shattered the screen, so…yeah. It’d be nice to have a new one of those right now!

H. Anthe Davis

I’m a saving kinda person, so I’m sure I would deposit any large check immediately and bask in the increase of my overall savings account. Money is fodder for more projects, though, so I imagine I’d at least mentally dedicate part of it to cover art payments and other acts of brand upkeep. Oh, and maybe get some sushi.

C E Aylett

Depends how big it is. If a small advance probably clear the household bills! If anything was left over, take the kids to Disney in Paris.

If it was a big advance, I’d invest in some sort of property and rent it out so I would always have an income to support my writing, no matter what twists and turns came up in my career. I’d still take the kids to Disney, though.

Jay Dee Archer

I have a feeling this will be a common answer. I’ll pay bills. I think for any kind of income, a lot of it will go toward anything that is obligatory. Bills. If it’s a large advance, bills would be paid for quickly, but I’d probably save most of the money. And if it were a ridiculously large advance, I’d go on a trip and buy a car. Or buy a car and go on a trip. Not at the same time, of course! A road trip would be nice, but my wife and I want to travel overseas.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what would or did you use your first advance on? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Getting Paid by Amazon, YouTube, and for Freelance Work

I’ve been doing some research about how to get paid for selling books on Amazon, monetizing videos on YouTube, and through freelance writing and proofreading work. They’re all different. It’s a bit of a headache.

First of all, it’s apparently much easier now with Amazon. Before, you couldn’t link a Canadian bank account to American Amazon, but now you can. However, you must have a credit card (Visa or Mastercard). But it should be reasonably easy to set up.

For YouTube, as a Canadian, I must have a credit card or a debit card with Visa or Mastercard on it. That’s the only way to go. Well, that’s kind of limited.

For freelance work, especially for things like Upwork, it’s fairly straightforward. You can use several methods. I think I’d be going with Paypal and link it to a bank account.

The thing I’m debated is whether to have the payments for all three go into a Canadian dollar bank account or a US dollar bank account. Because of a tax treaty between the US and Canada, I don’t have to file taxes with the US. The only thing I can think of that would make a US dollar account beneficial is avoiding poor exchange rates with various services. However, when I file for taxes in Canada, it would be in Canadian dollars, not US dollars. And if I need to use the money, it’s easier for me to withdraw Canadian dollars and avoid exchange rates and service fees for every single withdrawal.

If you are Canadian and have any experience with any of these, let me know what you’ve done about it. I would especially like to get to work on my freelance work so I can get everything set up soon. Please leave a comment below.

I Do Not Write For Free

Have you ever been asked to work for free? Or have you ever been asked to write for free? Well, that happens sometimes. But never like this.

There’s a story going around right now that I’ve seen a couple times in the last two days about a woman who returned someone’s ebook to Amazon after reading it, then telling the author that it was good, but it should be free. Apparently, she’s done this a lot. She was blocked and reported for abusing the Amazon return system, and then she became quite nasty. She was caught cheating the system, and she was not happy. Read the whole story here. It’s worth reading it.

I’ve mentioned this before when talking about ebook pricing, but I will not sell books on Amazon for free. Even $0.99. Too little, I think. You see, writing and selling the books is a job. It’s just like someone making crafts and selling them. They don’t just give them away, they sell them. Artists don’t make a painting, then give it away. They sell it. Authors are no different. We would like to be paid for our work.

So for things like this to happen, it’s a shame. I can’t believe some people will go to these lengths to buy a book, read it, then get a refund, even though they liked it. Some people can be so dishonest. Unbelievable.

What do you think about this situation? Do you think Amazon should allow ebooks to be returned? Let me know in the comments below.