Tag Archives: income

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.

Hit By the YouTube Subscriber Glitch

Have you heard of the subscriber glitch on YouTube? In a nutshell, what happens is that the moment you upload a video, you lose subscribers. Many big YouTubers have been complaining about this for months. I didn’t complain about it, because it didn’t seem to affect me at all. I had solid subscriber growth. Until about a month ago, that is.

It seems that I lose subscribers as fast as I gain them, and the losses are almost always the very moment I upload a video. You think it may be because someone just didn’t like my video? That may be possible, but it’s happening to far too many people, and the decrease in subs happens the very moment videos are uploaded.

A couple weeks ago, another booktuber sent me a message, saying that she was no longer subscribed to my channel. However, she never unsubscribed from me. She was just suddenly unsubscribed. She subscribed again, and everything is fine. However, many of the people who are unsubscribed never notice it, especially if they watch videos from many different channels.

I personally haven’t noticed being unsubscribed from other channels. However, it’s very possible that I have been unsubscribed. I watch so many channels that it’s easy to miss just one or two.

This problem is something that YouTube seems to be just pushing aside and not properly addressing it. They’ve even commented that they don’t unsubscribe people from other channels. They say that if you’re subscribed, your subscription won’t be removed. But the thing is, people are being unsubscribed without their consent all the time! This is a problem for those who use YouTube for their main income. If they lose subscribers, they lose views. That lowers their revenue. Not good.

If you make YouTube videos, have you been noticing a sudden drop in subscribers when you upload videos? Let me know in the comments 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.

Income from YouTube

As you all know, I’m making videos on YouTube, and have already done three new ones in the past week. That’s a pretty good pace for me. It’s a pace I’d like to keep up. I’ll be doing short vlog style videos for a while about our move to Canada. They’ll mainly just be me talking and maybe showing you what I see (especially when we’re on the move, going places).

The videos for A Taste of Japan will be coming, don’t worry. I’ve found them difficult to work on because of the amount of time required to edit them. They are big videos with many pieces to stitch together. I’ll be doing another video for that this weekend, actually. Going to Kawazu in Ito City, Shizuoka. It’s on the Izu Peninsula, which is famous for hot springs and resorts. We’ll be seeing the Kawazuzakura, or Kawazu cherry trees, which should be in full bloom. We’ll be spending a night with my wife’s parents at a hotel there, and we can enjoy some hot springs. Believe it or not, that’ll be the first time I’m experiencing hot springs in Japan! I’ll be sure to take whatever video I can for another installment of A Taste of Japan.

But what I want to mention is that once we get to Canada, I’m going to have my YouTube channel monetized. That means that I’ll be getting advertising income from Google/YouTube, though it’ll be incredibly small. That is unless I can get more subscribers and views. I currently have 45 subscribers (the 45th subscribed yesterday!), and haven’t been consistent in creating content, so I understand that small number. But now that I’m getting serious about it, I hope to increase that number by quite a bit. So, this is where you come in. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I would be incredibly grateful. And whenever you can, please share my videos.

The future of my channel looks bright. In addition to the immigration vlog, I’ll be doing travel videos for Japan and Canada in the short term. I also plan on doing a lot of videos related to books and writing, though I’m not sure what direction to take that yet. Actually, if you have any suggestions about what I could do, that would be great. I’m always open to that. You can leave your suggestions in the comments below. And thanks to those of you who subscribe!

Writing Books: Money and Fame Versus Personal Enjoyment

I’m often asked if I’m writing to make money or become famous. I’m pretty certain that will never happen. I mean the famous part. I may make some money, but I doubt it’ll be enough to make it a full-time career. So, is it for my own personal enjoyment?

I love making stories. I love to create a world I can call my own, make my own rules, and have people live the way I wish I could live. And I want to share it. I want my world to inspire people, make them want to live there, and give readers a temporary place for their minds to live in. I think that’s what a lot of people enjoy doing while they read, experiencing another way of life. And I’m enjoying doing it (if I can find the time).

But part of me wants to become successful at it. I want to be able to make enough money to do this full time. But fame? As an introvert who doesn’t particularly enjoy being the focus of attention, I’d like to skip that. But the money, sure! I mean, what author wouldn’t want to be able to make money doing what they love?

What am I really doing this for? I think the main thing is for myself. I want to enjoy telling stories. If I make money at it, that just makes it easier for me to devote more time to make more stories for people to enjoy.

What about you? If you’re an author, how would you explain the balance between money, fame, and personal enjoyment? Let me know in the comments below.

Publishing and Kindle Unlimited: Conclusions from Hugh Howey’s Latest Author Earnings Report

Very interesting. Seems Kindle Unlimited actually is increasing author income. Thanks to Hugh Howey for a lot of investigation into this. I strongly urge you to read this if you’re thinking about KU.

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: islam-science.net

This has been a busy week. I was reading a post by Chris McMullen on Kindle Unlimited and the effect it has on rank. The next day, I came across Hugh Howey’s latest Author Earnings Report (October 2014), and a couple of interesting posts by Publishing Perspectives and Savvy Writers. As always, the publishing industry is in a state of flux, making self publishing a bit like trying to score a goal on an uneven field. Filled with shifting sand. And moving goal posts. Oh, did I mention we’re using a Rubic’s cube for a ball?

So, what have I learned from all that?

First, Some Numbers

The total number of books in print hit 28 million worldwide in 2013 , as calculated by all the titles that acquired ISBNs. In the United States, some 390,000 ISBNs were taken by the self-published authors, while approximately 300,000 were solicited…

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Write to Live or Live to Write?

I came across this interesting article about self-publishing this morning when it was shared on Facebook.  It made me think about my priorities and expectations for writing.

Page 1 talks about the priorities of both self-published and traditionally published authors, as well as aspiring authors and hybrid authors.  I’m in the aspiring author category at this moment, so I’ll see how I compare.  One of my biggest priorities has been to achieve a lifelong ambition (more like a 14 year ambition).  I’ve been wanting to write a novel for 14 years, and finally started this year.  I don’t expect to make a living writing.  A lot of aspiring authors want that.  It would be nice, but I just want to get my story out there.  If I get picked up by a major publisher, great.  If not, I’ll be happy with self-publishing.

Page 2 shows the median number of published and unpublished manuscripts per author type.  It shows that aspiring authors tend to have around 4 unpublished manuscripts.  I have none finished, but 3 started.  One is for a non-fiction book I’d like to write, but is on the back-burner.  One is for a story I started during NaNoWriMo last year and found I had no time to write.  I’ll go back to it eventually.  It’s another story I’ve had planned for quite some time.  And the other one I’m currently working on and hope to have the next part ready for critiquing tomorrow.

Page 3 shows the income for each type of writer.  Interesting how even traditionally published authors often don’t have much income from writing.  I’m in the lowest group, having no income at all from writing.  But then, I haven’t published.  Well, technically, I am published, but for a travel magazine’s blog.  It’s unpaid, though.

So, why am I doing all of this if I don’t expect to get much money from it?  Well, I enjoy the process of writing stories, and I want to give people an interesting story to read.  I love creating.  For those of you who are writing, why do you write?  Do you want to make a living off of it, do you write just because you like it, or some other reason?  Please leave a comment.