All of creation suffers, young ones. Only in accepting our own mortality can we make a difference. Only in bearing the burden of our failures can we find the strength to go on. Only in detachment from glory, or honour, or jealousy... from life itself can we hope to spare others from grief.
We are Doom Eagles. And we are dead already.
And as if the news today couldn't have gotten any crappier, we
have new numbers out for author earnings.
the UK, 2013 professional authors' typical annual income from
writing: £11,000 ($18,800)
down from £12,333 ($21,800) in 2005
puts the 2013 income at £5,850 ($10,000) below the Minimum Income Standard
of £16,850 ($28,878) set by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
11.5% of professional writers surveyed for ALCS said they earned their income
solely from writing in 2013
down sharply, from 40% of professional writers who said they earned their
income solely from writing in 2005
We may never have been this close to actually seeing just how
badly a writing career can pay.
For all our focus on the digital disruption of publishing, it
seems we may need to stop, get out of our battle gear, have a seat, and start
talking about not the newest but the oldest issue
any professional creative endeavour can encounter: the money.
ACLS asks the right question in titling its survey "What
Are Words Worth Now?"
So... what you're saying is, authors get paid less now than ever
(oh, right, ebook royalties are abysmal), Amazon and Hachette are screwing
authors over with their power grabbing, and less authors than ever are making a
living at writing? Do we want books to survive, people? Because we
have to actually PAY authors for their time, so they can keep writing them.
I think this tweet said it best:
Something has gone very wrong if we'll pay $5 for a greeting
card, $3 for gift wrap, but resent paying more than $2.99 for a book.—
John Connolly (@jconnollybooks) July
I think the problem is the ebook market. As Jonh Connolly (must be an interesting writer just for that quote) wrote nowadays you expect a book for 2.99 or less. Or you can download for free in a torrent website. Long live paperbacks.