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Posts Tagged: money

Shocking News: Writers are Poor

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If anyone was still laboring under the impression that writing is a lucrative business, a new report from Digital Book World is here to pulverize your hopes and dreams.

After interviewing 10,000 authors at all different points in their careers, DBW found that “the majority of authors make less than $1000 a year” from their writing, and “only 10 percent of traditionally published authors made more than $20,000.”

Read more and check out graphs of the data in this Galleycat post.

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Writers on Time Spent Down and Out

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George Orwell recounted his experiences with poverty in Down and Out in Paris and London, and Paul Auster his in Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure. 

Rumpus contributor Kaya Genç writes about his own brush with running out of money, and how authors like Orwell and Auster informed his feelings about it, in an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

There is pleasure in imagining yourself sleeping among bugs, working 16 hours a day, spending days without eating a piece of bread, not affording a metro ride, and then becoming a writer.

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“It Was Worth Every Minute and More”

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Writing-biz veteran Lydia Laurenson once landed a translation deal for a book that involved her German publisher flying her to Germany for professional photography sessions and multiple TV appearances.

“Yet, when I calculated it,” she writes, “I made way less than minimum wage per hour.”

Read the rest of her post on the entrepreneurial side of writerhood and the learning curve it requires.

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Who Pays Writers?

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Which publications pay writers? How do writers make enough money to survive?

Scratch, a new online magazine edited by Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin, aims to find out.

Their inaugural issue is free and includes an interview with Jonathan Franzen, a roundtable with editors from prominent websites, and, most fascinating of all, a breakdown of all the labor and resources that went into the making of the issue.

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Art and Money and Muppets

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Because it taught children across the country, Henson became a household name, and through Sesame Street toys, Henson became a millionaire….However, licensing toys, to Henson, felt like selling out.

The cage-match-to-the-death between art and business can be brutal, but Muppet-master Jim Henson seemed to broker a level of peace between the two.

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Heart Healthy

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On Wednesday, I wake a little after ten. This isn’t intentional. It’s not like I set an alarm.

I stumble from the bed to the bathroom to take a long, yellow piss. I brush my teeth—extra well, since my health insurance expired recently, since it doesn’t look like I’ll be seeing the dentist anytime soon.

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Amanda Palmer is “Not Afraid To Take Your Money”

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Amanda Palmer, who says that she’s been getting criticism for making money from her webcasts, has one hell of a manifesto up on her blog called, subtly enough, “Why I Am Not Afraid to Take Your Money.” She’s got a pretty convincing and simple argument as to why artists shouldn’t be afraid to ask their fans to support them:

“artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.

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The Cost of a Thing

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A couple months ago, we wrote about Matthew Crawford’s book Shop Class as Soulcraft, and around the same time I read another interesting review of the book, by Caleb Crain. (I refrained from posting about it at the time to avoid Crain-overkill.) In it, he describes the growth of wages, and consequently, leisure during the industrial revolution, and then goes on to produce an amazing quote from Thoreau about money:

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