Posts Tagged: money

Paying Authors to Appear

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The British Society of Authors has called on literary festival organizers to pay authors who make appearances at events. The organization is asking that any literary festivals that charge entrance fees pay authors a minimum fee. At present, few events pay, and those that offer an appearance fee typically pay as little as £150, or about $227, while celebrity speakers are often paid significantly more.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Valuation Methods

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In some of my fantasies, I make a pitch for art or for truth, defend them like commodities. ...more

Unique Pageviews Don’t Pay Your Web Hosting Bill

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Wil Wheaton created quite a fuss last month with an essay about Huffington Post’s request to republish an essay from his blog sans payment. When we called attention to a Salon article discussing paid versus unpaid creative work, Gawker had a “got you” moment, pointing out that The Rumpus doesn’t pay its writers.

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Amazon Monopoly Threatens Everything

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Amazon just turned twenty years old. Even though the company might be too young to celebrate with champagne, competitors have begun to levy charges that the online retailer is becoming a monopoly. While Amazon’s tentacles spread across many retail sectors, the store’s dominance in books represents a major monopolistic threat.

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Writers’ Wages Keep Falling

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A not-too-surprising result of a new poll shows that authors’ annual wages continue to fall and are now below $5,000, reports the Guardian. Authors who split their writing between traditional and self-published methods seemed to fare best, on average.

Overall, half of the writers – traditional and independent – surveyed this year earned $1,000– $2,999 or less.

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Publishers Are Rich

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Writers have been getting poorer, and it turns out publishers are partly to blame. The Guardian reports that while authors are expected to do more when it comes to marketing and promotion, and though electronic books have lowered costs for publishers, the beneficiaries of these savings tend to be the publishers rather than the authors:

Nicola Solomon, who heads the 9,000-member strong Society of Authors, said that publishers, retailers and agents are all now taking a larger slice of the profit when a book is sold, and that while “authors’ earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing”

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Amazon Attempts to Drive Wedge Between Authors and Hachette

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The standoff between Amazon and Hachette has harmed authors more than either corporation. The corporations are surviving on massive war chests and alternate revenue streams. Authors, however, are far more adversely affected by reduced book pre-sales and the sale of electronic books (available immediately) versus physical books (artificially delayed by Amazon).

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Writers Are Poor

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A British study has confirmed that professional writers aren’t making very much money, and worse, that earnings for writers have fallen 29% since 2005. A survey of 2,500 British authors found median annual income at just £11,000 ($18,800) and only 11.5% of authors were earning a living solely through writing.

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All the Poor Young Literary Women

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Earlier this year, Emily Gould wrote about the perils of selling her first book, an essay collection, and the importance of getting out of debt before finishing her novel. That novel, Friendship, launches next week. Gould spoke with Melissa Duclos over at Electric Literature about the writing process, her electronic bookstore Emily Books, and of course, money:

The finances are important, too.

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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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