Authors & Finances

Last week That Article went viral, at least in my corner of the internet. From it sprang an amazing, huge well of advice from other writers. I was retweeting them on Twitter, as one does, but then I thought I should collect them here for the future!

First, Chuck Wendig. He mentions the math that makes up royalties, encourages asking questions, and talks at length about the general “black box” that is publishing money.

Malinda Lo made a thread that included advice I’d never heard before, like “ask your editor for the pub date” and “what’s the first print run.” I may or may not have mentioned before that I’m in an awkward-middle section of my publishing career (fingers crossed!), and this is the kind of nitty-gritty stuff I’ve been longing to hear more of.

G. Willow Wilson broke down the math of advances in general and That Article’s biggest advance in particular, to turn them into the much scarier numbers authors actually face after they sign a contract.

Agent Sam Morgan made up a fictional book and did the math on earned/unearned books and how publishers make their money.

A not-directly-related to That Article interview that someone shared by Jane Friedman on how to hang on long enough to make a career of writing.

Author Tess Sharpe on non-compete clauses and why you should restrict them.

If it did nothing else, I think That Article did an amazing job of starting a conversation. Money is a curious thing and it’s even weirder when you’re self-employed and in a creative industry. I’m grateful to be hearing all these different perspectives (in addition to Jim C. Hines’ annual financial report over on his blog, which I follow enthusiastically).

What is your favorite education resource on money for writers? What have you learned from this larger conversation? What would you do if you had a 250,000$ advance? Let me know!

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