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  • A (temporarily?) Open Door.
    by RG Rainbow at 06:10 on 20 March 2014
    Has anyone here been successful in getting any of their work published?
    I'm old enough and cynical enough to realise there's no way I'm going to be the next JK Rowling, but what does A body have to do to at least make a couple of thousand pounds to get out of debt? I'm also disadvantaged not being able to drive so I'm burdened with the limitations of what Rugby has (or DOESN'T) have to offer.

    I'm seeing a techo boffin at the library soon to try to get a blog started as I've authored a 553 page graphic novel. It's more than a little soul destroying when people react to that with "well done!" and when asked if they want to read it they quickly reply with "no thanks!" (presumably when they see it's 9 A3 size volumes).

    Money is the hardest thing to come by, it's a universal problem. But everyone should have a chance to develop and show what positive things they can achieve and it's particularly frustrating to be held constantly back.

    Edited by RG Rainbow at 06:13:00 on 20 March 2014
  • Re: A (temporarily?) Open Door.
    by Freebird at 10:42 on 20 March 2014
    Hi Ray,

    it's not a bad thing to start out being realistic about the low pay that the majority of ficiton writers get. In this month's Society of Authors' journal, they said that 'the typical income for a professional author is one third below the national average wage' and then went on to say that quite a high percentage only earn around £600 a year!!!

    Of course, there are some that make enough to live on, but they generally have to teach, lecture or hold down another job to get by. Or write a stonking bestseller.

    But it is possible to make some money from writing. You just might have to be flexible about what you mean by writing. If there doesn't seem to be a market for your graphic novel (and perhaps you're just not getting it in front of the right readership), then if you're serious about a writing career, you need to be flexible and hard working and, above all, determined. For example, I've made bits and bobs of money from fiction but a more steady amount from educational stuff. What I call 'bread and butter' writing, which is nevertheless very interesting and enjoyable.

    If you want to write, say,  a novel for the money and/or fame, then you're probably destined to crash down. But if you want to write it because you love writing and are prepared to learn and improve and learn some more and improve some more and keep doing that, and submitting work to agents and publishers and other professionals who know what they're talking about, then learn and improve some more - then you stand a much better chance of getting published and therefore making some money. But it's often a process of years rather than months, so you might have to find a more immediate way of getting out of debt for now...
  • Re: A (temporarily?) Open Door.
    by EmmaD at 18:59 on 20 March 2014
    Hi Ray - getting your work heard  and read is so difficult, isn't it, especially when it's something that doesn't easily post online, and is too long for even long-suffering friends and family to plough through. (I know from experience that asking someone to read a novel-in-manuscript is apt to make them get the same look on their face!)

    As Freebird says, it really is hard to make money from your writing itself, unless what you naturally burn to write is inherently highly commercial, and you're prepared to be ruthless about going on producing book after book that presses those buttons in readers really accurately.  For example, an advance from even a big publisher these days, for a novel by an unknown, is rarely more than £3-5,000. The bar for what such publisher considers good enough and saleable enough to sign is set very high, and that's probably all the money you'll ever make from it. Of course there are stories of big advances, but the vast majority are clustered down the bottom of the range.

    I don't know a lot about publishing graphic work, but my guess is that it's also more expensive to produce, and even if you could shape your work into a form which fits what such publishers can sell and are therefore looking for, and get them interested, the advance wouldn't be huge. The Writers' And Artists Yearbook should be available in your library, and would give an idea of which publishers might be interested: you could then research them, and find out what sort of thing they're looking for and how you might shape your work to suit what they can sell.

    And yes, the alternative of self-publishing takes cash up front, and probably more for graphic work, I should think. Not necessarily vast amounts, if you use something like Blurb ( http://www.blurb.co.uk/) , but selling them would need a platform of an established readership - which is where your website comes in. If you can build a following with a cartooning blog, then that can build into a potential readership for the book.
    Edited by EmmaD at 19:06:00 on 20 March 2014
  • Re: A (temporarily?) Open Door.
    by NMott at 19:31 on 20 March 2014
    If you haven't done do already, take a look at Manga. A lot of it is read online, and if you can split your story up into episodes you can build a readership by putting the first few out online for free then put the rest out as ebooks, each issue priced at under £1, and continue adding to it as you build a teen readership. 
  • Re: A (temporarily?) Open Door.
    by Catkin at 00:05 on 21 March 2014

    Has anyone here been successful in getting any of their work published?

    What, has anyone here been published, or has anyone here been published and been successful? There are lots and lots of published authors here, and I'm one of them. Not sure I would also call myself successful ... I think not, really.

    what does A body have to do to at least make a couple of thousand pounds to get out of debt?

    Do something other than writing, because writing is a bloody awful way to try to make money. Serious answer.
  • Re: A (temporarily?) Open Door.
    by NMott at 08:47 on 21 March 2014
    If you need to raise a few thousand fast then I'd suggest ebay. Charity shops sell a lot of good shoes and clothing that can be sold on via ebay for a profit.