Many people perpetuate an image of the publishing business as a bleak world for fiction writers. Some pessimists seem to imply only the blessed few–born talented, mentored by geniuses, and gifted with more free time than we mere mortals can imagine–can live off the cash stream from their fiction.
I’ve read and heard the dissatisfying rumor that fewer than 200 fiction writers in the U.S. make enough money from writing to support their households, and even they live without frills, making less than the average grade school teacher.
Everyone else who sits down every day to write, submit, and generally learn about publishing will accrue little more than needed to buy the year’s writing aids. We must write solely for the love of it, right?
Yeah… not really.
Author Dean Wesley Smith’s blog post, “Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Can’t Make Money in Fiction“, picks apart the misconception that 200 or fewer fiction writers “make a living” at the craft. He asserts at least 200 new writers annually may be able to support themselves with their fiction.
That isn’t the best part of the article, however. Smith adds sparkles to sunshine when he explains how savvy authors split apart each story to bring in bigger paychecks. Smith even gave this process a catchy name–the Magic Bakery.
I’d love to open a Magic Bakery of my own within five years. It’s a nice dream.
Overall, “Can’t Make Money in Fiction” is a heartwarming post. I’m thinking of it as Smith’s holiday gift to aspiring authors. Check it out and let me know if you agree.