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There is No Golden Ticket

Author: Hilly

Writing could be a hobby, or it can be a job. It could also be a career, and a profitable one, if you are obstinate and fortunate enough to reach success. It's possible to earn a living writing novels, but like with any job, writers who attempt to only support themselves with their writing should prepare themselves for the grim reality of what writing for a living means.

It means work.

Know Your Market

It's not enough to write a bestseller. That good book also needs to be put in front of an editor who will be keen on it enough to take the book to selling, to make an offer on it, and to push it to the folks in the publishing house who will then ( hopefully ) become so thrilled about it they'll in turn go out and popularize your book to the folks who buy the books for stores. Ideally, those folks will be excited enough to hand-sell the book to consumers, who in turn will become so keen to read your book they will basically shell out their money to buy it. So, your first task after writing the best book you can? Get it in front of an editor who will obtain it, or an agent who will do the same job for you.

How to do that? Research your market. Find out who's buying what you are writing. If you are unagented, make sure you're submitting to publishers who take unagented submissions. If you're submitting to agents, be sure they represent the sort of material you've written. Ready your submissions according to their suggestions and submit what they want, how they desire it. Half the battle in getting your submission read by an editor or agent is simply following directions. Do not give them reason to reject you before they have even read a word of your book.

It is not sufficient to Write the Book

You wrote the book. You sold the book. Now it's time to sit back and wait for the money to roll in, right? Absolutely not. Since the process of taking an agent and selling to a publisher can regularly require months, if not years, it is not enough to write the book. You have got to write another. And another. Finish a book, take a bit of a break to recharge, start another. There are writers who make sufficient money off one incredibly successful book but they do not have careers. If you want to earn a crust with your writing, you need to write more than one book. Often, publishers need to build an author, not just one title. Make sure you have something to give them when they ask for more.

It's insufficient to Sell the Book

Your book's hit the shelves and you have 1 or 2 others finished, maybe even a few more contracted. Now's the time to sit back and let the checks roll in, right?

Of course not. Now is the perfect time to promote yourself and your books. Employ your time, cash and efforts smartly. Target your reading audience the way that you did your agent and editor. How are you going to get to the people who will read your book? Is there a genre-specific review publication in which you can purchase advertising? Romantic Times Book Reviews, for instance, features stories, articles, reviews and advertising at reasonable rates for authors, and is read by thousands of readers enthusiastic to find out about new authors. The internet overflows with blogs, newsgroups and social network websites devoted to fans of certain genres. Find which are focused on the kind of books you are writing. Start to know the folk there, become part of the community. Drive-by promotion is never effective and can, in reality turn folks off your books.

Your publisher, if you're fortunate, will be pushing your books, but don't forget you're one of hundreds of writers. Your book is one of thousands. The person to whom your book is most crucial is you. Don't depend on your publisher to do all the work. Get the word out about your book.

Set Practical Expectations

Some people's "living" is other folks' chump change. Take a good, hard look at your lifestyle and costs. The cash you earn from writing books comes irregularly, but frequently in huge pieces. Make sure you're trained enough to take that check for several thousand bucks and put aside what you will need to live on till the next check comes. If you're revealed with a reputable normal publisher, you will be paid an advance that could be given to you in increments and can even mean waiting till the book's been printed ( which can sometimes be years after you sign the contract ) before you get your final payment. Royalties are typically issued every 6 months and might never be issued at all if your book doesn't earn any. Commission payments from e-published books can be earned instantly upon publication, but could be paid every month, every 6 months or each quarter, and there is probably not going to be any money paid up front in advance. Do not forget about costs and taxes, which you may possibly need to pay quarterly yourself, as they're not usually withheld.

So, can a writer earn money writing stories? Absolutely. Like with any career, there is no one true way, no Golden Ticket, no secret hand shake that will make it occur, but if you're prepared to try hard and face the problems, it's totally feasible to earn a living doing what you like.
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