Browsing Category

The Writer’s Economy

  • The Writer's Economy

    Stop Writing Your Crappy Bestseller

      I remember my mother listing a whole bunch of first lines from bestselling books.   “The primroses were over,” she announced theatrically.   I pretended to understand what she meant. There was a first edition of Watership Down on the table by her typewriter…

  • The Writer's Economy

    Editors Vary

      People working within the publishing industry just don’t understand each other.   In the July 26th issue of The Bookseller, Katy Guest, editor of Independent on Sunday’s books pages from 2009 until the paper closed earlier this year, made the point that former literary…

  • The Writer's Economy

    The New Freelancers

      Earlier this year, The Financial Times reported that fifty-four million workers in the US are now freelancing for a living. The word freelancing, traditionally associated with writing and journalism, now extends to any job a person does as an independent contractor for a firm.…

  • The Writer's Economy

    Swimming In A Sea of “No”

      When it comes to your writing, there will be a great number of people who tell you no. I am not speaking of agents who feel they can’t sell your manuscripts, or editors who aren’t in love with your book—these are ordinary career set-backs for…

  • The Writer's Economy

    Necessary Failures

        In 2006 Hilary Mantel and I went on a book tour together. This was back before she became an untouchably famous, extremely revered double Booker prize winner and was just ordinary famous and touring with her novel, Beyond Black.   I was promoting…

  • The Writer's Economy

    Why I Don’t Count Words (or pages)

      Economics is a study of choices: the what, why, and how of decision-making. In many ways, writers defy the principles of economics. As I’ve suggested here and here, writers cannot expect to make a living writing books.   If we writers made rational choices,…

  • The Writer's Economy

    When The Poverty Line Is A Step (way) Up

          For years, my sister used call me with the great news of another writer’s success.   “This girl just got $750,000 for writing a vampire book,” she began one evening. The “girl” she was speaking of was Stephenie Meyers, whose original 3-book…

  • The Writer's Economy

    Can You Make A Living As An Author?

      A month ago, I sat on a panel at the Harvard Club in London with the author, Richard Mason, and the literary Agent, Mildred Yaun of United Artists. The subject of that night’s discussion was “Earning A Living In The Writing Business.”   Richard Mason,…