I recently had a phone conversation with someone who wanted to write a book. I could hear the passion she had for her topic reverberate through my earpiece and into my heart. This book needs to be birthed into the world. And, as with most of my phone consultations with most of my clients, the topic eventually turned to money. How much will it cost me to self-publish? How much can I expect to earn if I traditionally publish?
Money is an important topic that we artists need to talk about in the open more often
Writing a book is a business. Period. If you are writing your book to self-publish a handful of copies to share with your family and friends, you’re not publishing a book you are making photocopies of your journal. If you are writing your book to self-publish and have it on Amazon.com (where net revenue last year totaled in the amount of $107 Billion—yes, that’s billion with a B) or to traditionally publish and see it on the shelves of your local library or bookstore, you are running a business. And for a business to be successful, a business needs to make money. Period.
As a society, we need to stop glorifying the archetype of the starving artist. It diminishes the value of art in our everyday lives. We are surrounded by art, from music to visually appealing pieces in our homes to the stories we consume when we read or watch television. Art is an integral part of being human.
I often find that artists also tend to be heart-centered individuals who have bought into the idea that money is somehow the root of all evil. Money is an instrument in the exchange of energy. It simply makes the old practice of bartering much easier. When we constantly give away our art, we are creating an imbalance in the energy exchange, and again decreasing the value of art in our world. Then there are the art purists who turn their noses up to any commercialization. I challenge those purists to consider the perspective that maybe art can be both completely original and unique while earning artists a fair wage.
Both you and your art matter
Lastly, I love books. I love to read to learn and I love to read to escape. I want my favorite authors to be able to sustain themselves financially so that they can continue to write books for me to read. There are several ways that an author can make money, and not all of them are directly tied to book sales. Part of the work that I do with my clients is to help them build the business end of their book writing so that they can be financially stable and so that the world can be embellished with their talent and message.
In today’s world of interconnectedness through social media and online business, there’s no reason for any artist to starve ever again. If you want a successful business as a published author, get in touch and let’s talk about your future. If your inner critic is convincing you that a handful of photocopies of your book is enough, we also need to talk!