Motivation   12 comments

Even if you knew you would never sell another book, would you keep writing?

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I’m a Capitalist

I work hard to sell books and I think they’re worth every dime my readers pay to access them. Writers have as much right to make money from their creative works as painters, singers, carpenters, and — well, name a creative product. Tattoo artist? Hair dresser? Film maker? Landscaper? I could go on and on.

I know t might get an argument from some of my more anarcho-capitalist friends who believe you don’t own an idea. No, you don’t own an idea, but you certainly should own the product of an idea and book is a the product of combining a whole lot of ideas. If you want to be entertained by it, pay me. And if I discover someone violating my copyright, yes, I’m going to object. The idea that creative people should produce something just to give it away for free is ridiculous.

But What’s My Motivation?

I started writing when I was 12. I can’t really say why. A teacher made me write a short story in 5th grade. I hated the process of creating to a formula, but it opened a tap deep in my soul that I’ve never been able to shut off.

I wrote fiction for decades just for my own amazement. It’s only been since 2014 that I’ve been selling books. So clearly, I’m not motivated by the money. Indie author is not a pro-ball career — though my latest novel paid for itself in less than a month — which feels good.

I Guess We Know My Answer

Yes, I would continue writing even if I knew I wouldn’t sell anymore books because I write to entertain myself as much as to entertain others. I’d try to find a way to give them away if that was what I had to do because I enjoy the feat of sharing what I write … but I also think I deserve to be paid for providing people with entertainment.

Posted September 7, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

12 responses to “Motivation

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  1. I think most authors would write for their own amusement. It’s just something we have to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I write for me. If you happen to like it, great.


  3. You were in the biz, so to speak. I have done “art’ for $ my entire adult life. Advertising, tech writing, clinics, demos. Those’re all forms of prostitution. I never set out to get paid. Odd, huh? Because I had to do what I had to do. A day job that didn’t involve what I wanted to do wasn’t a choice. The choice was a good way to starve unless one got competent enough to secure work. Flash forward to this writing thing – readership is such a crapshoot. The second we edit to pander we might as well get back on the tin pan alley assembly line or stand under a street light “Hey, Buddy. Wanna buy a book?” There’s the issue. Do it until you rock it, maybe get lucky, maybe work at it. But in the music biz, I discovered the marketers never got close to the artists. And the artists were rarely marketers. These days, in the onslaught of social media, you have to crack a book to see who’s bullshitting you and who has money for cover reveal parties.


    • I loved reporting until my editor started fracking with my articles because they didn’t agree with his definition of “balanced”, which meant he didn’t want to hear from about 75% of the community. I started getting calls at home asking me why I wasn’t covering the other half of stories (small town, everybody knew everybody). So, I decided to go do something else for money. I still run into people who got to know that editor later and who understand why I bailed. He was a nice guy until you got him on the subject of politics and then he was determined he was going to make the world in his own image.

      I do all my own marketing, though I do buy Amazon ads. That seems to be the most cost-effective way to sell books these days.


  4. I am resistant to giving away mass quantities of my work. On a one-on-one basis, sure, but people are more likely to read a book if they’ve invested even a small sum to purchase it.


  5. I think artists should get paid, too. It’s a lot of hard work to write a book. I do have give aways, but I don’t look at free products as a loss. I look at them as opportunities for growth that can lead to more money. Sometimes they fail, but that’s a business risk.


    • Occasional “frees” are investments. I used to do them fairly often for the first book in a series and then watch my sales go up for the rest of the series. Now I run Amazon ads for a few cents a click and get the same effect. The fact is, we should get paid for the work we do IF there are people who want our work. If the artist is willing to give their book away, though, that’s their decision. And if I knew for certain that I would never sell another book, I’d rather have them read than not.


  6. Of course people should pay for books. They are incredibly hard work to create at a good standard. I am glad you are breaking even and even make a small profit.


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