An ezine subscriber asks: “Can you write novels to make money?”
This is a huge topic. Here’s the short answer: Yes, you can.
Here’s the longer answer – the more depressing one.
You can write novels to make money but it’s unlikely you’ll make a lot. Few people make money writing novels. Even with 50,000 books published in English each year, it’s very difficult to sell a first novel to a traditional publisher. And even if you do sell a first novel, the chances you’ll make money at it are slim. You’d make a higher wage working at the golden arches.
But let’s say you did sell your first novel, and that your book earned out its advance, and happy days, you’re collecting royalties two years down the track. (Your book needs to “earn out”, that is, cover the money you got as an advance, and your publisher will keep some of your royalties to cover returns too, which means you won’t see any royalties for a couple of years, if ever).
Turning the above sequence of events into a career is something else entirely.
If your first novel sells well – that is, the first print run sells out – you may get an offer on a second book, which you may accept, or not. The operative word in the previous sentence is “may.”
A lot depends on your editor, how much clout the editor has, how much the sales department of the publisher believes in your book, and crucially, whether your editor is still there by the time you deliver your book. If your editor leaves the publishing house after you get your contract, and while you’re writing your book, you’ll be “orphaned.” This can mean that your career with that publisher is over.
A lot also depends on the publishing house’s fortunes as well.
My advice: don’t write a novel with the aim of making money. There are many easier ways to make money, including digging ditches. You should only write a novel if you can’t help yourself. If you MUST write, then write your novel.
Looking on the bright side, even if your first novel doesn’t sell, writing it will teach you a lot about yourself and writing.
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[tags]write a book,novel,make money,make money writing[/tags]
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