“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” - Ernest Hemingway
Most of us nod our heads to this, right? We put our time and effort into our work. We write, we learn, we study, we read, we write some more, we revise, we query, we deal with rejection, we start again. Sound familiar? If you're in this business as a lark or to make billions, I have some sad news...
STILL, there's more we can invest in our writing and I'm wondering how far you would go? As in money, moola, smackers, compensation. Well you get the idea. Here's a list of okay and not okay things to spend your money on if you're a writer. Most are serious. ;D But honestly, it's something I've been juggling lately as far as promotion goes, so I know I can't be the only one. Can you add to the list, please? I know it can't be complete.
Oh and one more thing - I'm not saying you HAVE to spend a single penny. I'm only saying it may not be such a bad idea if you're already investing all of your time and effort to consider some possibilities.
Things NOT to spend money on:
- Agents who ask for money. This is not how it works. A legitimate agent is difficult to come by, but worth the hard work. If they offer representation it will be because they want to work with you and they get paid by selling your work. Simple as that.
- "Publishers" who ask for money. Same deal. If you self publish, that's different. But if it's a legitimate press they should be the ones to front the costs for the editor, printing, etc. Publicity is a different story. Many authors do not get a publicist, or if they do, they still find themselves doing much of the promotion, but you can always negotiate this in your contract.
- Don't quit your day job. I know, this isn't directly spending money, but you're definitely losing it if you do this solely to write. I know plenty of authors who still work and find time to write even with a family. Is it hard? You bet! But if you have to write, you have to write. Just don't forget you also have to eat and sleep somewhere with a roof over your head.
Things you CAN spend money on, but you'll have to prioritize:
- Editorial services. Is it necessary? NO. You might just have fantastic critique partners who are enough. You should have them no matter what. Mine are indispensable. But sometimes you're close, so close, but you need a little more help from a new set of eyes. OR sometimes you decide to self publish and then it's an absolute MUST.
- Cover design. This is only if you ARE self-publishing. But a cover is very important. I'm in love with mine, but I know my publisher paid for it. It's worth it.
- Contests. I'm debating right now entering a few of these. But each one costs money and it adds up. I think in my case I will swallow the bullet and pick maybe 3 of my faves. I'll probably get some input and do a bit of research first though. Is it a guaranteed win? No. Of course not, but the more eyes on my book and the more possibilities the better.
- Conferences and continuing education. I allocate myself several smaller workshops or one larger conference per year. Each one has absolutely been worth it for me. I get so much out of being with other writers and learning craft. I love it. You shouldn't spend this money though if you're expecting to meet someone who will instantly offer you publication. That's not what the networking is about. If you really can't afford it, you can always find online free conferences. There's Writeoncon, which is awesome and I believe there was (and hopefully will be) Indiecon online too.
- Books. You gotta read if you're gonna write. Libraries are good resources though! ;D
What can you add? Oh and to save you a bit of money, we are offering THE BINDING STONE free on Kindle September 9 and 10th!!! So go grab a copy!