Sunday, June 24, 2007

Writers' block

An item on this morning’s news said that the creative industries – arts, showbiz etc. - make a bigger contribution to the UK economy than the financial ones. I fear this will only perpetuate the myth that writers are rolling in it. A survey by the ALCS of 25,000 authors found that their average salary was 30% lower than the national average wage. Take your Dan Browns out of the mix and it’s a sorry scene.
A publisher I met at Hay told me that even if an author sells out a complete print run of 2000 hardbacks and 5,000 paperbacks he is unlikely to cover his advance. I’m not half-way towards mine yet – which means I worked three years at less than a pound a day. So you have to wonder who gets it - do publishers put their kids through college and pay off their mortgage on a quid a day? Fortunately, as the DG never fails to remind me, we don’t do it for the money.

Into each reign some life must fall. It’s the interregnum: the Gordon and Tony show. Tony, who, having taken the nation into two wars, committed it, on his last day in office, to serve the Euro-bureaucrats in Brussels – presumably with the intention of becoming one of them - and then went off to see the pope, seeking either absolution or sainthood. He should be in The Hague explaining himself to the International Criminal Court: 'well... y'know... I mean...' And, fresh from charm school, Gordon - our incoming PM, who, having devolved even more powers to Scotland, now wants to colonise England.

A market update item from Travelwriter Marketletter: 'Success magazine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization'.
You just can't depend on anything any more.


justin said...

You're very lucky or talented just to get a book published ... unless you print & market your own. My mum spent most of her spare time writing poetry and novels, but got very little published. Her last book was a kind of sequel to Anthony Sampson's "The Scholar Gypsy", as she knew one of the individuals in the book -- publishers weren't interested in her efforts, as they thought it wouldn't sell -- and they were probably right. She spent the first 21 years of her life in Birkenhead/Liverpool (she went to school there, and won a scholarship to do modern languages at the university).

riviera writer said...

Thanks Justin. We've been rushing around a bit and I haven't had much time for the blog - temporary I hope. It's true - it's something we do for the joy of doing it,and the hardest part of all is getting it published. But thankfully it seems to have sold quite well and I note even Amazon are selling it at full price. I hope the paperback (out in Sept.) will do even better - but as I say, the dosh is immaterial