Anyone in publishing will tell you it's a tough place to make a buck. Yet the way groups and plans and promotions are springing up everywhere, you'd think that selling books is THE way to earn a living.
There's the mad rush for reviews. A zillion groups springing up for writer support. Non-stop Tweets on book links and promotion. Writers going crazy trying to get out more than one book a year so they can cash in quickly. Not to mention that everyone and their barber is writing a book these days.
It's like the Gold Rush Days of 1849. Back 150 years ago when the whole country went to California because a few people found gold and got rich. The real truth was that more of them lost everything and died from fever than actually struck it rich. Well, today with modern medicine and antibiotics, we writers won't die from fever, although some days the mad rush feels like insanity. Too bad we don't have antibiotics to cure our writer craziness. Some like chocolate for that.
And just when you think sense will take hold, when the Harry Potter, Twilight, Amanda Hocking and John Locke phenomenon has died down, you get Fifty Shades of Grossness. And it starts all over again, only this time with porn. Oh sorry, I mean erotica.
I'm in favor of books and a fan of those who write them. But most of us won't earn as much writing novels as we can in other jobs. Most of us have day jobs. Even John Locke kept his day job. Or he did back when he was writing his "how I did it book" (which turned out to be a bit of a scam considering he actually bought 300 5-star reviews, didn't mention that in the book did he?)
Where did this idea begin that writing a book is the way to fame and riches? Even the famous authors of the 1920's and '30s weren't rich. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Thomas Wolf and others of their crowd went from one royalty check to the other, borrowing from family, living off the generousity of friends, getting constant "advances against royalties" from their publishers. Fitzgerald owed his publisher a great deal of money when he died, never having written all the books he had promised and his publisher had paid for.
Anyway, these are the thoughts rolling around as I surf the net and see the push to write more, publish faster, get more reviews, yadayadayada, like it's the way to great wealth. I just don't understand where that mindset came from.
Hitting it big with the next runaway bestseller is like winning the lottery. Where's it all headed? And when can we expect common sense to return, if ever? Or maybe careers in the arts are and always have been devoid of balance due to their very natures. What do you think?
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf