The Fall 2014 issue of Scratch is now available. Inside, you’ll find a feature interview with New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon, offering insights on how to balance your artistic lifestyle with marketing and self-promotion. Here’s what he says about being an author as his full-time job:
It’s weird because I’ve written about how you shouldn’t be afraid to take money for your art, and you shouldn’t be afraid to sell what you do, and you shouldn’t be worried about being labeled a sellout or whatever. But there are things that happen when your passion, when your avocation or calling or whatever you want to call it, becomes your bread-winning. It gets very complicated very quickly, and it can really turn into a drag. …
So for me, it’s like, when you’re just a web designer, and you’re at your desk and you make these silly poems on your lunch break because you’re just passing the time, and you just want to do something creative with yourself, then you throw them online because you’re like, What else am I gonna do with ’em … that is a different impulse than, the minute I post a poem now, fifty thousand people see it. And that’s just an audience thing.
Money-wise, it would be like being in a band that goes suddenly from “we all play in the bar after work,” to playing stadiums. It’s that kind of shift. What happens when the thing that kept you alive suddenly becomes the thing that literally keeps you alive? The thing that kept you spiritually alive now not only has to keep you spiritually alive, but also has to keep you financially alive. Like, literally alive. Like, food in your mouth.
Click here to read the full interview for free. (Registration is required.)
Also free in this issue:
- Publishing While Black: A Scratch Roundtable, with Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Harmony Holiday, Christopher Jackson, and Kiese Laymon
- How Writers (Actually) Get Paid by Nicole Dieker, on how freelancers can more efficiently and effectively get their payments
- Confessions of a Bestselling Author, a personal and illustrated essay by Andrew Shaffer
Only subscribers get access to the full issue, including some of my own pieces:
- The Power and Intimacy of Email: why and how to start an email newsletter
- He Comes From the Future, my interview with Richard Nash on the book industry and how authors can succeed regardless of Amazon’s next moves
- It’s Not Personal: How to Create a Collaboration Agreement, by attorney Helen Sedwick, complemented by a downloadable sample agreement you can customize
- Contracts 101: The Fine Print, the last installment in my series on how to read and negotiate a publishing contract