Writers Are Opening Up About Money—And That’s a Good Thing

writing and money

Historias Visuales / via Flickr

From a recent op-ed at the New York Times:

Writers may always have worried about money, but now seems a particularly fertile time for writing about it. … This spate of talk about writing and money has opened up broader conversations about who can afford to enter the profession today, and who gets shut out.

My magazine Scratch is mentioned, and my Scratch co-founder is quoted:

Manjula Martin, the cofounder of Scratch, told Op-Talk that “there has always been this tension for writers around how to make a living and how to make art.” However, she said, growing job insecurity in writing professions and beyond may have led to a new wave of anxiety: “As the economy is changing and as things just feel more precarious in our culture, that bleeds through to the literary culture. And I think a big part of that too is a question of, ‘is literature and are the arts going to continue to be valued in ways that we have perhaps always just assumed they would be?’”

At a time when authors seem to be more divided than united, I hope we can at least agree: Sharing our publishing experiences with each other—with as much transparency as possible—helps us all make better decisions for the long term of our careers.

Read the full op-ed.

Posted in Business for Writers.
Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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5 Comments on "Writers Are Opening Up About Money—And That’s a Good Thing"

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[…] Historias Visuales / via Flickr From a recent op-ed at the New York Times: Writers may always have worried about money, but now seems a particularly fertile time for writing about it. … This spate of talk about writing and money has opened up…  […]

Susan Bernhardt

I don’t believe any author can make a “living” at writing unless you are the likes of J.K. Rowlings, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, etc. I write mysteries, The Ginseng Conspiracy, and I am traditionally published. After everyone takes their cut, there is little money left for the author. In this economy, I believe an author would have a better chance of making a go of it with self-publishing.

William Ash

“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money”
— Oscar Wilde

Alec Graf

Perhaps writers who speak to a particular community will do best in the dry years ahead. Writing fungible genre fiction will only place you in the midst of a stampede led by a few big names and swelled out with fanfic’ers and wannabes.

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