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.
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.
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 publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
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. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.
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.