Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Personal Discovery

It always amazes me how things work in the universe.

I was asked to read a non-fiction historical book about food in America and write a review. Of course I said yes and the deadline is fast approaching--so what's new? LOL

As I began to read this book I realized the author has a gift for telling a story and weaving seemingly irrelevant details into his work masterfully. I was interested in things that have little bearing on the main subject and hardly noticed them being intertwined. I noticed because that's what I'm trying to do with Evelyn.

Two days ago I thought, "I will never be able to write that well." Then I slept on it. I told myself I would strive to write like this author. Not his style, but the concept. I'm only a few chapters in, but I've already had some awesome inspiration for my Evelyn book.

I'm working on her today and I am totally inspired!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Skunked All Around

Well, I guess you could say the last three days have been a bust. I started off with good news about a possible new option for my Evelyn book.

That all ended when I got skunked at my Saturday book signing. It's been a while since that's happened. Not one sale. The store ordered a bunch, which I signed, so they will eventually sell, but still...

Then this morning I learned I did not win another award I entered my True West column in. There's still hope for one more, but that won't be decided until June or July. Fingers crossed...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Author's Salary

Okay, so you think that becoming an author will make you famous and you'll become a millionaire. Ah, I think every author has that dream, at least once in their career.

Sadly, that only happens to a very small minority. For the rest of us, we still need to keep our day jobs. Being an author is a true labor of love.

We write because we love to, not because we expect to get rich doing it. I'm still hoping for my NY Times bestseller and probably will as long as I write books. What can I say, I'm an optimist.

I was at a store not long ago and was commenting on the cost of something and the clerk said, "Didn't you just have a new book come out?" I guess they think the same thing--all authors are rich! Oh, how we all wish that were true.

The reality is that most of us earn a very small royalty. So much goes into the cost of the book and its publishing and marketing. The publisher makes the most, but then again, they are putting the most into it--money-wise.

Most authors will make a tiny percentage from a book sale. Say for example, a book cost $20 at the local book store.

The publisher had to give the book store a 40% discount, which means the book store paid $12 for the book. Wholesalers like Amazon get a 55-60% discount.

Normally, authors receive a 7-10% royalty based on the net receipt. That means that if the publisher sold an author's book for $12 and the author receives a 10% royalty, then the author  would earn $1.20 on that sale.

Can you see now why most authors aren't rolling in dough?

Most niche-genre books, meaning they sell to a small market, typically sell between 3000-5000 copies over a couple of years. And that's if you're lucky. Using the same scenario, let's say an author sells 3000 books in one year and they were all sold at 40% off ($12). The author would earn $3600.

Now, I don't know about you, but I sure as heck can live on that. Also keep it mind that most publishers only pay their royalties every six months.

All this might have you wondering why anyone would want to be an author. Like I said in the beginning--it's a labor of love.

Sometimes when the rejection letters come rolling in and I get down, I think I want to quit. But then, I get that spark or desire and I pull up my sleeves and get back to it.

Happy Writing!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Evelyn Details!

Until now I had no idea what happened to Evelyn's last husband. After her death he seemed to have just disappeared. Today I learned when and where he is buried!!

Just when I think I've discovered all I think there about Evelyn I find something new.

This will just make E.M.H.: The Aristocratic Ranch Wife (formerly The Secret Lives of Evelyn) even better.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Contest Update

Well, the results of one contest are in and I did not win. I'm still waiting to hear on two others. I just wrapped up a radio interview on WCOM in Carrboro, NC. I will post the link once it's been created. Evelyn is still stalled with the publisher, but I feel there will be movement soon--one way or the other.

I launched a genealogy business earlier this year and I've already had one paying client! I've been researching people for books since 1997 so I figured why not earn a living at it.

Speaking of earning a living...I will be posting tomorrow about what author's get paid. You will probably be surprised to learn what I'll be sharing!