4 Ways to Help Writers Make More Money
It’s tough to make a living just by writing. Authors have been saying for years that it’s getting more and more difficult to make a living wage with the written word. The latest complaint has been from the Authors Guild, which shows that even award-winning literary authors have a tough time scraping by from their writing alone.
Some might react by thinking: “Suck it, writers! Everybody’s struggling.”
I’m not the type to say “Suck it!” to somebody, but I kind of understand. I’m in a profession which has nothing to do with writing, and I’m doing okay, but my family has had to cut a bunch of spending. Still, I’d like to help out professional writers.
And I’ve thought of several ways that regular people like me (and maybe you, unless you’re already a professional writer) can help out struggling authors:
QUIT WRITING BLOGS
If we’re writing blogs, we’re hurting professional writers in a bunch of different ways. All this time that we’re writing is taking away from all the books and magazines we should be reading instead. Every word I type is a word I’m not reading.
Plus, we bloggers are providing free content. When we read each other’s blogs, it keeps us from reading books and articles that authors get paid to write. We are inadvertently hurting the professionals by writing in our spare time. It would be better for the professionals if we just quit.
The thing is, I like writing blogs. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I don’t want to quit reading and writing blogs.
2. BUY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES
With the internet, I don’t have to buy newspapers and magazines anymore. Why would I? They clutter the house, and they’re overpriced. In the old days, I didn’t have a choice. I liked to read, and magazines always had the information/entertainment I wanted to read about. They were nice when they were necessary, but we don’t need them anymore.
I know that professional writers who worked for those magazines have taken a hit because those magazines now have to provide free content on their websites in order to compete with schmucks like me who write for free. I feel bad because my habit change has negatively impacted writers who are trying to make a living off of writing. I feel kind of bad about that.
The thing is, I like not having to buy newspapers and magazines anymore. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I probably won’t start buying magazines and newspapers again.
3. BUY MORE NEW BOOKS
When I go to the bookstore, I head straight for the bargain sections and the paperbacks. I’m a cheapskate. I want to support my local bookstore, but I can’t afford to spend $15.00 to $30.00 for new books. I know that writers don’t make much money off the bargain books and paperbacks, but at least they’re getting something.
When I’m on Amazon, I sometimes buy books from unpublished authors who are selling their e-books for $.99 up to $4.99. Some of the e-books are pretty good and are worth the time and money that I spend. Whenever I buy an e-book from an unpublished author, it means that I’m not spending money on something a professional writer wrote.
If everybody stopped buying e-books from unpublished writers, then maybe real professional authors would make more money.
The thing is, I’m on a budget and don’t want to buy new books at full cost. Maybe I’m selfish, but I probably won’t start buying new books at the book store.
4. STOP USING THE LIBRARY
When we go to the library, we borrow books at no personal cost (if you don’t count the taxes which fund the libraries). But if we read a book from the library, that’s less money going to the author who wrote the book (or the publishing company that published it). True, libraries purchase the books, but they only do it once, so when a bunch of people read one library book, the author gets screwed.
The thing is, I like libraries. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I probably won’t stop using libraries.
I’d like to help professional writers. I’m certain you would too. But I don’t want to do what it takes to help them out, and I feel bad about it. Maybe somebody else could help out struggling professional writers, such as their publishing companies. Maybe the publishers could cut the writers some bigger checks. Maybe they could, but the publishers probably have their own reasons not to help out writers too.
What do you think? What ways would you help or NOT help writers to make more money?
Yeah, I know I won’t make much money off my e-book, yet I still try.
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