Monday, January 23, 2012

$1.75 a Year

Here's a blog I read recently that gave me a good laugh as I closed out the books for 2011 on Poems from the Boatyard:

"Want to make $1.75 a year? Just write a book!"

As Dan Miller writes in his blog: “I love writing in all its forms: blogs, articles, books, etc. However, the statistics for choosing this as a career are dismal. One in four Americans does not read one book per year. Over 1,000,000 new books were published last year. Average book sales for a Christian book put out by a major publisher are about 4,000 copies. AuthorSolutions reports that sales of their self-published titles average about 150 copies each. The average sales overall for a book published in America is about 500.

Garrison Keillor recently commented on the sustainability of the publishing industry in the Chicago Tribune: “I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (UR2 1derful)…The future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75.”

Well, I slightly surpassed that dismal figure, and expect to do more this year, but if you remove the costs involved in years of buying books and attending workshops, postage for mailing manuscripts, flash drives and other paraphenalia, not mentioning the time investment....I'm well into the negative column by a figure I probably will not approach in my lifetime. But I'm with Dan: I love writing in almost all its forms (I'm discovering this yeaer through freelance work how little I like to produce on demand). And I will keep on writing, because I'm not in it for the money.

But every book sold is satisfying. How nice to tuck a few more bucks in the pocket, and know it was a poem that was responsible. "Desire fulfilled is a tree of life."--Proverbs 13:12

One more post to come about my other low-paying job, and then I will be leaving the boatyard temporarily for another adventure...stay tuned!

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