|by Fae Rowen|
When I was offered my first contract, my husband made an appointmentwith a boat broker for a sea trial. (He didn't tell me.) After a wonderful afternoon at sea, he was asked about needing a loan. My wonderful, supportive spouse told the broker that his wife had just sold a book and that we'd be paying cash.
Well, he didn't buy that boat, and I had to explain the business side of a
Probably the biggest secrets are about contracts with New York publishers.
When I began writing there was a category of writers called midlist. Midlist writers were able to make a modest living with their books. The midlist writer is a thing of the past, gone as the publishing houses dwindled in number. Also gone for non-blockbuster best-sellers are covers with the author's name in gold foil, great book covers made from oil paintings of special photo shoots from scenes in the book, publicity—including book tours—set up by the publishing house, a case of free books to give away as promo material, an editor who dedicates his/her time to the structure and polishing the words in your book, and more.
Now, as an Indie Published author, I wear all the hats. I contract and pay my editor and my cover designer. I work with someone on my website and social media. I set up opportunities to promote my newest books. I give myself pep talks when I think the book I'm working on isn't going to be better than my last book.
As an aside, this is a HUGE thing with me. If every book isn't better than the last, I'm not growing in my craft; I'm not growing as an author. If I stagnate, how can I expect readers to be excited about a new book? So I travel, take classes, learn new hobbies (one of my favorite scenes came about because of a belly-dancing class I took) to enrich the experiences I deliver to my readers.
Other than these things, I'm just an ordinary person, sharing my thoughts, experiences, and feelings with others. As a writer, maybe I ask more questions about what I see—my walking buddy can attest to this—but my life isn't that different from anyone else's. The secrets of my profession aren't that different from the secrets that all professions have.