Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Costs of Writing

Without insulting the intelligence of writers, as we all know the personal costs of pursuing our writing dreams, i.e sacrificing time with family and friends, physical fitness, disappointments with rejection, lack of get the idea, I would like to know from you what your MONETARY COSTS have been.

Since I decided to work toward publication, I have spent approximately two hundred dollars on educational hard-copy books about writing, becoming represented and published.

I have joined numerous writer's websites. Some are free, of course, but if you want to take full advantage of the services offered, you can choose options with a price tag attached.

On FanStory, a website where you can publish your work and have others read and review it, I have spent approximately a hundred dollars promoting my work.  The more you pay, the better exposure you get.

I have paid for a VIP membership at Writer's Digest, which allows me access to all of the agents at Writer's Market, and discounts on their products and online workshops. That has put me back approximately one hundred fifty dollars in the last year and a half.

I've become a member of our local Writer's Group here in Red Deer, and I pay dues each week, which go toward a yearly anthology of some of our work.

I haven't purchased editing and critiquing services as of yet, because I believe I am quite good at self-editing, and I'm still in the denial stage of thinking that my work is quite good and that I don't want it to be critiqued.  I know...I can hear your gasps.

I truly want to invest into writer's conferences, which can run in the hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on where they are held.

And heaven forbid, if I resort to self-publishing, I may as well take out a second mortgage.

What have you spent, or are willing to spend in the future to see your dreams come true?


Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi Kelly, I self-publish and over the last couple of years must have spent about a couple of thousand pounds, and hundreds and hundreds of pounds doing the same as you over the years. But as the money from the books comes in, the expense it more or less cancelled out. I haven't made much money, but people are beginning to notice me. However, I'm retired, have a reasonable income, so I'm not really representative of the sort of writer you might be interested in.

Pearson Report said...

This is a very good post and you pose some excellent questions.

Since I am not published, or ready to be, I can offer no solid advice.

My one experience with this whole process, back in 2005 - which was amazing - was to have tough skin and to throw myself under the bus - metaphorically speaking, of course.

Do what you need to do to get noticed! My story is too long to tell here about my experience but it is the approach I will be using in the very near future.

Hopefully the bus doesn't leave really bad tread marks!

Smiles, Jenny

Gregg said...

Wow. I never gave anything thought to the "cost of writing." I guess writing is like any other business, you must spend money to make money. Good luck to you and I hope you become the next what ever you want to become, Clive Cussler, Robert J Serling, Stephen Ambrose, Louis Lamour, Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardner...

Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

KarenG said...

Well, there's the laptops. Actually, the 4 laptops, as I seem to burn them up writing a novel. And I'd have to count education-- writing classes, a degree in English and American literature. But I can't really count the costs since it's all part of what I do and I don't know that I would ever get any of that investment back.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I agree the cost of doing anything these days are at a cost.
I wish you every success when you get published, the joy of seeing and holding YOUR WORK is a wonderful feeling.


Old Kitty said...

My biggest expenses are the writing courses I signed up for. I wish I could join more as I thoroughly enjoyed them but they are rather expensive. My biggest wish is to pursue a postgraduate degree in creative writing full time. It's the finance that's stopping me!

Great thought-provoking post, thank you! Take care

Jan Morrison said...

Hmmm...good question and a bit terrifying. I haven't spent any of the money you do except on books. I do use them as a tax deduction but it is complicated. I have spent a good chunk of the last ten years working on three to four novels. I guess I could've been working harder at the business I have that brings in money but this is what I choose to do. I'd be suspicious of a website that offers to publish you more times for more money. Just not worth it to me. I know that even if I get a reasonable advance on three of the novels in the next couple of years, it won't add up to even the barest minimum wage BUT this is my life and I want to spend it this way.
Jan Morrison
~Just a thought but could you disable your word verification at least for the month of April? Lots of folks won't even attempt - it just takes too long when you're blasting through the sites.

Heather M. Gardner said...

In the USA you can write some of those expenses off on your taxes. Basically, up to a few years, you are self-employed and any and all expenses would be included in that business.
Postage, classes, publications, conferences, writer/author groups (RWA), etc.
Check with your local tax laws and see what is included and what they need for proof.

Damn, I just sounded like an adult.
Good luck with everything.