Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How much money do YOU make?

Personally, I've never asked anyone that.

I don't ask my doctor, or my garbage collector, or my best friend.

I may have wondered, heck, I may have even tried to look up a ballpark figure, but I've never ASKED anyone that question.

As a writer, I get asked that ALL THE TIME. I've been asked it twice already this month.

And I know I'm not alone in the experience because other writers complain about it bitterly too.

I won't speak for others, but on my personal list of IRRITATING THINGS WRITERS HEAR it falls at number 3, behind: "I have an idea for a book, but I just don't have the time to write it" AND "Are you published?"

I did an informal survey about it on Facebook this weekend. (If you're not a FB friend, you should consider becoming one...I'm right here)  I was surprised to learn that some people in other fields have had to deal with same question, but almost all writers had.

Is it a secret?

Is it anybody's business?
Hell no.

I did however like someone's suggestion of just saying, "not enough".
Or maybe I should just bore them to death with the WHOLE answer which includes really boring stuff like production costs, self-employment taxes, being self-insured, and significant work hours.

Tell me Killer Friends: Have you asked that question? Have you been asked? How do you feel about it?


Karyn Good said...

I would never ask that question. I'm uncomfortable talking about money, and frankly I don't want to know anyone's financial details. But I don't think I've been asked it directly either. I've been asked how book sales are going? Sometimes that feels like the same thing.

jblynn said...

You're among the lucky few!!! ;-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Wow. I would never dream of asking someone what they make. Well, maybe I did ask Hubs at some point when he was pre-Hubs and we were planning our life together. Or maybe he just offered the info. And the same with me telling him what I was making. He might've asked, but I probably just offered it. I don't think I've ever had anyone I wasn't getting ready to marry ask me what I make. They wouldn't like the answer - which is 'none of your damn business'. I have told people who wanted me to donate copies of my books that I really don't have the financial ability to go tossing books around. (Or maybe I might've just made that comment under my breath to an acquaintance after the gal from the fundraising committee walked away.)

I wouldn't mind sharing a ballpark number with someone who was starting out in self-publishing if they really needed to know. Sort of a 'I make x per book and I have sold about x books' kind of thing. In case they don't realize this isn't a 'quit your dayjob' endeavor.

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