Tuesday, May 8, 2012

OMG, Writing Romance IS a Hobby!

Just read an interesting article/blog on HARLEQUIN FAIL Click Here

Where a lady who has written for Harlequin for ten years, can no longer afford to do so. It peels back the layers on what has been whispered about in the publishing world for quite awhile, the royalty rates with print publishers suck, but they REALLY suck with Harlequin.

For years print publishers sprinkled the fairy dust in aspiring authors eyes. If you get in print, you'll be famous! Make best-seller lists! Speak at romance conventions! Unfortunately, you won't get rich. Granted there are a handful making big bucks, but the rest of us? Nope. There was a standard path you had to follow. Enter contests, join the RWA, (Romance Writers of America) Get an agent. Maybe, just maybe, you will be the 1 in 10,000 that makes it to print. All that has gone out the window. Is it my ultimate goal? Not anymore. Do I really want to settle for an 8% royalty rate, or 6% with Harlequin? A lot of print authors are coming to this realization and moving to epubs or self-pubbing where they can get a bigger piece of the pie. Of course, this mass exodus about to take place (and it will, mark my words) will flood the ebook market even more.

What struck me was in the comments on this blog piece, someone said this:

While attending an RWA conference, a friend of mine stood up and asked a panel of HQ editors and other 'suits' how they expected their authors to live on the paltry wages they paid. Their blunt answer, "We don't. We warn authors not to quit their day jobs. Don't ever expect to earn a living as a writer. This is a hobby, not a career." I was stunned and saddened. Consequently, after my friend spoke out, she never sold another manuscript to the company. 

As I suspected. It IS a hobby. The suits at Harlequin said so! *insert sarcasm* I've been referring to my romance writing as a hobby because I really am not relying on this money to put food on the table. Also, I don't WANT to think of it as a job, I'm retired. I don't need the stress. It's why I will probably never self-pub, too much work involved. So, if I don't think of this as a job, why am I quoting royalty rates? People should be paid a fair cut for their creation. And these print royalty rates are archaic.

I think every author in Romance, whether print, epub, self or aspiring have to decide early on just what is their goal? To make tons of money? Make a best-seller list? Write what you love? Dabble part-time to fill your days? Do it eight hours a day because you love it? If your ultimate goal is to get in print, then go for your dream. Just don't expect to make a living at it.

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