How Do Authors Get Paid?

Typewriter-2095754_640Janice Jacobson asks: “In this new world of mixed publishing – print or ebook or whatever combination thereof – how do authors get paid?  Do they get paid more promptly?  Are they getting as much as they might have received in the print-only days?  How do they track all this stuff?  Is it enough to make a living?”

Given that this is tax season and writing income is on all wenchly minds, this was a timely question, Janice, thank you! For the historical perspective of publishing and how writers got paid, I cannot do better than this in-depth article on Victorian publishing.  Or Anne Gracie’s lovely article on Victorian publishing in the digital age.

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Writers and Their Dogs

Mandy by Elaine1 detail

My dog Mandela –Mandy

Joanna here. The last time I posted it was Cats and Their Writers. I promised to tell the dog's side of the story next. 

One thing I discovered when I was looking into this is that writers — and folks in general — talk about their cats and dogs differently.

Can I say there seems to be a closer emotional attachment to dogs? There's a different bond, anyway. For instance, there are many, many elegies to dogs. Somewhat fewer to cats. Dunnoh why.

I've lived with both dogs and cats and am silly fond of them. (They get the expensive brand of dog and cat food, for instance.) In a lifetime of pets, my dearest beloved were one dog and one cat. Oddly, they were my first dog and one of my earliest cats. The third, I think.

Let's see what writers have to say.

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The Joys of Friendship

5 wenchesAndrea here, thinking today about the joys of friendship and all the special ways it can enrich our lives. Here at the Word Wenches, we all write books that have friendship and love at the heart of our stories, though we play with those elemental tropes in our own individual styles. The beauty of friendship is that it has an infinite number of ways to weave us all together.

4WenchesInCTIn our occasional blogs on craft, we’ve talked a lot about the solitary life of a writer, and how we spend a lot of time in the “writing cave” with just our characters for company. (Trust me, there are times I wish I could send them back to their own abode and get them out of my hair! But as with all friends, you quickly learn to love their little quirks . . .)


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Ask A Wench–Personal News

Today’s Ask A Wench post comes from Beverly Abney. She said:

You are all authors whose work I read, and I like the blog to keep me posted on how you are and what you are writing. It is so personal and I can feel that you are friends of mine. Personal news from authors is important to readers.


I’m a firm believer that readers and authors ARE friends. Writers may pour out their souls on the page in private, but we’re exposing those souls to our readers. So how could we not trust each other and look for better understanding?

Cactus3Not that a writer’s life is all that interesting, mind you! We curl up in our caves and wail and gnash our teeth for the better part of our days. In my case, I occasionally escape to play with flowers. I’m in utter awe of this orchid cactus that has multi-colored flowers!

Every so often we sneak out of our caves for research. I just did a quick run up the Pacific Coast to Santa Cruz to get a better “feel” for the area I’m writing about in my new Crystal Magic series. Occasionally we escape to go to conferences where we can talk to people who understand about wailing and gnashing. I’ll be attending the RNA conference in Leeds, UK this summer with a couple of other wenches. Lots of talking will be part of the program! Let us out from behind our desks, and we can’t stop jabbering.

And in personal news, our one and only grandchild is graduating early and heading off to college in the fall. So there’s lots of excitement and tears around the old homestead right now.

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What We’re Reading in September

September is a grand month for reading. We've come up with some great suggestions.

Wench shamelessAnne here: I've been really enjoying some NA (New Adult) college stories. I've mentioned Sarina Bowen in this column several times and now I'll add Elle Kennedy to the list — they've written a few book together, which is how I discovered Elle Kennedy. Both these authors are writing fresh, fun, yet realistic stories that deal with some very serious issues faced by young people at that age, while still remaining very sexy and romantic. 
The Shameless Hour – Sarina Bowen
Bella gets around — she's a bright, positive, lusty girl. Rafe is a hunky Hispanic boy who has been raised to respect women — which is why he's still a virgin at 20. When the double standard smacks Bella down in the nastiest way, Rafe steps in. A gorgeous story, both realistic and romantic and positive.
The Deal  Elle Kennedy
Another NA story set on a college campus. Hannah Wells has a crush on one guy, but an annoyingly persistent jock is after her to tutor him. They do a deal to help each other achieve their goals.
I couldn't put it down. Really enjoyed it.
Pat Rice brings us:
Wenches NeanderthalNeanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance, is the first book written by Penny Reid. I love the brain-heavy, neurotic heroine—who has every right to be neurotic given her dysfunctional family. It’s totally a contemporary fantasy but the author’s voice is so hilarious that I kept reading anyway. Sure, it could use a lot of trimming, but who would want to trim material that contains (and I’ve seriously edited here) lines like this: “I think my alcohol-saturated forebrain lost the ability of conscious thought, but my lower brain—the Id…may have slipped my forebrain some benzodiazeprines…. I will call that part of my brain Ida.”

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