Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unassailable truths...

Unassailable truth # 1 - if I do not sell enough copies of this book I may not get the next one published. However what constitutes 'enough copies' varies widely from publisher to publisher. Sometimes they apply their sales counting formulae in intriguing ways. But publishing is a business. Book sales = good. This is why I do try to promote my books. (Horrible question that I don't want to contemplate - how many books have I sold through my promotional efforts to date?)

Unassailable truth # 2 - authors/illustrators do not agree on whether they should charge for appearances or not. What I can tell you is that the income from the sale of my books this year would almost pay for my coffee habit but nothing else. I would be whippet thin if I lived on my book income alone (or dead). My income from public appearances is 7 or 8 times that. Don't get too excited, I still couldn't cover my living expenses, even if they were significantly reduced from their current levels. And I cannot rely on invitations to speak, read etc... being regular or even continuing. Which makes my SO a patron of the arts. Suffice to say many authors/illustrators rely on a range of income sources to survive. I don't know that charging for visits /readings /appearances is the ideal model to support authors and illustrators. I wish there was more grant money available to assist full time creatives to pursue their art and not be faced with the sometimes difficult side of charging for visits. And more fellowships etc..which didn't involve travelling far from one's family (yay - go the Beatson Fellowship! Not only generous but understanding and forward thinking too). The way many fellowships etc..are structured means my role as mother precludes me from applying. Anyone who is not a mother/parent therefore has more fellowships, awards, grants etc they can apply for. This isn't a criticism of those with more freedom to apply for a wider range of things, but more a lament that such things are out of reach for me. Having my children goes a very long way to make up for that but all the benefits of such awards would sometimes be very handy and would look fab on the CV if i was a successful applicant (and of course hard times mean more competition for these things). And maybe a tax break for the arts patronage my SO is required to take on because he loves me would be good as well.

Unassailable truth # 3 - doing an exam at home is harder because there are a million more distractions and a greater sense of pressure to perform. Ack... Give me a 3 hour exam in an echoey community hall any day.


I'm Fairy Glad! said...

I get your viewpoint. When I mooted the idea of applying for the Otago residency one year, my son, then aged 14, said 'you can't seriously be thinking of leaving us?' and then cried for 2 days whilst the rest of the family wondered what they'd done to pee me off so much I'd move away for 6 months given the opportunity. Most residencies preclude anyone with a school aged family or an employed partner who they are committed to being in a day to day relationship with. Tania broke the mold by shifting her entire family down to Dunedin. But boy, it's an extreme action for most and many SO's wouldn't be up for that.
I have to constantly reinvent ways to make a living wage and none of them include the writing I want to do. And my SO has been out of work since fun fun. And CNZ? What a joke.

TK Roxborogh said...

I know! I've applied for a residency outside of Dunedin and the family are completely ticked off with me. I don't care. If I get it, I'm going. The girls are big enough to not need me and hey, they still have their dad. There's a part of me going - ohh, I so hope I get it. Then you guys are just gonna find out HOW IMPORTANT I am to making your lives so easy.

I guess I was lucky with the dunedin thing cos hubby could continue to do his work from home via the internet and the phone (which was what he did in a swish office in Takapuna anyway). I think the company appreciate the reduced cost of having an extra body in the building. The then 14 year old made my life a living hell for 5 or the 6 months and then couldn't wait to get back to Dunedin for good.

Few of us make it big. I've got my fingers crossed that after 15 years of busting my gut and being nice to all the influential people who make major decisions around the children's lit area might mean I will get something, something soon.

We had to sell our rental (at a loss) cos we have really been struggling - damn!

Anyway, anyone who thinks it's all candy floss and roses, knows nuffink! But then, I'm talking to the converted.

Now, back to the marking ack (to quote you Melinda)