Last week Helen Ginger put this link on her blog. Lynn Viehl has a book in the top 20 New York Times Best Seller List and this is her royalty statement. It was one of the most depressing things I've ever read.
I have a good writing friend, author of 13 books, who is of the opinion that writers are always at the bottom of the food chain. Every time you turn around there is another thing that the writer must do. Make a website and maintain it. Hire your own editor. Attend every possible type of book marketing event known to humanity. I am currently vicariously following Petina Gappah's meteoric rise to fame. It is giving me nightmares and cold sweats. She is enjoying it and I am so happy for her, but if I had to go to cocktail parties with Zade Smith and sit on panel discussions with Micheal Ondaatje I think I would stop writing. It sounds all nice-nice, but I know me, I've lived with me for 45 years, and if I had a choice between that and Chinese water torture- I know which I'd choose.
The point I'm trying to make is I want to be a writer (a writer writes- right?) . I am actually willing to do my share but that share should not keep changing. And, though I know my books right now don't make much money (maybe because you'd have to be James Bond to find one on sale-ANYWHERE- that is another issue) but I sort of hoped that in the future things would get better, but now I wonder if that is even what I want considering what that is likely to mean.