From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Friday, April 17, 2015

No, exposure doesn't pay the rent, but...

This is a hot button topic, and often a point of contention among writers, but I have seen some authors lose their shit on various social media sites over the audacity of some publications and small press publications who have calls for submissions but do not pay for the stories accepted, the argument being that being a writer is a job and those of us who work in this industry deserved to get paid for our work. After all you wouldn't ask a plumber, a doctor, or an IT Tech to work for free…

Now before we get started, I am NOT telling you what to do but simply sharing where I stand on this issue and why.

As someone who walked away from a > $50K a year job, I get it. Trust me I do, I need all the money coming in that I can get. As someone who has to budget to the dime I can no longer afford to buy a brand new book several times a month and when I do buy books I buy them from the 2nd hand bookstore but last year things got so tight that I started contacting other author’s to request bartering and book trades. Luckily almost everyone I asked agreed (even the authors who have careers I dream of having one day and probably never even heard of me before reading my unsolicited email.)

From the very beginning I've always said I wanted legions of fan, but I also understood that having an enormous fanbase wouldn't necessarily equal mountains of sales. Now this might come as a surprise to you but I am a huge Stephen King fan…lol The 1st Stephen King book I read was IT, I was in the 7th grade and I borrowed it from my BFF. The 1st Stephen King book I bought was nine years later when I was in the Navy.  

I really do want people to read my work even if I don’t get paid, which is why all of my eBooks can be shared and everything in print can be checked out at the library. I am featured in four other anthologies that are not my own and submitted to those for the sole purpose of getting exposure. The reason I made that decision was based on my own budget buying, when I cannot afford to buy a book from an author I’m a fan of I buy anthologies, it’s a lot of bang for your buck and I've ‘met’ some incredible authors from reading anthologies.

I also have a forever free audiobook version of my own collection …And They All Lived Happily Ever After!  

One of the questions I am often asked in interviews is what advice would I give other emerging authors. My answer, if you stay true to your, art your art will stay true to you.

As of 8:30 this morning on April 17th 2015 for this quarter I have earned $71.68 from my free audiobook. $5.83 more than from the sales from the premium version available on Audible, Amazon & iTunes.

There’s no way for me to track how much exposure I've received by allowing anthologies and websites to publish my stories without being financially compensated and the books available on Podiobooks are free but there is a ‘tip jar.’ The default tip amount is $4.99 but you can tip as little or as much as you want. And leaving a tip is not required.

As an author only you can decide how much your work is worth, and whether or not you’ll work for free. Lord knows I know that ‘exposure’ doesn't pay the rent...but it did, however, just pay the light bill.