Confessions of a Romance Author: Pay Me Edition

It’s been two weeks since I last confessed. 

I’ve always hated doing current events, especially in Economic class. Now it’s not because it was boring, but the only concept I understood was supply and demand. So it should be a surprise that (without internet access) I feel the need to stay up on current events in the publishing world, at least.  My wonderful and lovely friend, Jennifer Leeland, indulged me with her Google Reader updates. Apparently Janet Evanovich wants a crapload of money. 50 million to be exact for her next four books. (I believe it’s four books.) 

This is was reported at Dear Author, so of course, there were a couple of snide comments, “Who does she think she is asking for all that money?” and “Greedy, greedy, greedy.” And I have to agree with commenter Gwen Hayes (A wonderful writer also.) She pointed out actress Heigl, who will be playing Stephanie Plum in an upcoming movie, gets paid 13 million a film, so why is it greedy for the creator to get paid as much? (The gist of her comment.) 

And all this made me think of the kerfuffle what feels like eons ago. You remember when the former president of RWA called all e-pubbed authors desperate hacks? (The gist of HER comments.) At the time I was on the side that e-pubbed authors are not desperate hacks. Still am. There is money to be made. It is possible to make a career out of it. This woman on every level is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. 

But now, I hate to even say it, I can agree with her other point. Why not get paid what you are worth? No e-publisher, that I’m aware of, pays an advance. At one time Samhain Publishing did. (100 bucks) Hell, let’s round up any author who receives an advance that couldn’t pay three months of rent. In comparison you can definitely look at the amount Evanovich is asking and think WTF, I’d take a million? What I think is overlooked, how much are her books worth? Ignore the advance, but how much money did she get in royalties? 

Which leads to how much am I worth? This is the same question publishers ask themselves when they decide your advance or decide to take your book on. What is this book (author’s work) worth? And if I were to base my worth on what I made collectively on my two books…. 

These thoughts always make me want to take a shower in which I sob into a loofah. Yet like a submissive I come back for more flogging, because one day I’ll be able to pay three months worth of rent with my advance check.  <

What do you think of the amount Evanovich wants? Was the former RWA president right? (Lord help us all) What do you have to confess this week? 

Confession p.s. I love gossip, which is why I pump my dear ol’ friend for updates.

Confession p.p.s. Since I’m on the subject of gossip…Did you hear about Dorchester being disallowed from RWA conference for not fulfilling contractual obligations i.e. $$$? Well, I did some digging and back in 2008 is when the rumor of non-payment started. Found some very interesting nuggets on the Absolute Write forums 

I ain’t the one to gossip so you didn’t hear that from me. (Snort)