Posts Tagged ‘How Authors Get Paid’




How Authors Get Paid

Filed under: Community, Fan Mail, School Visits, Touching the Surface, Writing for Children, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

You’ve all heard some of the terminology about how author’s get paid. This is important stuff. Advances and royalties are two words that immediately come to mind and rightly so. It’s normal to want to be paid fairly for the work that you do. No one would ever expect a Hollywood movie star or a pro-athlete to donate their time for the sake of entertaining us. We also don’t expect doctors to show up for hugs and lollipops. Police get a salary and so do an army of teachers struggling under the weight of how to create learners instead of test takers. Everyone gets paid for the work that they do. Some more than others, but we all get paid.

But there are times in most professions when we realize that we do what we do, for bigger and better reasons than money. Those movie stars use their capitol to support very worth while charities. They have a reach and influence that most of us can’t ever imagine. In just one of many instances, a pro-athlete shows up for the survivors of the Newtown shooting, helping to remind us who our heroes really are. Doctors donate a percentage of their services to those in need. A police officer buys a homeless man shoes. Teachers use the very small amount of money they make to buy books for their classrooms.

Young Adult authors want to make the lives of children better. In a way, tweens and teens are our true employers and while those readers do buy books, we really get paid in fan mail–with humor, insights and honesty.

Just a sample of the thank you letters from two middle schools I recently visited…

photo copy

*   “You have inspired me to work on my basketball skills.”

*   “I hope you enjoyed us, but I know we enjoyed you.”

*   “Thank you for being a good friend to all of us…It made me think about going to the library after school to do homework.”

*   “I have something tragic that happened in my life. I think that if I let my feelings out on paper it will make my life a whole lot better.”

*   “You encouraged me to read more. And yes, I remembered to think about you when we proofread,”

*   “Thank you for answering my 17 questions…I’m reading your book and I love it. I’m a good reader but I’m slow. From your biggest fan…”

*   “Thank you for being nice to me…”

*   “What I learned from you is how to follow your dreams…One day I will make a book about dreams…I will buy your book and have a good joyful life. PS Buy my book later.”

*   “One thing I learned is if you ever want to become a writer don’t stop the first time they reject your book. Keep going on, change some stuff so it sounds better.”

*   “…I thought about it a little, and realized I should probably do the same thing because it isn’t good to keep things to yourself the way I do. So, I’m going to try to open up more to people and myself…I say this because I did what you said and wrote down some personal things that I kept away from people and it actually felt good to write it down…Thank you very much for teaching me something about myself.”

*   “…The fact that you took the whole day to come and meet every single class individually, really shows how cool of a person you truly are.”

*   “I was ecstatic when you told us about your writing style. That got me so excited because you said that not all authors planned out their stories to an extremity. I, like you, do not plan out my stories. I find writing can be much more exciting when you are writing a story and you just can’t wait to find out how the end plays out.”

*   “You also inspired me because of how you never found yourself good enough.”

*   “P.S.: Team Trevor forever!!! <3”

*   “Hi, your visit was very special…I also hope that I grow up with the same kind of encouragement and influence that you had in your life…If you have a chance, please come back and give our class the encouragement we need in life.”

*   “When you showed us the process of how to get a book published I was absolutely stunned! After I saw all the papers inside that single binder my jaw literally dropped….Rick Riordan may be one of my favorite authors but you will always be my favorite too.”

*   “Also, hearing about how much you wrote when you were younger was inspiring because I’m the same way now (Thanks for the “no tearing out” warning by the way.)”

*   “My sister just finished your book, so I got it. Like your editor, I. LOVE. IT. SO. MUCH.”

*   “I also realized that people don’t need to be published authors to be writers. People just need to write.”

*   “As you may be able to tell I’m not that good of a writer, but it’s always good to know what I might be getting into if I were to be an author.”

*   “Also it was unbelievable how great your handwriting was in elementary school.”

*   “I liked how your were really enthusiastic when you were speaking, so everyone would pay attention. I did not read your book, but I’m hoping I can get my hands on it to see how great it is after so much hard work.”

*   “Your book is going to be a big success because when I started reading I couldn’t stop or put it down.”

*   “Thank you so much for visiting our class and teaching us about the process and joy of becoming an author. You specifically connected with each of us which made it a lot more real. It’s funny because I find myself a lot like you were growing up…”

*   “Than when you came, it inspired me to write again and I LOVE IT!!!! Thank you so much for letting me do what I really love.”

*   “I too have ripped out the pages of my journal. I did this because writing things down was dangerous. Dangerous because it makes things more than thoughts in my head. Dangerous because it makes them real. Your visit lets me hope that one day I will be in front of a class showing them the pages of my ripped journal. I extend my most sincere gratitude for this, for allowing me to hope.”


As you can see, no matter how much or how little money I make as an author, it’s obvious that I’m very, very rich. This is why I love what I do. It also reminds me how carefully our children are watching and listening. I love it when I get the chance to be the change I want to see in the world. Any favorites? And yes, I laughed and cried as I was reading. How could I not?


Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. Now Available

    Touching the Surface
  1. Follow Kimberly


  1. Archives



    agent Anica Rissi Apocalypsies blogging Bookanistas Book Review Class of 2k12 Conferences Contest Dad drafting Ellen Hopkins giveaway Jane Yolen Jodi Moore John Green Kimberly Sabatini Kimmiepoppins Kim Sabatini LA11SCBWI laurie halse anderson Lin Oliver Michelle Wolfson NaNoWriMo Oblong Books reading revision running SCBWI Simon and Schuster Simon Pulse The Class of 2k12 The Opposite of Gravity Touching the Surface WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore Wolf Pack Wolfson Literary writing writing style YA Author YA Book YA Books YA Novel YA Outside the Lines YA Writer
  1. Links

  1. The Apocalypsies
    The Class of 2K12