Welcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!!
I see THIS POST needs a revisit. Grumbling about the price of e-books has reared its ugly head once again.
I spelled it out pretty well in that post, but let’s dig a bit deeper into what exactly goes into writing each story for 99% of us.
Biggest factor, by far. Unless you’re one of those who can bang it out in your sleep. And I’m not. Neither are the other fabulous authors on this blog.
I can type 1,000 to 1,500 words an hour, but I then go back and spend probably two hours revising and self-editing those 1,000 to 1,500 words. This doesn’t even take into account the thinking about the story, revising the story in my head, or outlining beforehand. It doesn’t take into account the character planning, or the story-boarding I do for each book.
Each of us works a bit differently, but I know all of these ladies well enough by now to assure you they each take their time with these stories. They do similar things to what I mentioned above.
You really think all that time I put into each story, not to mention all the other things I’m about to detail for you, is worth no more than 99 cents? When you pay up to $8 for a cup of coffee you drink in ten minutes? Well… I would love to see the look on your face if your boss paid you 99 cents for… let’s say one week of work. I’d laugh.
In addition to the fact that I come up with these ideas, I then let them percolate for a while. Some go nowhere. Others nag at me until I start outlining, doing character spreadsheets, and making notes on the story. There is no set time for this. We’re talking hours, days, weeks, and sometimes months.
You can’t put a price on this. Because unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t understand it.
Let me give you an example.
When I was in college the first time, earning my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, I dated a man who was a music major. He had talent. Real talent. He would sit down at a piano and play the parts of a song. He heard how the different instruments would sound IN HIS HEAD, as if someone was playing the song for him, already finished. It was fascinating to watch, and I understood it. Not from a musical perspective. My own musical talent was nowhere near that level. But I understood it from a LITERARY perspective because that is EXACTLY what happens to me when the characters in a story start talking.
That story plays out in my head like a movie. I hear it. I see it. I FEEL it. I’ve always been this way. Writers, like musicians, are BORN.
I don’t have an administrative assistant. I don’t have voice to type software. I do this on my own. I type out these stories, one word at a time. I also work a full time, outside the home, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM job with a commute from hell. I can’t always sneak in writing during the day. I have a life to live, just like you do. I have a family to take care of, just like you do. I have other obligations, just like you do.
Yet I make time to write these stories because I love to do it, and I love the people who appreciate them. I do this as much for my readers as for myself.
I’m only one human being, just like you. To do the thing I love, as often as I can, I must make room for it in my life. That means I give up a lot. I get up at 4:00 AM so I have time to promote, do social media, and WRITE. I give up weekends to do the same. I give up events to write. I spend more time with my laptop than with my husband.
SO… Let me turn this around for you. Think of the talent YOU have. We all have at least one. Think of that one thing you love to do every day of your life, no matter what. Maybe it’s knitting, or some other craft-related talent. It’s always in you, isn’t it? You think about it all the time. You would rather be doing it than anything. You can see the finished product in your head, can’t you?
Do you sell those items, or that talent?
Is it worth more than 99 cents? I’m betting it is.
If someone tried to force you to lower the price to 99 cents, what would YOU tell them?
I’m betting you would reiterate to them what I just explained to you. All the time and mental energy you put into that ONE item. You would explain how much WORK you put into it, and how much of the other aspects of your life you had to SACRIFICE to get that item finished.
Is this making more sense now from an AUTHOR’S point of view????
My time, mental energy, work, and sacrifice for each story I write is worth a hell of a lot more than 99 cents. If you don’t think so, you must live a life in which you do nothing that you enjoy. In which you’ve never created something to sell to others. Or even to give to others. I pity you, if that’s the case. I really do.
Creating something is unlike any experience out there. We pour our souls into these stories. And yes, we love to do it, but we have to eat as well. We have bills to pay. We have to buy clothes and shampoo. This is our LIVELIHOOD. And it’s obvious by the fact that most of us also have to work a full time job just to survive, that we aren’t being paid much for it.
So seriously. Stop trying to tell us what our books are worth. You can’t possibly know that unless you’re writing as well. And quite frankly, unless you want ME dictating what YOUR created item is worth, stop trying to dictate what you believe mine is worth.
Maybe give up that Starbucks once in a while. That cup of coffee is gone and you can only drink it once. You can read a book as many times as you want.
Put down the bottle of tequila. Once you drink it, it’s gone, and you can’t refill it.
Put down the pack of cigarettes. You can only smoke each one once.
Go enjoy a book instead. It’s healthier and more fun.
Until next week, Happy Writing!!