Wednesday, 1 October 2008

That most delicate subject...

So, today is a very significant one in my life as a writer. No, we didn’t get signed up to a new internet service provider – haven’t even got our migration authorisation code yet and we can’t begin the move until that arrives, so we’re still on line here chez Bizarre – no, today I got my first proper royalty cheque, the one in March having only covered the period up til Christmas, ie before Testament was published.

And you know what? I feel rich.
OK, objectively I am far from rich. The amount I’ve earned is less than a third of the annual sum I gave up in cutting back on paid work but it’s still more money than I’ve ever earned in one go before. And it’s the only money I’ve ever made from writing, never having been one of those writers who enjoyed years of success in the short fiction market before moving seamlessly into novels.

And I noticed a strange thing in contemplating this royalty cheque - money earned from writing feels more worthwhile than other money.
Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that, instead of being paid by some faceless bureaucracy which doesn’t actually have the smallest idea what I do on a day-to-day basis, the cheque sitting on my kitchen table is made up of myriad individual purchases by the reading public (even if some of them are prospective and German)
That’s why the money feels more worthwhile, because people have paid it over for this particular, specific, unique thing – my book.

So, on this very significant day in my writing life I would like to say thank you to all the people out there who have parted with their hard-earned cash to buy a hardback copy of Testament.

I am humbly and genuinely grateful.

6 comments:

Akasha Savage said...

Yahooo! I am really thrilled for you Alis. Make sure you spend some of it on yourself...you deserve it!
xx

Alis said...

Cheers, Akasha!

Tim Stretton said...

I hope your royalty was a bit more than mine, Alis - 27 quid! (but all from before the book was on sale).

Lots of bleating in the press today about how much money JKR earns in a week. Why the horror - she's bloody earned it! Yet some outlets seem to be making a moral equivalence between her and banking heads who lent money to people who could never repay it and then complained when the mortgage market collapsed. Bizarre and totally unfair!

Alis said...

I've never understood the vitriol JKR seems to attract. She writes books which millions of people - adults and children love - why the slagging off? She also gives away huge amounts of money which she isn't obliged to do. Is it just the British envy-fuelled obsession with pulling down heroes?
Whatever it is it's horrible and I truly feel for her. However much money you have, being villified is horrible, all the more so when it's completely unjustified.

KAREN said...

That must be a wonderful feeling :o)

I got a cheque last week for a short story I sold recently, and I just stood grinning at it for ages!

Juxtabook said...

Congratulation Alis! What a well earnt feeling! My husband writes non-fiction articles and we still get a buzz when a cheque plops through the door. Are you out in paperback yet? hardback was sold out when i tried to get one earlier in the year. As a secondhand book seller I know there are other routes to get a copy but it doens't seem right to buy you work secondhand when I read about your writing on here.