Now, tell the Truth - How much Money have you actually Netted, from Writing?
Don't quit your day job!
© - Tom Hyland - 04-29-09
According to Encarta World English Dictionary -
“Clique - n - a close group of friends or colleagues having similar interests and goals, and whom outsiders regard as excluding them.”
Yep, sounds about right - “Birds of a feather flock together!”
About twenty or so years ago, when I first started ‘surfing’ the net, joined a writer’s site. Don’t even recall its name now, but for many months enjoyed being ‘stroked’ by fellow writers with similar interests and posts. Did notice that more comments seemed to be received on poetry rather than prose.
Soon developed a small following, and our small clique enjoyed stroking each other. Didn’t make any money, but hey - we were smooth strokers!
Could it be that everybody and anybody thinks he/she can be a poet?
In due time, after realizing that even though the site’s ‘come-on’ that Publishers were members - turned out to be untrue - I moved on.
The next stop was on AOL - as I was a ‘newbie’ took awhile to become acclimated there, but after a couple months of posting, two or three of the unpaid ‘Monitors’ said they really liked my work, and my comments to other writers, and they recommended that I be put on the ‘Panel.’
Naturally, I felt honored and looked forward to being able to help others. But, it simply didn’t happen. The Bosses said that the Rule was that a person had to be a member for a minimum of six months to be a Panel member. Before that ever occurred, a new following had been established, but amazingly - or not - not one comment from even one Publisher! Is there a pattern forming here?
Here a post, there a post, everywhere a post - post - Reviews, Comments, Strokes, but not one nibble from any publisher. Was it me? Did I suck?
Or - does each and every website owner simply LIE? Oh, how the years flew swiftly by - and not one plugged nickel, or even red cent ever EARNED! Meanwhile, I pecked away, slowly compiling my book of memoirs. A zillion or two of short stories, poems, articles, limericks, et cetera had been mailed off faithfully - about five each week, to Reader’s Digest.
Each one was tailored to the correct Genre and correct Department, and correct Editor. Way back then, you enclosed a stamped, self-addressed postcard - and they all came back with a rubber-stamped acknowledgement date thereon - like clockwork! But, never ever an offer to publish - well maybe I did really suck?
This website, that website - this group of ‘yippies’ - that group of ‘yappies’ - Kudos and Compliments coming out the Ying-Yang - but still no publishers - no money - no bread - no fame - some really great ‘friends’ and cliques - but no ‘Discovery.’
Oh yeah, several poems submitted to The International Library of Poetry - and several accepted and published (free) - but I never once Bought their frigging books! Vanity - Thy Name is Author!
By 2003, I discovered both Publish America and Authors Den - finally, some intelligent, caring readers and writers - YAY - I found a ‘Home!’ PA said they loved my manuscript and wanted to publish my very first Book - “Bawlmer, Merlyn - Home of the Hons” - OH BOY! Things were finally looking up!
After a whole bunch of ‘who struck John’ - my book was finally actually published in 2005. I DID IT! Got my first book published WITHOUT paying some greedy ‘Vanity Press’ any money! I was a Success! Or, so I thought!
After receiving my TWO WHOLE FREE COPIES - and knowing up front I would need ‘freebies’ to pass out to bookstores, like Barnes & Noble, Greetings & Readings, and a few others that had agreed to hold ‘Book Signings’ for me - I only had to outlay about three hundred and twenty bucks! No problemo!After all, It was an INVESTMENT, right?
Well, after giving out FREE books to Family members, and the aforementioned stores - one by one they each came up with some excuse, postponement, BS - Soon, my supply in the trunk of my car dwindled. Oh, what the heck, just BUY some more at my tremendously ‘DISCOUNTED’ price, right? All in all, in about one year, about one hundred books were sold - but mostly to - my CLIQUES and ME! DUH!
It was then, in the Spring of 2006, that I received the letter from PA -
“Your book has been CANCELLED because of lack of demand!” Say what?
Why the big hurry? What do you mean that the ISBN Number belongs to the Publisher - Not me? Oh, to be sure, I still owned the Copyright - BUT - they had THEIR name printed on every other page of the book - AND - it was in a PDF format, with a HIDDEN PASSWORD, so I could not even EDIT it out! Oh, yeah - I could BUY the PLATES, if I was dumb enough to spend more money with these LEECHES!
CAVEAT EMPTOR! To be forewarned is to be forearmed! Look before you leap! Don’t buy a Pig in a Poke! Don’t quit your day job! Duh!
So - what about AD - Authors Den? After six years and 443 titles posted, I have 1,716 Reviews, and 412,311 visits, or Hits - a new posse, or clique, of only about a dozen other authors - and still - no money - and no Publisher!
Many years ago, I read a book - “Games People Play’ - I think by Eric Berne? In it, he explains how and why we “STROKE EACH OTHER.”
In the final analysis - CLIQUES basically honor the old adage - “Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours!” Or, perhaps even - “Misery loves company!”
“We ain’t got a barrel of money,
maybe we’re ragged and funny -
but we’ll travel the road,
sharing our load -
Side By Side!”
You Clique me - and I’ll Clique you!
© - TKH