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Over the weekend, N. opened her stall at the Glebe Markets and began selling photography. Response was positive and we turned a profit, which was sweet, and after we went and had dinner with Cat Sparks and Rob Hood.

It was a strange day, in some aspects. It's easy to imagine, when you're a writer, that the only way you can make cash from your art is by selling it to a publishing house, by being part of the machine, and all that entails. Certainly, if you want to make a lot of money, you most likely have to be in that, still. People such as Amanda Hocking, who made a reported two million from self publishing, are pretty rare, but even in the end she went into the machine, and for a tidy sum, at that. Her move probably says more about the 'validity' of mainstream publishing for an author in being able to say about his or herself that she's a real author, but that's a longer, and more complex discussion, really. But still, that idea that you can only make money through mainstream publishing houses is pretty much held as a truth in publishing, even as the majority of authors in such houses struggle to do that (indeed, if anything can be taken as a general rule for authors, in mainstream publishing houses or doing it themselves, it's that nearly all struggle for cash).

But markets like this have a certain offering, really, a place for you to move your work in different ways and to different audiences, and to create a new revenue stream, which is not to be overlooked in the making of Art. In many ways, markets become part of that jigsaw puzzle of sales, promoting the idea that the more venues you have to different audiences, the more places you can pull bits of cash from, the more places you can fund your art. It was not a new notion, this, but I do have to admit, as I stood there, I had a lot of ideas about things you could do, ways you could have a diversity of outlets for not just money, but for your art, as well.

At any rate, there's not much to be said here, other than I'm talking aloud, and that I have ideas, and that ideas often lead to terrible things done by me.

Comments

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emerging
Jul. 30th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
hi ben...

i randomly came across this post when i was searching under self publishing.

i'm a writer as well who just published her first poem since college through a magazine (a pretty big deal to me), but next up for me is the book, and getting it published.

a friend of mine's father has been self published for about 1.5 years and now makes enough to live on, which would be a dream, but he made it very clear that some genres are much more profitable/sought after than others (paranormal romance, thanks 'twilight') one you find your niche.

also, you're the first new, interesting person i've found in a while on the ol' lj machine, so i thought i would say hello. :)

benpeek
Jul. 31st, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
hey hey there.

welcome to the blog and grats on your poem :)

as your friend's father says, there are some genres that make more than others, but there is also an element of how quickly you can turn around work professionally as well, i think. i don't know if it's true for your friend's father, but the people i know who make a decent amount turn out a lot of work--a book in a couple of months, and so forth, so that there's a continual flow of work. so there can be limitations on how quickly you write as well (i write pretty slowly in relation to that).

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