Craft and business

Something that’s becoming clear to me is that authoring is just as much a business as it is a craft. And to avoid the extremes of being a shonky sales sleaze or a suffering starving artist, one must walk a very fine and zigzagging line.

Frustratingly, there seems to be a stigma attached to making money from your art, as if creative people are automatons that don’t need to eat food or sleep in a safe, warm bed. Was it always this way or did internet-enabled easy access to media diminish the value of stories and entertainment in our minds?

It’s interesting how money-making norms are different in certain types of creative industries—and how they differ even within a single industry. For example, no one bats an eyelid when a corporate web designer charges premium rates for a clean and modern design, yet Etsy and Themeforest abound with bargain hunters looking for templates in similar styles.

So, what of books and publishing? I know of readers who only acquire free books and almost never buy titles from an author despite having the means to do so. And I know of other readers who don’t make much but will spend on books because they love them and want to support writers and artists dedicated to their work.

The latter are the readers who motivate me to hone my craft and write in a way that hopefully makes it worth their while, though it makes me sad to think they’d have to sacrifice so much while others get away with just taking and taking. One would hope they give back to the world in other ways so at least something balances out in the end.

As an indie author and apparent business owner, this kind of thing is always on my mind.