How Much Does It Cost To Be A Writer?
It seems like a counterintuitive question. Isn’t writing supposed to make money? Well, yes. But just like with everything else in life, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. No matter what kind of writing you wish to pursue, whether that’s novel writing or film scripts, there is a lot more that goes into establishing yourself and your writing. (Image Credit: Pixabay)
1. Workshops and Courses
Many who are enthusiastic but also new to writing may decide it is in their best interest to enroll in a workshop or online class to learn from those with more experience. Online writing classes such as MasterClass offer a variety of courses depending on what sort of writing you wish to pursue. MasterClass pricing ranges from $90, which allows you to choose one class, to $180, which allows users unlimited access to all MasterClass courses.
In addition to this, there are also many classes taught by established authors such as James Patterson. These are typically more genre-based, depending on the genre the author in question writes for.
2. Self-Publishing Fees
Rather than waiting to hear back from an agency, many writers are going ahead and deciding to publish completely on their own. The expansion of Amazon in recent years has made it increasingly easier for authors who wish self-publish. However, if you are planning on publishing e-books, hard copies, or both, there will be fees involved.
Unless you are able to do so yourself, you will need to find a cover artist. If you want to provide an audiobook, you will need to find a voice actor. And, if you plan on publishing physical copies, you will have several production fees.
3. Travel Expenses
Writers can live anywhere, but the truth is that the majority of publishing in the U.S. occurs in New York City. If you manage to land a book deal with an agent and/or publishing house, you will be required to frequently fly in for meetings, discussions, and the like. Depending on which agency or publishing house you strike a deal with, you may find that they are willing to pay for travel and staying expenses, but this completely depends on the company in question.
If you are a self-published author, you will want to attend national conventions such as BEA (BookExpo America) in order to promote yourself and your writing. Conventions like this not only require flight and board fees, but the passes themselves which are often per day.
4. Software Programs
Writing requires a high level of organization. When it comes to writing longer works such as novels or scripts, even more organization is required. Software such as Scrivener, Celtx, or Final Draft are designed to help authors label and organize their chapters or scenes in a professional format. This is also designed to help authors recall specific instances when they need to go back to edit and revise. These programs are priced differently and range depending on how intricate or basic the program you wish to purchase.
5. Editing Services
Behind every writer is a great editor. Editors or critiquing partners are excellent resources that can transform your writing from good to highly sellable. If you are in the market for an editor, you may wish to browse places like UpWork. You can create a profile that advertises your writing and what you are looking for in an editor, how soon you need their edits back by, and how much you are willing to pay. You can also start your own blog that can be used to promote your book when it is complete.
While some people do not find this a necessary investment, this may be the most important aspect of being a writer. The more pairs of eyes read your work, the more polished and professional it’s going to end up sounding.