Just some fun math for writers and editors to get some perspective.

With 365 days in a year and it taking at least 6 months to write a book if the writer spends 5 hours a day on it and then following editing and rewriting for 3 months, also for 5 hours a day, both writer and editor together have spent a total of 1368,75 hours on this, counting an average of 5 hours per day of work. Taking both want to get paid an hourly rate to cover basic living costs during the process of writing and editing, this would total to 13.687,5 euro’s.

Given that a writer gets 2 euro’s of profit (at best, this can just as easily be 0.50) on a book costing 17 euro’s, the rest still goes to the publisher and printer, EVEN when self publishing, it means that the writer needs to sell 6.843 to 27.375 copies just to cover costs in the first 5 years, after which the book is sort of obsolete, unless it becomes a hype or the writer really makes a name for him/herself.
This means that the writer needs a fan-base of at least 10.000 to 30.000 people, as books are also going from hand to hand.
Do you have 10.000 fans? Because I sure don’t.

But consider this:
If the writer hold on to their job and takes all the free time he/she has to write, it might take a year to write a book, taking 2 hours a day instead of 5. There is no money left over, but there is none needed. He/she then makes a contract with the editor who also edits in free time to edit for 2 hour a day and in return split all profits right down the middle. Total editing time: half a year.
No costs, but books are getting published as the writer writes and the editor edits. Less books are written per year, but as there are no costs, more books are actually being published as there is no worrying about the money. Even if the books are mediocre, a small stream of money trickles in from a dedicated fan-base liking the stories and both see their bank accounts build, while neither had to suffer for it.
Now IF one of the books hits the big-time simply because it is accidentally brilliant, then both will see their bank accounts grow, simply because they trusted each other from the beginning.

Now I know there are a lot of editors out there who ‘just wanna get paid’, but your request is actually nonsensical as no writer has 4500 euro’s in their bank account, given the editor works for 5 hours over 3 months for an hourly rate of 10 euro’s. Only a name writer has this kind of money, which is most often paid through a lending scheme of publishers who have their own editors on staff.

And in all of this I didn’t even count cost for cover art and whatever comes your way while trying to publish. So in my opinion it is better to look to the future than to demand payment right at that moment. Unite your gifts under decently set up contracts.

This entry was posted in editing, getpaid, money, values, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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