Sunday, August 5, 2018

Living in the Future - and Waiting for the Money to Catch Up

It's morning glory season here in Santa Fe. I love these gorgeous blooms - maybe even more so because they're so temporary.

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is an open one - whatever's on your mind.

I'ts been interesting doing my podcast, First Cup of Coffee, as I tend to talk about whatever is on my mind. Though I find I have to edit myself more as I'm in the habit of "conversation" being a free zone where I can discuss things more frankly than what I write online, Where Everything Lives Forever. I also keep a list of blog topics, and I'm looking at that and not feeling the spark with any of those.

Right now what's on my mind is finishing THE ARROWS OF THE HEART. This is the next book in my Uncharted Realms series and has been a long time coming. I've bemoaned in other places that I finally got to get back to it this week - after a four-month hiatus. I'd intended to put this book out in May. Now it will be out in September, at best.

All of this is because I had to move up traditional publishing deadlines. Sometimes that's how it goes. I did a lot of work in those four months - but most of the fruit of it won't appear until well into the future.

This is one of the difficulties of being a hybrid author - someone who both self-publishes and publishes with traditional houses - that the external, contractual deadlines take precedence over the self-publishing deadlines. And being hybrid is great for diversifying income - I've been about half and half the last two years - but one truth about traditional publishing is it can take a LONG time for the money to manifest. Yes, there can be advance money, but the royalties often don't come in for a year or more after publication, which can be a year or more after the book is written. With self-publishing, the money starts coming in within a month or two of publication, which is pretty immediately after finishing final edits.

Thus the rub about me not having self-published anything since SHOOTING STAR in March, is that the money from my self-published backlist, while decent, has dwindled a bit. And though I had a book out in June, PRISONER OF THE CROWN, it's traditionally published, so I likely won't see any income from that for a few months.

But all of this is necessary, to keep books in the pipeline. And I can only write so fast. Being a full-time writer is an exercise in planning for a fluctuating income. Very much feast and famine.
The nature of the business!