The Other Side of the Fairy Tale…

This is a bit of a different post than what I usually do, but hopefully it will be useful. In the cover lover post below this one, I put up the cover for the next Jean Johnson book, Dawn of the Flame Seas. In the comments section, Stephanie copied a post that had been upped to Jean Johnson’s Facebook page about her writing status, and asked if I would do up a post…

I am going to lose my house.

For some reason, my taxes are almost 50% higher than my roommates’ combined income, when my income is at most 75% of what their total is. Unless there was some mistake in all the accounting, I owe an additional 6.5k from what I’ve already paid in quarterlies. That completely wipes out my cushion. That wipes out most of my grocery bills. That wipes out ANY funds for an emergency. That wipes out GOING to a doctor even for a standard health checkup because I can no longer afford the copay.

I am going to lose my house.

At this point, I WANT to say, “Please go support my Patreon, please!” But there are only 14 people doing that…and I can’t even get feedback from them on whose biography to post next. I thank them all for the patronage, but I don’t know what to do to get anyone to notice me.

I am going to lose my house.

Maybe, MAYBE I can get money out of my parents. But the greatest likelihood is that I am going to lose my house. That is all I can see right now. My house. My independence. I worked for YEARS to get my writing up to a skill level that could be deemed worthy of publication, struggled hard to gain my independence…and I am going to lose my house.

Pieces of shhh writing are making millions out there. I can’t even get anyone to make me a Wikipedia page. Not that it would cure my finances, but at least it would prove that I exist. I’ve asked. Nobody has done anything.

I am crying, I am sick to my stomach, and I will owe an additional 3.4k in health insurance money this year that I don’t have. Because somehow I’m just not good enough. My writing isn’t good enough.

I am going to lose my house.

I am going to run out of time to write in even a semi-timely manner all the contracts I was too ill to fulfill, because I will have to try to get a job, and I am going to lose my house. The roof over my head. The roof I still owe money to my parents for. And I have been out of the employment sector for DECADES, which means my prospects of getting a job above the shit that is minimum wage are virtually nil…and minimum wage won’t pay the bills.

(Don’t point to the “living wage” increase everyone talks about in reference to my home state; that was for specific service jobs in the Seattle/Seatac area, and that’s entirely the wrong side of Seattle from me by an hour’s drive…and I cannot afford the bus fare, never mind the gasoline.)

I am going to lose my house.

Unless a miracle happens, my roommates (who have been slammed by financial problems of their own) won’t be able to stay here for relatively cheap rent. I can’t charge them anything more because they cannot afford it.

They are going to lose my house.

I have enough money right now to make house payments to June. IF no expenses crop up. Unless a frikkin miracle happens with my April royalty cheque, I probably won’t I’ll make it to the end of the year, because the only thing between me and bankruptcy is the October cheque, and the only way that could possibly overcome everything falling down around me is if my writing DOES go viral between now and JUNE, because the pay-period ends June 30th for the October royalties…and I write better–I KNOW I WRITE BETTER–than those pieces of shhh out there that have movie deals. And I. Am Going. To Lose. My House.

I am going to lose my beautiful home, my independence, my everything. My dreams of making a living as a writer are gone.

Now, so I don’t come off as a complete hypocrite, I have to mention as I have before that I am not personally a huge fan of Jean Johnson’s writing. Nothing bad about it, but her style just doesn’t work for me (same as Pamela Palmer and Alexandra Adornetto, among others), so I am not out trying to drum up business for a favorite author. I guess I just found it…sad. I don’t claim to understand the ins and outs of the publishing world, but I figured that a quite recognizable name author would not have those kinds of difficulties (but hey, I have totally supported myself working as a waitress for over 20 years and have always rented the homes I live in, plus I am debt-free, so what do I know?).

On a side note, I don’t know if loss of income from book piracy is a factor (and book piracy really, really bugs me), but I saw a post by another author breaking down just how much income they lost due to illegally downloaded books and it was staggering. Literally thousands of dollars. I get sent questions here on my blog sometimes about where someone could find a free copy of whatever book they are asking about to download, and I don’t answer them at all. But what I do know is that the more piracy there is, the less authors make, and the less they make the harder it is for them to put out the books I love. A lose-lose situation.

Jean Johnson has started a gofundme campaign to try and raise enough money to pay off her mortgage (aaand yes, I had no clue that was even a thing). She goes into a bit more detail about her goals and what got her to the point she is at there, and if you are interested you can read more HERE.

*LATE EDITION

I went back and tracked down the post I mentioned above that broke down exactly what piracy cost a writer. The author in question was Jennifer L. Armentrout, and the post can be found HERE. To break it down quickly, she listed off a few of her titles she had found available for illegal download, plus the number of times they had been downloaded, and what she would’ve made had they been bought through proper channels…

Disclaimer: The time frame is from when the link has been available on various sites and from systems that monitor the books.

Daimon: 395 (DUDE, THIS BOOK IS FREE. LE SIGH)
Half-Blood ($3.99)  1, 109  downloads. What would I have made off that? $1327
Pure ($5.99) 1,585 downloads. What would I have made off that?  $2848
Obsidian ($5.99) 2,267 downloads. What would I have made off it? $5431
Tempting the Best Man ($2.99) 978 downloads. What would I have made off it?  $1169

I didn’t look at Shadows, because at that point I wanted to punch someone.
So the grand total there is $10, 775.
So let’s say only 25% of them were actual sale since 75% doesn’t buy anyway.
That’s $2693 dollars. Hey, that’s not pocket change.

Also keep in mind, agents are paid out of that. And this was just what I could find today. This does not include the hundreds of times the books have been taken down (download counters restart each time its removed).

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Fairy Tale…

  1. Loverofromance says:

    Great post. I had no idea about book piracy…that is just awful. Authors have lives too. I actually enjoy her books, not my favorite…but I do have a fun time with them. This is so sad though, and I am sure this isn’t the only author that is struggling.

  2. stephanie says:

    Thank you, kaleigha, I love her books and I would be very sad to see her abandoning writing 🙂 . I usually read your blog regularly, maybe there are others like me and will see and help somehow 🙂
    Ilona Andrews made a comment on her fb and gave the idea of self-publishing a novel , maybe it will work.
    Can’t believe the ridiculous amount of money lost -what we’ll do if authors stopped writing ?

  3. Sandy S. says:

    Book piracy is rampant. I know several authors who are no longer sending electronic ARCs to reviewers etc due to the high volume of piracy. Watermarking and numbering the ARCs is a start but ‘prosecuting’ the people who pirate is another matter all together. It is the electronic age and hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

    On another note, romance author SANDY JAMES is having some financial issues as well, as her matter is completely different. Her husband has cancer and their portion of the bill for medication and treatments exceeds $300,000 and growing.

    If anyone is interested, she is asking for readers to buy her books -every little bit counts:

    Here is a link to her Amazon page where all of her books are listed: http://www.amazon.com/Sandy-James/e/B002BLZOFW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1425136668&sr=8-2-ent

    Thanks

    • kaleigha says:

      Hey Sandy…the illness side is hard enough, but it is hard to imagine adding a huge financial burden on top of it, as well. Thanks for mentioning it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s