Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Industry



Industry is a type of trade or manufacture, it can refer to trade and manufacture collectively. Those things will often happen in an industrial environment. Industry may also mean great activity or diligence. Those who demonstrate this are industrious.









Publishing is an industry. We don't always like to think of it that way, but it is. In common with most other industries money is the main driving force. It's often not the only one, but it's very important. If (for example) a magazine doesn't sell enough copies to buy more paper, it can't print the next issue.

If a publisher doesn't think our book will sell, they can't risk paying for an editor, cover designer, print run etc, or they won't be able to pay the royalties earned by their existing authors – and that wouldn't be fair, would it?




This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is – There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I'd like to see things level out a bit more. Instead of a few authors making vast fortunes and the rest struggling to make any kind of profit, I'd like more of us to earn at least the minimum wage. But then I'd like that for those who work in all other industries too.





Things could be worse though. There are opportunities for 'ordinary' writers. Free to enter writing competitions are part of that. They offer the possibility of winning some money, improving your craft, building confidence, perhaps even getting noticed by someone in the industry. (Which is one reason I blog about them so frequently.)

This one from Nottingham Writers' Studio is for up to 5,000 words of fiction or non fiction to be included in an anthology titled Black Lives. The top prizes if £250. All published entries will earn at least £30.

For the Perito prize, you're asked to write between 1,000 and 2,000 words of fiction on the theme of accessibility and inclusivity. The top prize is £500. There's an anthology involved there too.

This competition from Southampton University is for children. They're asked to write books on sustainability, for which they could win £200. (It's the 3rd competition down – you'll find others on the site for adult writers.)

23 comments:

Sonia Dogra said...

I loved how you spoke of the publishing "industry". Thank you for all those links for the little writers like us. Much helpful. Keep safe!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, it would be so much fairer if more authors were paid fairly for their work. Hope you have a good month writing.

ados123 said...

It would be better if authors were paid fairly and rights were equitable! But we've been over and over that...
Thanks for the links, Patsy.
Alyson

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Leveling out for everyone would be nice.

nashvillecats2 said...

A very interesting post Patsy, some good issues raised.
I see you're not so far away from me.

Hope you're safe and well.
Yvonne.

Marguerite said...

Levelling out would be good :) Not exactly retrograde, but taking note of the benefits to the Earth of these past few months, instead of just ploughing on with industry as it was before. Just had an inspired thought for one of those comps. Thank you, Patsy.

joylene said...

It's the same in sports. Our schools can't afford to continue with sporting events and programs, yet we pay our hockey players outrageous salaries. It's kinda crazy.

Sadira Stone said...

Thank goodness indie publishing allows us to bypass the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing industry!

Jenni said...

I liked your visuals and how you explained about what industry was.
Writing contests are wonderful. I won a local one this spring, and it was a real boost to see my writing in print.
Happy ISWG!

Tyrean Martinson said...

You make some great points! I am going to keep writing, but I admit even though I write what I love, I look at which books are selling well and which aren't. It makes a different when I sit down on my tired days - do I write the fun and joyful story, or do I write something that will sell a bit better?

Happy Writing! I hope the industry levels out a bit, too.

Sandra Cox said...

I've always felt there're 'royalty' in the writing world and then the rest of us. Heh.
Great post.

Chrys Fey said...

Oh my gosh, yes, to leveling the playing field and to a minimum wage for authors.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I realized recently when people were talking about their book advances on Twitter that there is unbelievable disparity in the industry in terms of what authors are paid, even with first-time unproven writers. A little bit of levelling the playing field would go a long way.

Donna Hanton said...

I agree with you about leveling the playing field. Spreading the money more equally would produce more diversity and (IMO) better quality.
Also, thank you for sharing the writing contests.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Yes, publishing is like any other industry and they need to worry about sales. Thankyou for sharing about the contests.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Thanks for including the contest links. I just might enter the second one.

I like your wish for the industry. While I still hold out hope of making it big, having more writers make a living at their craft is all to the good.

Happy writing!

Damyanti said...

Thank You for sharing the contests...

Michelle Wallace said...

It would be great if the playing field could be levelled.
Happy July!

cleemckenzie said...

My .02 may not be popular, but the truth is some people write better than others, and they sell better than others, so they deserve to make more money than others.

However, having said that, I resent bad/exploitive/sensational books written by celebrities or their ghost writers reaping millions. It's not jealousy that engenders my resentment, it's a desire for more opportunities for talented writers to emerge.

You're so right that this is a business, and if publishers know a Clinton book will make then the big bucks, they're going to invest their marketing money into that book. That makes good business sense. It just makes it more difficult if not impossible for the "unknown" to become "known."

Thanks for the post this 1st Wednesday and for putting your link on the IWSG Facebook page.

Steph said...

Great perspective regarding industry. Thanks for sharing the contests. I would like to enter in more contests.

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Thanks for sharing the contest info.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - a fairer industry would be better; also a way to get rid of the pirates ... but thanks for letting us know about the competitions ... and let's hope we can get some normality back soon - take care - Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Some timely competitions there. Thanks for posting. I'd like things to be more a level playing field - you could say it's in the hands of readers, but then some books seem to be massively overhyped, whereas others that are equally deserving go unnoticed. It's a difficult one.