Don't get me wrong. I like getting paid for my work. Writers are worthy of their wages (1 Timothy 5:18), and I always submit my stories to the best-paying publications first. But I don't write for the money. That's not what drives me to keep writing. I want to share my stories with the world.
Yet I'm not posting all of my work on Wattpad or making it perma-free on Smashwords. Of the 81 short stories I've had accepted for publication, 79 were to paying venues. So while I can say it's not about the money...in some ways, it is. I expect to be compensated for my creative efforts, even if it's a token amount.
It's validating to have your work accepted and paid for by a publisher. They've seen value in it, and they want to share your work with their readers. Sure, they hope to profit from it in some way; it's a mutually beneficial arrangement. And when the rights revert to you, you can sell your work on Amazon and other eBook distributors. Run some free promotions. Continue building your audience.
How important is the money to you? Are you hoping to live off your writing income someday? Do you ever give your work away in hopes of expanding your audience?
I just finished revising my thriller Waiting for You, and I plan to start querying agents next month. One more week of final edits, then it'll be good to go. Will it make me rich and famous? Probably not. But when it eventually greets the masses, I hope my readers will enjoy it. And who knows, it might even help pay the mortgage for a month or two.
In other news, subscriber Sharon Lawson won a copy of my Kindle short "Lost Pets of Suburbia" last week. I'll be giving away one more copy before the end of the month, so be sure to sign up if you're not already a subscriber.
The flyer says: DID YOU LOSE A PET? I FOUND IT. CALL ME. A phone number below, printed on tear-off tabs, but no other information is given.
Would you be curious? Would you call, even if you hadn't lost your dog or cat? Who would answer? Maybe a local hero. Or maybe something else.
Short story - 4,000 words - Thriller
Originally appeared in Wolf Willow Journal