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Famous Author July 9, 2009

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been reading my bedtime story, The Time-for-bed Angel, at day cares during the summer. After a reading last week, a child asked me, “What’s it like being a famous author?”

Tough question.

Had he asked, “What’s it like being an author?” the question would have been easier. I don’t see myself as famous. I’m not sure what it’s like being a famous author. Truth is, most authors aren’t famous.

Just recently, one of the publications I read (I can’t remember which one, but it was probably Publishers Lunch) posted publishing stats for the past year. The stats indicated about half a million books were published, and of those, about a quarter million were published traditionally (at the publisher’s expense) and slightly more were self-published (at the author’s expense). (Just for the record, I’m traditionally published.)

With a half-million books being published every year, not every one of the authors of those books can be famous. Or even rich.

I’ve heard from editors and agents that the number of authors who make a comfortable living solely from their books is somewhere between 100 and 200.

If you compare these numbers with the number of books published each year, you’ll see that becoming an author is no guarantee of fame or riches.

So, what did I tell the inquiring child?

“I like being an author. I was so happy when I saw my book in print and could hold it.”

All true.

Maybe I should be a politician.

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