Writing

Money Matters: Experience, Digital First and Indie Writers

Coin Dropping Into Piggy BankA few weeks ago, the Waterworld Mermaids ran a poll asking authors how much money they made from writing romance novels. What we found is that 42 percent of the respondents had made $1,000 or less in the past 12 months.

However, the response in our comments section was so great that we wanted to ask a few follow up questions suggested by the Waterworld Mermaids’ amazing readers. Here they are.

If the polls – or vote buttons – don’t show up for you on this page (some internet browsers don’t like mermaid polls), click on the link under the poll to take it. Please only take the polls that apply to your romance writing income bracket.

And don’t forget to share these polls with your romance writing friends and tell us your thoughts about the results in the comments below.

http://poll.fm/48b4a

http://poll.fm/48b4h

http://poll.fm/48b4o

http://poll.fm/48b4y

http://poll.fm/48b51

http://poll.fm/48b54


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Contemporary Romance and Primetime TV (My Excuse to Talk “New Girl”:)

(New Girl – Season 2 Finale – SPOILERS!)

Denny's MermaidsThe TV fangirl in me must speak out! This week two of my favorite shows are having (or had) their season finale, and I am excited, filled with apprehension (somewhat resolved by “New Girl’s” fantastically romantic ending – spoilers – STOP now!). And a bit frightened by what Sondra Rhimes has up her sleeves for this Thursday night’s SCANDAL season finale.

These two shows couldn’t be more opposite in their viewpoint on romance. And what’s über scary for me is that I am A-okay on either side of the romance fence the writers have constructed. I’ve talked about SCANDAL and whether or not a central ‘love’ story could be ‘written’ and allowed in the romance novel cyber book bin when one of the main characters is married and having an affair with the other main character (so, let’s not go there again:). Some of us like edgy, but…?!

New Girl, a sitcom about four…
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Peter Andrews swims with the Mermaids and shares his tips on HowToWriteFast!

 

I’m thrilled to introduce Peter Andrews to the lagoon today for a different sort of Guy Day interview.  Peter has been writing and earning a living at it (!!!) for many years.  He keeps a blog on how to write fast, and teaches online courses on the same subject.  A writer, hubby, great dad, and all-around good guy, he even makes dinner!

It’s exhausting work, let me tell you!  So, first, let me offer the nice man a drink with an umbrella…  and let the questions roll!

1. What if you finally can sit down to write and realize you can’t get started?

Starting is dependent on preparation. Before you finish writing each day, you need to determine what you will work on the next day (or next definite session). This is a promise to yourself. And you keep it. You can still do other things, but you need to commit to work forward.

2.  What if you’re suddenly not in love with your book?  

Everyone falls out…
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How Much Do You Earn From Writing?

Avery-mermaidI remember when I signed my first book contract and a friend’s husband wanted to know when I was going to buy a second house. I still want to know the answer to that. I think I could swing Barbie’s Dream House (finally!), but I won’t be basking under a thatched roof on my own private island any time soon.

Maybe I should start a Kickstarter campaign for the Avery Flynn island dream home, I hear that works (Yay, Veronica Mars movie!).

Joking aside, we all want to know when we’ll earn enough from writing to give the evil day job the old heave ho. I’ve seen some averages for advances and earn outs. Check out this great post from Brenda Hiatt for breakdowns by publisher. I’ve talked to friends and eavesdropped on others. Yes, I’m that girl. Come on you cannot be shocked by that. And I’ve researched using my Google Fu skills. But everything I found looks mainly…
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The Waiting Game

I’m frustrated. There it is, I’ve said it.

At the beginning of March my thirteen-year-old daughter, Brenna, was one of the lucky few selected to audition to sing the National Anthem before one of the Washington National’s baseball games this season. Let me tell you, auditioning is not a walk in the park. First, we got the e-mail on a Wednesday afternoon that she was one of fifty people who would be auditioning that Saturday morning. After chanting, “Oh crap, oh crap. Yay, this is so exciting! Oh crap, oh crap,” a few hundred times I rearranged everyone’s Saturday schedule so my husband and I could take Brenna to her audition. Brenna was incredibly excited and spent the next couple of days practicing with the Nationals audition guidelines in mind… You must perform a cappella and you only have ninety seconds, which is not a lot of time for that song.

We arrived bright and early at National Stadium on Saturday morning where we stood in line, freezing our butts off,…
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A BAGEL, ANY KIND, TOASTED AND BUTTERED – JUST AS LONG AS IT GETS THE JOB DONE

from mermaid Susan Andrews:  SusanMermaid

There’s a problem I’ve experienced as a writer sometimes that just knocks me on my back.  Mind you, I can plot, draft, write and create.  I carve out time to write.  I’ve created a little space for my books and my papers.  I’ve learned to draft manuscripts on the train, to use my phone for making notes and jotting down ideas.  I have a nifty new keyboard for my iPad.  I’ve even discovered the charm of the Yonkers Will Public Library for its blissfully silent study tables.

But, every once in a while, right in the middle of things, I get stuck.  That one word, the one fact I was so sure I knew, escapes me.  It’s right there, ready to be typed and, at the same time, out of sight.

I’m frozen.  Stuck.  My dream of being A Productive Writer is smashed at my feet, at least for the moment.  And, frankly, I’m a little…
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Twenty Minutes

I participated in the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival this year, and it was great fun. I loved the support, the encouragement, and the motivation. But the best part? The chat roompintip sprints.

Here’s how it worked: you showed up at the chat room at a designated time, where a Ruby sister was moderating. After a few minutes of chatting, the moderator announced the beginning of a sprint (usually twenty or twenty-five minutes). Everyone worked furiously. At the end of the sprint, the moderator called time. More chatting. Rinse and repeat.

It was amazing how much work I could accomplish when I knew other people were doing the same thing. Moreover, writing can feel like a lonely, solitary endeavor… but the Ruby chat room sprints made me feel like the other writers and I were part of the same team. Like we were doing something together.

Sadly, the WWF is over now, but it’s taught me a very important writing…
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ROMANCE? What if the Hero is Married and in Love with Another Woman (the Heroine)…

by Denny S. Bryce

Denny's MermaidsI got up this morning to the sound of chirping birds, geese doing shout outs to other geese, and sunshine bouncing over my lake (okay, it’s the community’s lake, but since I live here now, it’s mine!), but my thoughts kept drifting to SCANDAL.

No, nothing about my personal life here (sadly) – I’m talking about a TV show. Yes, some of you may know my obsession with the ABC series (SCANDAL) from the mind of Sondra Rhimes starring Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn (yes, the actor who killed Patrick Swayze in Ghost).

Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that Sondra Rhimes reads romance novels. Hot, spicy, romance novels, but she reads them and then she twists them into decadent juicy unbelievable (but totally believable) melodrama. And yes, it’s over the top and if you enjoy situations that just don’t fit in the realm of reason but then kind of do, then the show is for…
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Author Lynne Silver Swims with the Mermaids: Momma Always Said…

 

Please join the Mermaids in welcoming Romance Author Lynne Silver!  Take it away, Lynne…

Lynne Silver

We all know the adage if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And generally that’s a good thing. What about when it comes to book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads? Should authors give their honest opinion about books written by fellow authors?

As much as I am a published author, I might be more of a reader. I’m addicted to romance novels and read 2-3 per week. I often want to discuss them, possibly in a public forum, but the day I was published was the day I stopped giving my public opinion about a book if I think it’s anything less than stellar.

I retweet and Facebook share tons of links to good reviews and any promo for fellow writer friends, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a good discussion about a book. Do…
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A Killer Beginning

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“I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors…”

Those are the very first words of the Miranda Lambert song, Mama’s Broken Heart.  Every single time I hear it, I’m like, “I can totally see that girl.  I know who that is.  I know what she’s feeling, where she’s probably going, and who she’s after.”  And it’s not because I’ve ever been there or done that.

It’s one of my favorite openings ever because less than ten words in and you have to know the rest of the story.

And then I sit there, awestruck, and try to come up with my own attention grabbing openings.  It’s really tough, y’all.  😉

I think to accomplish a great opening line, it helps to identify your strength.  What do you feel most confident about in your writing?  What gives you that thrill inside when you’re in your zone?  Are you great at Dialogue, Characters, Emotion, Action, Grief, Humor, Mystery?  Whatever it is,…
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