Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Understanding Writing & Money


This is yet another of my posts about writing and money.

Writing for Money

Image courtesy of Caltiva Creatividad ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/caltiva

And, even though there are writers who don’t care about the money, most of the Internet Hype these days seems to assume that there is no other reason to write but to make enough money to live on—and, far too much of the Hype is about making Tons of money…

I thought I’d share a few books recommended by Jane Friedman—from her article Writing & Money: A Brief Syllabus—about the issues writers face when they write with the intention of making money:

Authors & Owners by Mark Rose explores the invention and history of copyright, which has made it possible for writers to make a living from their work. Writers went for more than 250 years after the invention of the printing press without any formal rights to their creations. How did they earn money? Some didn’t—nor did they want to.

The Author, Art, and Market by Martha Woodmansee is an incredible scholarly work that explores what happened as literature became subject to the laws of the market economy, and shows how and when Western culture began to identify art as something that doesn’t sell—and then turned that quality into a virtue.

The Content Machine by Michael Bhaskar is primarily about where publishing is headed, but his theory is grounded in stories of where publishing has been, and traces important historical milestones of the industry.

The Gift by Lewis Hyde came out more than 30 years ago, and is still in print. It’s said that Margaret Atwood gave a copy to every artist she knew when it released. While not focused on publishing, it explores the tension between art and commerce—or how one can or should go about making a living through one’s art.

Make Art Make Money by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens is like a contemporary update to The Gift, using Jim Henson’s career and values to present a framework for creating your art and making a living, but not selling out. Maria Popova writes about it elegantly here.

Are there any books about writing and money you can recommend?

Do, please, share them in the Comments…
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4 responses to “Understanding Writing & Money

  1. danholloway August 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    It’s not about books, but Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking TED talk, and soon to be released book, is essential

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai August 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you, Dan, for that recommendation :-)

      Like

  2. Jane Watson August 28, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Knut Hamsun shows us that writers need to eat. “Hunger” by Knut Hamsun is an intensely personal narrative about a Norwegian’s writer’s struggle to survive and not starve to death in the middle of a Norwegian winter. I think many writers just want to write and as Knut shows us it’s hard to do this when you haven’t eaten for several days and the screen, or paper in his case, looks blurry. Striving for great riches has, I think, got nothing to do with the writer’s or artist’s life, being able to create has:-)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai August 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Jane,

      Thank you for such an interesting and valuable comment :-)

      Liked by 1 person

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