Out walking last week, we saw a beaver in the creek. This is in the middle of town. I'm happy to see wildlife in the city, but concerned about the amazing speed with which the beaver is damming the creek. I hope this indiscretion will be overlooked.
I was not quick enough to get a photo of the beaver. But I did see it in the water.
I'm pleased to announce I received a contract for my short story Claire's Cabin from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. While short story pay isn't exactly in the king's ransom territory, it certainly beats the novel royalty statement I posted last week.
AHMM is one of the premier mystery magazines. The pay for a short story is less than ten cents per word. Writers compare notes about the length of time it takes from story submission to acceptance by AHMM. Here are the stats for Claire's Cabin.
Idea for the story - fall 2018.
First viable draft of Claire's Cabin - fall 2020.
Submitted to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine - 5/10/2021
Accepted - 3/4/2022
Contract - 4/13/2022
Appearance in AHMM - ?
Almost ten months from submitting the story to learning it was accepted by editor Linda Landrigan. Then the wait until it appears in the magazine. It's worth the wait to me.
Claire's Cabin will be my tenth story to appear in AHMM. And yes, I am still working the day job.
People are curious about how much money their author acquaintances make. Didn't J. K. Rowling purchase her own private island?
The reality is harsh. Most writers will never make a living off their short stories and novels. I had dreams of quitting the day job after my first novel publication. Then the publisher went belly up.
So I was surprised to receive a royalty statement from them this week. Our business relationship had ended several years ago.
I thought I'd dispel some myths about the lifestyle of rich and famous authors by sharing this stunning royalty statement. Okay, this isn't a good representation. They don't sell my books anymore. This stunning sum is left over from some long ago sale. They don't write royalty checks for less than $50, so my 31 cents will float around for the rest of eternity.
My new publisher is doing quite a bit better. But it's definitely not quit the day job money. If most struggling authors are like me, they are writing for the joy it, not the anticipation of wealth. We have stories to tell.
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