Yesterday's post about my very small Amazon royalty payment reminded me of this post by way of my friend Tim:
10. Have fun
The record industry was ruined by expense accounts and arrogance. Don’t even try to make money or think about quitting your day job.
For a long time, I went back and forth about how good a piece of advice this is, because a part of me sees this as a lie-down-and-die kind of proposition: Don't bother to monetize your work, just put it out there.
This I can't agree with, and I suspect that's not remotely the intention behind making such a statement. I suspect it's more along these lines: The fact that you are not in this for the money should not be construed as a license to be ripped off.
Most creative types, when they make money at all, make only enough to maybe cover expenses. If they have a budget for their work, it comes out of the money they make in a day job (with any luck, a dependable one). They don't think of it as a revenue stream, and that's fine. But none of that should be used by others as a justification for gouging them, whether it's a promoter stiffing the very bands he's putting on the stage or an outfit like PublishAmerica using bait-and-switch tactics.
I've resigned myself to the idea that I will probably make enough money off my writing, in the whole of my lifetime, to buy myself lunch a few times. I have not resigned myself to the idea that such pocket change is what I deserve.