Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

A Brief Report on the Writer's Market

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

A Brief Report on the Writer's Market

Article excerpt

This morning I had an epiphany. I figured out how these heck novels are probably written. I have been a member of Freelancer.com for a while now, but mostly inactive, or making bids that were higher than everybody else's. This morning I received an invitation to bid on a romance novel ghost writing project. The budget is $30-$250 for a 7,000 word short story with a cliff-hanger leading into the next chapter or story. The organizer requested the lowest possible bid. I can typically type 7,000 words of academic writing in 1 day. I could probably type 20,000 words of formulaic romance writing in 1 day, but I wouldn't want to read that afterwards. Let's say that an average writer with an MA degree can write around 7,000 words maximum per day in the romance formula. If they work 5 days per week for 1 months, at $250, they would make $5,000 for 140,000 words or $60,000 per year, if they write 1 novel per month. There are professors in the US that are making $60,000 for teaching 1 2 credit hours per week for 8 months out of the year. . . But on the other hand there are seasoned newspaper reporters that make $20,000 per year. I was recently interviewed for a job like this in Arizona. The publisher wanted me to write at least 3 stories, at around 500-800 words each per day (including research, travel to meetings, interviews) - that's $83/ day or $27/ story or $.05/ word. While this seems like a bad deal at first, actually it's a better per/word deal than the novel ghost-writing project, which was at $.03/ word. The only way ghost writing beats reporting is if one accounts for the many hours reporters spend gathering sources, quotes and facts, and the potential complete lack of research that many heck writers do when they write romance novels. …

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