John Scalzi has a long series of posts about what it takes to make a living in freelance writing, and they boil down to the same things that the papers talk about: Don’t undersell yourself, write what you are hired to write, on time and to the specifications of whoever you are writing for, manage your finances, maintain as many revenue streams as you can to buffer against portions of the field hitting a slump, and have a life that yo find rewarding so that doing all this work for uncertain pay doesn’t destroy your soul.
In the particular article I’m looking a today, he is responding to the (at the time) latest claim that no one would be able to make a living writing SF within 10 years. Scalzi’s conclusion is that it is likely that the same people who are making a living writing SF full time now may not be the same people who are doing so in 10 years, but that the full time writers are a vanishingly small portion of the writers in the filed today and they always have been, and that while the small portion of writers who make their money as full time novelists may be a different set of writers than it is today, it is unlikely that this segment of the population will go away. He talks to the move to e-books, and notes that the major e-book readers all connect directly to a for pay book store, and that the major fights in ebooks right now are about how much they should cost, not if they should cost at all( which is still true 2 years later).
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