I’m Here to Collect My Stipend Please & Thank You

This week, we’re talking about the money, cheddar, clams, dough, benjamins side of the biz. It’s a topic that can challenging because the cash an author makes up front or from sales varies so much from writer to writer. Trust me, I spent a lot of time Googling to come to this conclusion.

I’ve found, however, that the money side of the things can be universally stressful for new writers. I’ll certainly raise my hand for that one. There was a stretch of time (almost three years) where I was working full time, but also a full-time mommy, while also writing my novel. With the birth of my second child, I cut my day job from full-time to part-time because mommy’ing with two kids while working eight-hour (or more) days was too much and I often had zero energy to work on my book stuff in my “spare” time. Then I found myself in a completely wonderful but terrifying situation where I was under contract for three books all releasing in 2018 and that all happened to be due on the same day, with that day quickly approaching.

The solution my husband and I came to, in order to give me a shot at meeting my deadlines, was for me to stop the day job and focus solely on our babes and my book babes. It’s been a dream to focus on my two loves, but also a situation where we often panic because we’re a two-income family currently living off of one income plus book advances. And trust me (a second time), those advances go quickly after you take out what an agent has (very much) earned and also what goes to Uncle Sam, which is even more than my agent’s cut.

It often makes me wish that circumstances were similar to the In Death series by J.D. Robb. Has anyone read it? I believe there are more than forty books in the still-going-on series. I’m a few books behind at the moment. But I love the series. And, I love the fact that the storyline includes things like people being able to claim “Professional Mother/Father Status” and, if those persons make less than X amount of dollars, they’ll collect a stipend. Now, I don’t know what that fictional number is, but I bet I’m below it and I certainly wouldn’t mind collecting a stipend for mommy’ing (without getting into any type of politics about who’d pay for that type of thing) until I hopefully, maybe, some day reach J.D. Robb (who is the pen name for Nora Roberts) status. But for now, every penny and every word counts.

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Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at jennilwalsh.com.

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at jennilwalsh.com.