23 August 2006

A writer's riches

I was talking with Sandra today, and mentioned how giddy I was to get $50 for my writing from sub-Terrain.

Later, I thought about my royalties for this past year.

I got $50 from Anvil Press, though Brian had given me a generous $500 advance for Confessions Of A Small Press Racketeer, so that's where most it got swallowed up.

I got $36.23 from The Mercury Press. That huge sum represented about 17 copies of Surreal Estate, the brilliant fucking anthology I edited and published through them in 2004. (I think my $300 advance was swallowed up in the 2005 royalty statement.) Seventeen copies sold. In a year. And that's an important book. I can never hope to recoup the money I paid the contributors out of my own pocket, but I sure would like to know that the book is getting into people's hands.

Still haven't got my royalty statement from ECW, though Jack did have the courtesy to send a note saying it would be late. It is amazing how the printers get paid, the distributors get paid, the staff get paid (I presume), the landlord gets paid... and the writers, well, they can wait a bit, can't they?

Over and out.


At August 23, 2006 8:59 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

writers...who needs 'em? (as long it looks good) hollywood proved that.

At August 23, 2006 9:03 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh no. you're kidding right? you mean i'm not writing poetry to make money? holy schamoley! don't tell the wife. please.

p.s. two years ago, when he was eight, my son zachary informed me that "women dig poets." (who knew?)

At August 24, 2006 1:13 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

note to writers: everyone stop writing. go underground. swallow all scribblings. recite everything to memory. write nothing. submit nothing. tell your children. it might be a long haul.

generations from now people will realize something's missing. eventually, it'll begin to hurt. like the air's too thin.

then watch em get off their wallets. surreal estate and the like will be priceless. stolen from galleries. smuggled across borders. read with white gloves in climate controlled vaults. they'll wish they were around in the good old days. 2006. when books were so cheap, they were practically giving them away.

sad state of affairs stu.
thank god for indian smorgs.

At August 24, 2006 2:12 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

artists of all times are like monte carlo gamblers and the blind lottery advances some and ruins others.
--marcel duchamp

At August 25, 2006 1:43 pm , Blogger Linda Crosfield said...

I was in Kelowna for the past couple of days. Made it into Chapters (for which I ALWAYS feel slightly guilty, given my preference for independants, but there I was at the Mawl, you know how it is). Anyway, I thought you should know that I made it out of the store having spent $5.95 plus tax on Subterrain, and the reason I bought it was for the article on the back page.

I have to admit I was curious as to how much you might have been paid for it. Now I know. Thanks for that. This year I've made, let's see now, $25 US for a poem that wound up in an anthology. It's just pathetic how excited that got me. Other than this financial windfall, I got a few copies of this and that for my contributions. I still find it very, very weird how writers get paid. There's this whole industry that happens because of words: please keep 'em coming, but you don't mind if we just give you this tiny honorarium as otherwise we wouldn't be able to pay our printers, editors, cleaning staff, etc.

Don't get me started. I'm going off to put some butter on my latest lyric which just popped out of the toaster. I'll be washing it down with a prose poem heated to exactly the right temperature, and dessert will be a tart little haiku. Or maybe a senyru. Something like:

wanna buy a word?
check out this pile of discards
tasty little fucks



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