Royalties are never forever

never forever

One of the interesting things when talking about money to authors is the idea of how royalties are viewed. It’s easy to think that once you build a book that the royalties will always flow. Instead, royalties are never forever. All things are subject to decay and destruction. Furthermore, copyrights only last for a specific lifetime plus 70 years.

To many of us, that still sounds like an excellent bargain. Develop something now and your children can even live their lives on it. However, it’s hard enough to sell books when you’re actively trying. Now imagine trying to sell books after you no longer exist. In addition, your children may not have developed their own writing abilities, so they may not be able to carry on your work.

To me, a constant flow of royalties is a side-effect, not the main component of writing. Instead, the main focus of writing is how you get others to feel and understand your concepts. If you can influence your readers and gain more readers, you naturally start getting a flow of royalties. It won’t be forever, as life has a way of growing. What is new and amazing now will seem ordinary tomorrow. The same is true for your writing. People will continue to get more and more sophisticated in the methods they use to approach the written word.

I suppose the angle I am working at is that royalties should be viewed as a bonus and not a main reason to write. If the royalties cover the book’s cost to make, that’s fantastic! However, the focus of writing should be to hone the craft and make a connection. Like whittling wood into a shape, a write makes the type of book they want to read. Soon, they make more and more of the books they want to read. Hopefully others want to read that same book and that’s how they make a splash in society.