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Sunday, December 23, 2007

But if it's that easy, wouldn't everyone do it?

Again, some Smart Bitches have led me to yet another choice example of web ludicrousity (I'm a writer, I get to make words up) where a website lists "romance novelist" as a possible home-based business for stay-at-home moms. While certainly upbeat and well-meaning, anyone who's had to actually expend effort to make money from their words has to look at this and just sadly shake their heads.

If you like writing, have a great imagination and knack for storytelling, have self-discipline, are a romantic, are willing to sell your finished novel, and are persistent, then being a romance novelist may be the home business for you!

Sort of reminds you of the old ads that asked "can you draw this picture?" I mean, yes, this is all sort of true, but it does sort of downplay the amount of each you need to be successful. I also suspect that, if you strike the references to "romance" you end up with an assertion that even the post's author might have found a little silly. The whole idea of recommending this to someone looking for a home business on the same level as, for instance, selling Hummels on eBay or running a day care center, I think arises from the pernicious idea that anyone can write a romance novel.

As a romance novelist you should be writing everyday. Many successful romance novelists look to everyday life, or historical events to generate ideas for a story. Your job is not only to write your book but it will also be to sell it! If you self publish you will be in charge of printing, marketing, selling, and fulfilling orders of your book. If you don't want to self publish, you will need to find a publisher to do all those things for you for a percentage of your book's profits.

All I can say is holy batcrap. Again, on a literal level you could say this is an accurate paragraph, but it shows the understanding of a Martian reconstructing the economics of the publishing industry based on the badly translated back cover of a single Harlequin Romance.