10 March 2013

Financial Update 3 More Costs

If you sign up for this blog I'll be letting you in on the closest guarded secrets of the publishing industry.
How much money can I make from publishing?
How much can I earn from my novel?

Watch this space for a day by day financial update!

Remember I estimated that my crime thriller, Due Diligence, has cost me about £10,000 to produce?
(See earlier blog for details)

This £10,000 is referred to by accountants as 'variable costs.' As my heroine, Jenny Parker, is an accountant I have some expertise to draw on here.

There's another kind. These are called 'fixed costs'or 'overheads.' These costs are there whether I write or not.

As an example, take my car. Every time I drive it I use petrol and that costs me money. If I leave it on the drive, though, I still have the overheads to consider, even if there's no immediate need to shell out more cash on petrol. There's the purchase price, interest on the loan, road tax, insurance, all those things are fixed costs.

I've produced a really good crime thriller in Due Diligence but I've had to make a considerable investment before I could write it. I wrote three full novels prior to DD. Though I didn't realise it at the time, these were practise. I expected them to be published and to earn their way but that was an unreasonable expectation, in hindsight.

So, let's call these a £30,000 investment in my writing craft.

Then there's writing courses. Everyone has to learn, especially me. I might have lots of things I want to thrill and entertain you with, but this can't be done without assistance from tutors with greater experience. My most treasured discovery in this respect has been Barbara Turner-Vessalago http://www.freefallwriting.com/
Each year, for the past five years, I've attended her Freefall Writing Course at Poulstone Court in Herefordshire. Barbara is a Canadian lady with great skill, wide knowledge and a special insight. She gently coaxs the best from me. I learn so much about myself and my writing in this week, it's impossible for me to imagine where I would be without her. Her book, Writing without a Parachute, is one I would highly recommend to you.

I've been on lots of other courses and workshops as well. If I include travel and expenses, I estimate these have cost me about £5,000 over the last five years.

If we add all these overheads on to the cost of Due Diligence, it comes to £45,000.
This isn't what an accountant like Jenny would do, though. She would usually write down these costs over several years, or in my case, several books. I've aready got the next book in the Jenny Parker series, Proceeds of Crime, and have nearly finished (honest!) the third, Limited Liability.
It's only fair, then, to divide these overheads between the three of them.

So, each novel costs £20,000

Next time I'll reveal to you how much I've already earned from writing!