A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

The Lazy Author’s Guide to Making a Living from Writing by Candy Harper

  1. Adjust your expectations of what a living is. You don’t need fancy foreign holidays, do you? Or dental care. Or shoes.
  2. Choose to supplement your earnings from writing by pursuing a lucrative hobby. Like full-time teaching.
  3. Be prepared to use your writing skills anywhere to make a few quid. If they want something witty in your cousin’s Get Well card, they’re going to have to pay for it.
  4. Earn money visiting schools. My sister is staggered by how much money authors can charge for a school visit, and reckons she could give a good author’s presentation even though she’s a pharmacist. This is why I’ve got that new rule about teachers asking for photo ID any time someone turns up claiming to be me.
  5.  Some authors see publishers’ parties as an opportunity to network and angle for more work. While those deluded fools are keeping everyone busy, you can be filling your pockets with enough vol au vents to see you through the week.
  6. Choose your spouse with care. There are three important criteria: Rich. Old. Ill. No good-looking, idealistic charmers. Unless their parents are rich, old and ill.
  7. You know what kids love more than books? Toys. Consider developing a line of merchandise to sell alongside your novel. Don’t limit yourself to action figures; try to work some space vehicles or dinosaurs into your contemporary YA.
  8. Let’s not be all gloom and doom. Not every writer is a pauper. It is of course perfectly possible to be a writer and make a good living. The secret is so simple that it amazes me more people don’t just get on with it. All you’ve got to do is write a book that is fantastically successful.
    I might even give it a try myself.


Candy Harper is the author of HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, KEEP THE FAITH and LEAP OF FAITH


One comment on “The Lazy Author’s Guide to Making a Living from Writing by Candy Harper

  1. Anne
    March 30, 2016

    A cut-out-and-keep guide if ever I saw one!

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