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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Budgetary Woes: The Crazy World of Grad School and My Stupid Ideas

(This post is a temporary aside.  Don't worry.  You'll have science fiction and fantasy nonsense again soon.  I promise.  Three manga reviews are coming up, plus my thoughts on the first three episodes of A Game of Thrones from HBO will hit the waves next week.  For now, enjoy this random nonsense about my life.)

I am an occasional idiot, depending on who you ask (some might say I'm a frequent idiot, but that's really not relevant to this post).  Graduate school has taught me a number of rather amusing things:  the value of green tea, good conversation, and budgeting.  It's the last of these that has me rather perplexed this summer, since I, in fact, did a piss poor job of budgeting, leaving me in a rather compromised position for July.  The issue isn't that I won't have enough money, just that I won't have it in time.  It's a fun predicament.  I'd love to tell you all about how we grad students don't get paid much, but you already know that, either because you are a grad student, you've been one, or you have friends who are or have been.

But I don't want to get into that.  The purpose of this post is to lambaste you all with my ridiculous get-rich-quick schemes, after which you are free to say "yeah, that's dumb" and "don't do it."

The ideas are as follows (after the fold):

  • Convert The World in the Satin Bag into an ebook and sell it on all the ebook sites for $0.99
    The problem?  It's an old book.  It's a rough book.  And should I really be selling fiction to make money?  Probably not, but there it is.
  • Place some short fiction on this blog and ask for donations
    I've thought of doing something along these lines recently, but not necessarily for monetary reasons (see the previous idea too).  Something tells me that a lot of you would like to actually see my short fiction, since some of it is supposed to be quite good.  It's also started to feel rather ridiculous to me to offer up my fiction to publications that pay next to nothing when I have a larger audience built in here who might give me their time, comments, and (maybe) money.  But that's also a side issue, I suppose.  The idea still stands, though.  I have a blog.  I have you folks who read this, and maybe you all would like to read the things I write and give me a buck if you like it.  No?
  • Get a part time job
    Lucky me, there is a job at the local Books-A-Million that I am qualified for.  Working in a bookstore you say?  I've never done it, and I love books.  Oddly enough, Books-A-Million actually asks if you read, unlike some stores that shall remain nameless.
  • Sell my soul to a Tytherian warlord
    Why not, right?  They're buff, hairy, full of spunk, and in good need of souls so they can wield unspeakable magic and what not.
And that's it.  I've got nothing else in my repertoire, beyond attempting to make something of my freelance career.  The problem with the first two is, as I've pointed out, that it feels somewhat wrong to want to place fiction on this blog or in stores with the express purpose of earning money.  It's also a rather dumb idea when you get right down to it.  Very few people actually make money selling fiction, but I've got a lot of great stories in my story folder and the first thing that popped in my head was to put it up here and see what would happen.

But let's face it, I'm probably going to try to get that part time job, because it's in a bookstore and I like books.  What do you think?

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  1. Anonymous9:41 AM

    I don't think there's anything inherently wrong in posting here and asking for donations, just that you'd want to be careful not to expect that as a steady income.

    I think the only point in your post that makes me say "stupid" is the part where you feel its wrong to make money off of your fiction.

    The internet has introduced a new business model that doesn't require you to go through publishing companies. However, just because you haven't doesn't mean your writing can't be good enough. As long as you invest the time to edit it, seek criticism from others, etc. you should be able to sell your story. If it's good people will pay, if it's not they won't.

    I think this is relevant. Don't be ashamed to make money if think your work is good, and you want to write for a living. You have to make money somehow.

  2. I didn't want to think of it as steady income. That would be silly. I was more trying to think of how to get myself out of a pickle that I put in a jar and, well, pickled on my own. I write fiction and like my fiction (and others seem to like it), so I thought it might be one way to go about that.

    Oh, and I don't think it's wrong to want to make money off my fiction, just that I am apprehensive about treating my fiction primarily as a way to make me money. I think all writers deserve to be paid for their fiction.

    I'll check out that link. Thanks!