Monday, 2 September 2013

Guest Blog - A Writer's Worth by author Cynthia Harrison

I belong to a writer’s organization with many journalist members. When blogs and other internet content (remember ‘zines?) began surging in popularity, many of these people lost their newspaper jobs. Freelance magazine assignments dried up. Are these folks bitter? Yes. And for me, as a blogger, it’s a bit awkward during meetings when talk turns to a writer’s worth.

Many of my journalist friends believe that writing for free is wrong. They believe it damages the integrity of being paid for hard work. When I joined the group, I earned $100 a month as a book reviewer. In the good old days, 500 words meant $500. So to my journalist friends, I was selling myself cheap.

Many of my fellow writers feel that this should matter to me more than it does. But the thing is, I love to write. I love it so much I do it for free. That I have the freedom to do it at all is payment enough for me. My blog is 11 years old now. Except for the covers of my novels, it is ad-free. I like it that way, clean and uncluttered.

I self-published my first two books and made a little money. It wasn’t about the money. It was about holding my book in my hands. It was about sharing my stories with other people. I have a publisher now, and while I’m much happier having them, I’m still not rich. The truth is, most creative writers have “day jobs.”

I teach for the paycheck, but I write for my own satisfaction. For me, writing has an intrinsic value that is much higher than a dollar a word.

Cynthia Harrison has published five books, all available on Amazon here. She blogs at “A Writer’s Diary” []. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @CynthiaHarriso1. Cynthia’s latest novel, Blue Heaven, is the first in a series. It’s now on Kindle exclusively, and will be available in print and at other online retailers later this year.


  1. My attitude is that if someone pays you for what you write, fab, and if no-one will, then you can choose to do it or not. Simple as that, really! For people who won't do anything for free (even give free copies of their books out), all I can say is that I presume they're not that bothered about people reading what they write, then. There's so much stuff to read on the internet for free ...

  2. I'm with Terry. I love giving my books for free. I imagine for every free book given that person tells a friend who tells a friend... . : )

  3. I was telling my husband yesterday as we were driving home from the store, "Honey, there's a downward trend in the price of books. I just bought 12 Harlequin books for $3.96." I see a few things about it. That fiction writing is a competitive business and the floodgates to authorship have opened. Hooray. I love that it's easier than ever to get published. Not any easier to write well, though! But there's so much talent that was kept out of being published by the gatekeepers. Let the readers decide. It's wonderful. I buy (relatively) expensive books from famous authors and from literary authors, and I buy what I consider real bargains from less well-known romance authors as well, and like everyone else I stock up on bargains. It all balances out to paying far less money for books than I did in the old days, but in the old days, I used the library more, so I'm actually spending more for the convenience.

    I pay for journalism, though. I buy the paper. Journalists play a critical role in our society. And many of them actually put their lives on the line to bring us critical information.

    As for making money, I think if I write enough and well enough, eventually a few of other people's hard earned money might be parted with for the enjoyment of one of my stories. And I have no problem with people borrowing for free from Amazon Prime or downloading the book during free days. How else will the readers who like my style find me?

    Interesting topic!

    P.S. Love your book cover and I am looking forward to reading it.


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