Authors earn how much??!! (And I ordered a Maserati)

I took delivery of my Maserati on Saturday – well, almost. I didn’t like the pink car that Charles Fotheringham-Whitstable-Maryweather (in his bespoke suit) had on display in his showroom so I asked nicely if I could order it in black.

With the prospect of becoming a first-time author (Standing Man, History Press Ireland – subliminal message – pre-order now) I’m confident I’ll be mega rich, so with that in mind, I popped into the bank before heading to the showroom and asked if I could have a loan to cover the cost of the car.

‘Until I get my royalties,’ I said.

‘Certainly, ma’am, the money’s in your account already. I know you’ll be the next JK Rowling,’ said Mr Jones. ‘Isn’t it true that authors earn megabucks these days? You’ll be a millionaire before next week.’

‘I know,’ I replied assuredly.

With that I revved up the engine and headed off, money in the bank.

I left my little convertible behind at home and hired a fancier model just for the visit to Maserati. I didn’t want Mr Fotheringham-Whitstable-Maryweather to see the Little Black Thing in the car park and think I’d just won the lottery. I didn’t want him to think I was one of these fake rich people. No, I’m an author. Like Tom Clancy and Stephen King.

‘I want your latest model with all the extras,’ I added.

And he duly made note with his Mont Blanc pen.

‘Take a seat and I’ll go and fetch your car,’ said Mr Fotheringham-Whitstable-Maryweather. ‘Camilla will bring you a hot chocolate with edible gold leaves.’

His Gucci suit was immaculate, his Breitling watch sparkling and his Testoni shoes resplendent in the subdued lighting.

While waiting for my car I lifted a copy of The Telegraph. On the front page was a photograph of William Shakespeare.

‘You never had the opportunity to reap the rewards of your writing by driving a Maserati, did you?’ I whisper.

I glance at the accompanying article and the screaming headline: ‘Authors earn less than £5000.’
I read on: the annual average income for professional writers aged 25 to 34 from writing alone is only £5,000. Approximately 60 per cent of all writers have a second job.

Oh dear. My heart stops. I sip the hot chocolate, delivered on a silver tray by Camilla. Surely this is wrong. I mean, this time next year I’ll be a millionaire. Suddenly I see Mr Fotheringham-Whitstable-Maryweather pulling up in my Maserati. I meet him at the door and explain it all to him.

‘I’m so sorry,’ I say. ‘There’s been a mistake. I’m definitely an author. It’s just. I thought that car was a Bentley. Can you cancel the order?’

I walk off hurriedly and jump into the car.


EmmaH said...

Brilliant, Gillian!

Lindsay said...

There's a novel in that very post, methinks - surely one that would earn the megabucks to get that Maserati.

Caroline Green said...

Oh yes...let me say that I HEAR you on this, LOUD and CLEAR!

Debs Riccio said...

ha ha Gillian, I think this is absolutely true from what I hear and I STILL don't care - just as well I've never been in it for the mega-bucks, just the straightforward warm fuzzy feeling of having had a book published :)

Gillian McDade said...

If authors are in it for the money then they're in the wrong profession!

DT said...

Sorry, I must have missed this yesterday - or maybe I read it and blanked it out due to financial trauma! I agree with all the above comments and I'm going to return my Porsche; I hope that jpegs still count.

Maybe all writers would be better off viewing their vocation as an art form?

Hayley N. Jones said...

I'd be happy to earn anything! I'm also pretty happy with my 12 year old Renault Clio :-)

Fionnuala said...

I agree with Lindsay - there's a novel in that there post, or at least a short story!