Monday, 11 June 2012
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.