The Cost of Creativity: Why You Should Pay to Write

Even though you may have already invested in some equipment and training to enhance your abilities as a writer, there is more to it than that. If you are writing with the hopes of becoming published and having a widespread audience, you have to anticipate the upfront costs associated with that too. More importantly, you can’t be on the lookout for too many deals. In this industry a cheap service often means a lower-quality outcome.

Editing
As the writer, you are too deep into your work to be able to find and adjust those little things that just don’t sound quite right. Invest in a good, experienced editor who can give your work an extra edge. 

Cover design
Although the old adage states that “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” unfortunately most people do. For that reason, it is really important to invest in a quality cover designer. 

Literary agent
If you are looking to get your book published in the traditional way, then you will need a literary agent. Previously, writers would send their manuscripts directly to the publishers. Your agent will not usually require payment up front, but will take a cut of any royalties you eventually collect from your published work. So, although this does not cost you any money in advance, it does come off the top of any money you will ultimately receive. 

Formatting
There are also costs associated with formatting your book correctly. Whether it is going into print, whether it is being offered as an eBook, or both, there are certain formats that books must be presented in.

Advertising
The best way to get people to notice the hard work you’ve done is to invest in some advertising. If people don’t know your work exists, they can’t read it. Although there are many free ways to advertise your work, it doesn’t hurt to set aside a small budget (small being anywhere from $50 to $1,000) for targeted ads on high-traffic social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. 

Personal branding
As a writer, you are essentially becoming a “brand”. There are costs associated with this, including the cost of a website and professional headshots. It’s not a bad idea to spend a little bit of money here, to present yourself as a professional when people look you up.

The final word
If you’re a writer, then it’s very unlikely you’re in it for the money. In fact, I would put good money on the likelihood that you have a story – or many stories – to tell, and a passion for telling them, regardless of the financial return. Even if your final product never does get picked up by a publisher, or doesn’t fly off the shelves as quickly as you dreamed of, by investing in it, you will know that you have created the best story that you could. And ultimately, isn’t that what it’s all about? 

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