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World Book Night

April 17th, 2015

AJVRG-blogFirst, I’ve got to say I loved Phil’s photo that accompanied Monday’s post. Keswick is one of my favourite places and it’s hard to beat Castlerigg stone circle early in the morning when you’ve got it all to yourself.

Next, Thursday is World Book Night when 20 books are selected and then 80,000 copies are distributed to people who wouldn’t normally read for pleasure or own books.  It’s run by The Reading Agency, a national charity, and an army of volunteers distribute books in their communities.

Have a look at the books that will be given out – they’re quite an eclectic mix. So why have these particular books been chosen? According to the organisers they have been selected because they are all ‘good, enjoyable, highly readable books with a strong compelling narrative’. Just the sort of thing to get someone who’s not a regular reader hooked!

Incidentally, you might win yourself a set of all 20 if you tweet them (@worldbooknight   #reading journey) and tell them about your own reading journey – the book that first turned you on to reading, the books that have inspired you and how reading has shaped you.

Moving on, according to YouGov research, being an author is the number one most desired job in Britain. In fact, 60% of those polled said that being a writer would be their career of choice. They’re obviously thinking of the freedom (working from home, no commute, no moaning boss, writing what and when they choose); the celebrity (all those book signings, speaking at writing festivals, free world travel) and the money they can earn (six-figure advances).

That’s the fantasy (or what life’s like for the famous top-earners) – but let’s have a quick look at the reality. If you work from home you have to set yourself deadlines and be even more disciplined than if you worked in an office. There can be interruptions and, at the end of the day, if you don’t work, then you don’t get paid.

Next, on to celebrity. What celebrity? If you want to publicise yourself, you have to beaver away on social media and probably the biggest media event you’ll attend is a signing at your local bookshop or giving a talk at your library or WI.

And now we come onto the financial side. According to Prospects, the median earnings for professional writers (those who dedicate more than 50% of their time to writing) is £11,000 a year and only 11.5% of professional writers earn their income solely from writing. So you’re not likely to be able to retire to the Bahamas any time soon.

Let’s be honest, writing isn’t for the faint-hearted. You’ll only succeed with dedication and hard work – we could tell all those wannabe’s that, couldn’t we? But if you’ve really got the bug , nothing will stop you and the satisfaction you get from it definitely outweighs everything else.

My guest next week is children’s author and Writers Bureau tutor, Karen King, who’ll be telling you all about this week’s trip to the London Book Fair.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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