“We’ll Keep at It, Anyway,” Responds Author to DBW Report That Most Authors Make Less than $1000/Year

2 Apr

dbwslidevia Mediabsitro

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond of the excellent writing and publishing blog People Who Write gave a compelling response to Mediabistro’s depressing “Most Authors Make Less Than $1,000 a Year: DBW” post:

We’ll keep at it, anyway….

Yes! Yes, we will. Nana, a friend of mine whom I met through a writing group, goes on to give good reason why we’ll continue to write. Not only that, she suggests that even established authors sometimes step away from their fame to publish under a pseudonym because it’s not about the money.

Even so, as Nana says:

But money would be very nice, and we have no shame in saying so.

What I took away from Nana’s post, though, is that even successful authors are not necessarily making their money from their writing:

And we can’t even hate on E.L. James because, yeah, we want to introduce a companion wine to sip as you read our novel or watch the film that’s been adapted from our bestselling book. J.K. Rowling, Robert Galbraith, whatever your name is, we see you and we want to be you one day, extending our novels into theme parks, selling our homes for $3.6 million and raising $250,000 for charity for a first edition copy of our wildly successful book.

In other words, marketing tie-ins like companion wines and theme parks pad their wallets. I’ve always known this, but it got me thinking:

What would be the perfect tie-in for Burning Furiously Beautiful?

I’m open to suggestions!


5 Responses to ““We’ll Keep at It, Anyway,” Responds Author to DBW Report That Most Authors Make Less than $1000/Year”

  1. peoplewhowrite April 2, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Thanks, Lady!!!

  2. David Amram April 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    Dear Stephanie:

    YASSOO and three quarters!

    I know you write your blogs for FREE but in my mind, they are not worthless.

    They are PRICELESS!

    Great that you made mention of this article re low pay for high purpose…

    Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is ON THE CASE!!

    The DMW Report is the dumbest of all whineologist whimperings.

    How much money did Doestyevsky make per hour for his writing? (And he gambled it all away anyway, whenever he did get any money.)

    William Carlos Williams was a doctor, the composer Charles Ives started an insurance company and most of the famous artists in history had day jobs and created great stuff anyway.

    Jack died with about $84 and most of his books were out of print

    Now his estate is in the millions and growing every day.

    Did that mean all the same work got that much better??

    None of us want to be writers, painters, actors, poets, composers, sculptors, dancers, singers, in order to be guaranteed the great life styles shown on the old TV celebration of Narcissism “Life styles of the Rich and Famous”

    I’m still scuffling in spite of recognition, starting my 4th book as well as new classical pieces and whenever i DO get a gig that pays well, I am GRATEFUL and pay the bills.

    As Miles Davis so eloquently named his great tune in 1959……”So What!!”

    Because he reminded us, our gig in life is to do A GOOD JOB!!!!!

    Occasionally watching reality TV FOR A FEW MINUTES, UNTIL MY CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM SEND A MESSAGE TO MY unconscious SURVIVAL brain lobe (still dont know, in spite of my Marshall McLuhanesque accurate analysis, whether it is the right or left brain lobe, but it DOES send off an alarm)

    When that bell rings, i TURN OFF the miserable people being celebrated (who are often affluent for the moment until they spend their fee for selling their revolting behaviour!!)

    Also a lot of gangsters with suits and ties (like Bernie Madoff, but who didn’t get caught yet) as well as dope dealers, slave traders, burglars, and hustlers of all varieties can certainly all be admired for their stock portfolios.

    But where on Google can you find a print out of the financial records of the cats (and kitties) who made the Lascaux cave paintings 20,000 years ago, or Moses receipt for delivering the 10 Commandments, Plato’s annual royalties for “The Dialogues” ETC ad infinitum

    The other side of the SAME COIN is to wallow in morbidity , and celebrate all artists as miserable dysfunctional losers, doomed to death, dope and despair, (inferring that this is all they really deserve) and glorifying the cliche …..live fast, die young and remain infantile.

    By putting all who have a story to tell in the same prison cell by threatening them to avoid contact with anyone who struggles every day to survive and provide enough to eat for themselves and their family, the starving worthless pathetic person who wishes to be an artist is told that if they want to stand up for themselves and have a life, they are no longer anything but a bourgeois sell-out square.

    So long live creativity, full speed ahead, remain BEAT(ific) , keep up your wonderful work and ignore any Gloom robo-calls or infomercials which advise you to give up!!

    As said so eloquently by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond ….”“We’ll Keep at It, Anyway,”

    I second the motion.

    all cheers



    In two weeks, Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts Library will announce their upcoming programs April 26th and 29th, celebrating their acquisition of my entire archive.

    The opening event will be April 26th at 1 pm at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Library, with a screening of “David Amram:The First 80 Years”.

    Following the Q.and A. after the screening, there will be an urban hike through the Upper West Side, where I will revisit many of the places where I have collaborated musically over the last 60 years with a great variety of gifted people.

    You might be the only hiker in good enough shape to keep up with the biographer Bill Morgan, who will be co-hosting it. (As you know, bill did biography of Allen Peter Orlofsky, has written handbooks of Beat walking tours of NYC and San francisco, and is a killer WALKER)

    I am getting in training!!

    We’ll begin our hike by visiting The Lincoln Center itself, where Bernstein appointed me as the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever composer -in-residence, and go the the park outside near the fountains where i did concerts of every variety for years.

    We’ll go to the old site where Birdland once stood, as the final remaining landmark from the golden days of 52nd street, where i played with the jazz greats during the 1950s.

    We will see some of the Broadway theaters where I composed incidental music for fifteen dramatic productions

    We will walk by Thelonious Monk’s old dwelling (which now is landmarked by the city), where he took me under his wing and mentored me in the early 50s, when i was playing with Charles Mingus at night and studying composition at Manhattan school of /music during the day.

    We will take a stroll to the old site where Shakespeare in the Park had their first season, before the Delecourt Theater was built, where Joseph Papp had me as the festival’s first composer and musical director for 12 seasons, where i composed scores for 30+ productions,

    We will visit the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater where i worked with Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan as their first composer for three years, while the building was being completed and many other venues in the neighborhood where i conducted free out of doors Symphony concerts, played jazz.folk and world music concerts, performed for peace gatherings, political campaigns, jazz/poetry readings and all kinds of events.

    Programs, photographs, articles and videos of all of these endeavors are now documented in my archive which the Lincoln Center Library has acquired.

    On the 29th, at 730 pm, at Bruno Walter Auditorium The lincoln center of the Performing Arts Library is presenting an evening of my chamber music, performed by members of the New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Boston Symphony.

    Woody Guthrie’s daughter , Nora Guthrie will also be there to speak about the upcoming formal release of my new CD THIS LAND: Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie, which I conducted with the Colorado Symphony, based on her father’s iconic song.

    I hope these activities and viewing of the archive itself will be of value to young people who may come to any of the events this April and then check out the archive.

    Hopefully it will make them feel that everyone of us can have a great life if we work hard, stay the course, refuse to accept career councilor’s advice (which is usually to give up pursuing your path before you are even sure what that path is) and just go out start all over every day with renewed energy, share what blessings we have with others, show respect for every person who crosses our path, try to always do better than is expected and ENJOY life!!

    I will have all these activities posted on my web page and Face Book soon and the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts Library will also be making an announcement.

    And every one of the events are FREE!!!!!!

    For the pentultimate big time mega-event, David Amram:The First 80 Years will also be screened in ATLANTIC CITY (unfortunately, the diving horses no longer leap off the boardwalk to perform there) on April 6th at 230 pm at the Garden State film Festival > Diane Raver > Executive Director/Founder > The Garden State Film Festival > http://www.gsff.org > Office: 732-359-6467 > Cell: 732-272-4023

    I am sure that the slot machines will be in full swing. Of course if you come, we can get you tix and hopefully you could enlighten the attendees with information about Jack, ancient Greek Philosophy, publishing books, and writing, which i doubt they would receive from the lounge acts that appear there for the rest of the year.

    Keep being creative!

    All best cheers and look forward to the summer breezes!!

    Until then, I remain…

    shiveringly yours..

    David (a.k.a. the Ice Man)

    amramdavid@aol.com http://www.davidamram.com home 845.528.4305 mobile 914.299.3497 928 Peekskill Hollow Road, Putnam Valley NY 10579

    Best YouTube selections http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DE566F6F01A2403A


    URL for trailer of the film “David Amram: The First 80 Years” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5v6MeanQ28

    • Stephanie Nikolopoulos April 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

      David, you are the BEST! It’s like you so wisely taught me a while back: your day job doesn’t define who you are or your art. We make art because of a deep desire to do so that has nothing to do with money.

      I didn’t realize it was Bill Morgan who will be cohosting the walking tour, but that makes perfect sense. I of course have been a big fan of his work for many, many years and was thankful when you introduced me to him last year at Housing Works. I am very much looking forward to seeing all the New York City places that have influenced you and that you have in turn gone on to influence. It’s going to be such a fun walk!!

  3. peoplewhowrite April 3, 2014 at 12:02 am #

    Thanks, David!

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