Getting paid to write: The worth of words in a digital world

I’ve written three books of my own and was paid to write a novella for a video game. All told, I probably made enough to pay my rent for two months for what amounted for over two years work. If you write novels to get rich, get out of the business. If you write novels because it’s in your blood, keep bleeding.

One of my books, Stray Ally, released by a small press in Ireland, is in several libraries, including the British Library. This is not because I am a famous author in Ireland, or anywhere else for that matter.

It’s because of a law called “Legal Deposit.” This a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. In the Republic of Ireland, the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 specifies that one copy of every book published is to be delivered to the National Library of Ireland, Library of Trinity College, Dublin, the library of the University of Limerick, the library of Dublin City University, and the British Library. Four copies are to be delivered to the National University of Ireland for distribution to its four constituent universities. Further, on demand in writing within twelve months of publication, a copy…

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