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Some authors write for the money and it may be the way they make their living. Other authors write just because they like to and get enjoyment out of writing. They usually have day jobs or are retired.

The finished product seems to be the same on the surface. Maybe the one written for money even looks better and more polished since it is designed to sell. But inside it may actually be different?

So can you tell why the author wrote the book? Which type of book do you like best?

[no self promotion outside the Book Bazaar. --Betsy]
 

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My main purchase decision is based on the first few chapters in the sample, however, I have to admit an eye catching cover will help get my attention. Overall, I'm not sure I could tell the difference. I would think focusing on the possible money would hinder the writing, but probably not in all cases.

Also some authors write to send a specific message. I think it's okay as long as the book isn't overly preachy.
 

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It's really not that simple of a division. Most authors are storytellers and writing novels is what gives us joy and a sense of purpose. Most novelists dream of making a living doing what we love. Once writing fiction becomes our livelihood, there is a certain pressure to keep writing because it pays the bills. But for most of us, we would be writing anyway.

On the other hand, authors with popular series are under pressure from their fans and publishers to keep writing the series...often beyond when the author wants to. Those stories suffer and it's obvious the author is going through the motions for financial reasons. But those are the exceptions.
L.J.
 

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Is there a reason an author cannot write, earn money from it, yet still enjoy writing? I am not sure that there is a clear line between writing to sell and writing because one enjoys it when it comes to what's available to read.

Someone that loves to write but never makes it available for others to view/read, it'd be easier to say.

With that in mind, I don't believe I could pick up a book/open an ebook and begin reading and determine:
This author wrote it with the primary intention of selling it
This author wrote it because he/she simply loves to write

 

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I'm very grateful for my readers as well. I hear from them every day and I respond to all. Almost every email I send out to readers begins with "Thank you" ...for contacting me, for reading my book, for noticing....
The reader/author relationship is personal.
L.J.
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
Some authors write for the money and it may be the way they make their living. Other authors write just because they like to and get enjoyment out of writing. They usually have day jobs or are retired.

The finished product seems to be the same on the surface. Maybe the one written for money even looks better and more polished since it is designed to sell. But inside it may actually be different?

So can you tell why the author wrote the book? Which type of book do you like best?
No and that is simplistic in the extreme.

Guess what, Shakespeare wrote for a living. So did Robert Burns and Mark Twain. Da Vinci made art for a living.

You are saying that most of the great art and writing is inferior because it was produced by people who did it for a living. I suggest re-thinking that theory.
 

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JRTomlin said:
No and that is simplistic in the extreme.

Guess what, Shakespeare wrote for a living. So did Robert Burns and Mark Twain. Da Vinci made art for a living.

You are saying that most of the great art and writing is inferior because it was produced by people who did it for a living. I suggest re-thinking that theory.
Sometimes you can tell that the author wrote the book for money/peer pressure. It causes the books to be less of what drew you in. Look @ the Alex Cross series, the latest ones have def jumped the shark and James Patterson isn't even writing all the books that are published in his name now. He writes for a living, but what he writes now isn't quality.
 

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I suppose some write their books to teach, others write to escape, others do it for a living, and still others have different reasons. I don't usually think about what motivates a writer to write the story he/she writes, whether for money or love or both, so long as I get a good story :)
 

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I love when you read a series and each book gets better and better. There you can tell the author wrote for the love of writing/story telling. However some series are just the opposite. You can tell the author is doing it just to prolong the the series (more $) and the last few are bad..in some cases horrible!     
 

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Sometimes I think I can.  I remember reading Michael Crichton's "The Lost World", his sequel to "Jurassic Park" and thinking - this reads like a script - like something he threw together because he had a contract to fulfill and he just wants to get on to the movie.
 

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Alain Gomez said:
But if an author just released book 12 of a series and it has the exact same plot as the other 11, there's a good chance it was written for the money. *
yeah, but i've stopped giving that author my money after book 3.
hopefully....
 

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balaspa said:
Sometimes I think I can. I remember reading Michael Crichton's "The Lost World", his sequel to "Jurassic Park" and thinking - this reads like a script - like something he threw together because he had a contract to fulfill and he just wants to get on to the movie.
I thought The Lost World book would have been a much better movie than the actual movie. It's one of the few times I recall being disappointed in the book and then even more disappointed in the movie.
 

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I don't know about just writing for money. As an author, I wouldn't want to comment on that.

BUT I think it's pretty clear Ayn Rand had a viewpoint to convey in Atlas Shrugged. The radio speech alone would tip anyone off.
 

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EliRey said:
I love when you read a series and each book gets better and better. There you can tell the author wrote for the love of writing/story telling. However some series are just the opposite. You can tell the author is doing it just to prolong the the series (more $) and the last few are bad..in some cases horrible!
Can you name me a series where it didn't eventually turn into a hack job? With the exception of Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter, I can't think of a series that didn't turn into a transparent attempt to stay on the gravy train by writing the formula instead of the story.
 

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I've written a lot of journalism for money, and written a few novels where I made a bit of money. But I don't think the question of payment (or, more often, lack thereof) is the important distinction. Sometimes unpredictable things happen when you're writing. You surprise yourself by creating something that you didn't really know was inside you. It can happen when you're writing for money, or it can happen when money is the last thing on your mind. Sometimes incidents of art occur despite your intentions or technical abilities. Those moments are the justification for everything else.
 

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It seems to me that trying to figure out if writer writes for love or money is like trying to figure out if a surgeon operates to make money or save lives. If the doctor stops saving lives, he's no longer a doctor no matter how much he wants money. If a writer stops loving writing, it's no longer worth reading, no matter how much the writer loves money.
 

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Alle Meine Entchen said:
Sometimes you can tell that the author wrote the book for money/peer pressure. It causes the books to be less of what drew you in. Look @ the Alex Cross series, the latest ones have def jumped the shark and James Patterson isn't even writing all the books that are published in his name now. He writes for a living, but what he writes now isn't quality.
Other than the fact that Patterson hires ghostwriters for a living rather than writing for a living, you are making, in my opinion, a couple of invalid assumptions.

You are assuming that someone who loves writing is good at it. Just because someone writes for the "love of it" does not necessarily mean that they're good at it.

You are assuming that anyone who is concerned about putting food on the table is a hack. Just because a writer needs to make a living doesn't mean they're not a great writer. Most people class Dickens as a great writer, but you are saying he was a hack because he needed the money?

Edit: Now, in point of fact, writing is both a difficult and painful way to make a living. Darn few people get rich at writing and darn few people do it ONLY for the money. But being a professional at ANYTHING involves being paid. I don't apologize for expecting to be paid for my efforts.
 
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