Why six months? Because with any luck, the thing should run in the black by then, assuming I can put 15 to 20 bookoids online each month. Apparently critical mass is achieved at about 100 publications. That would be 17 squibs a month.
I’ve written two, each taking about a week or ten days to prepare. However, during that time I’ve also had to do with a new, painful, & temporarily debilitating surgery at the same time my summer course draws to an end — significant distractions, we might say. Also both of the new bookoids are longer and more sophisticated than necessary. If I wrote two books/month that were what I would naturally write when confronted with a keyboard and a screen and filled in with eight- to ten-page quickies (heh!), I could probably crank six or eight a month myself and hire out the rest. Assuming I can find enough people to write nine or ten in a given month.
So I calculated the minimum and the maximum operating costs I think will be necessary to run the new publishing imprint for six months, assuming it does indeed generate enough copy to produce 100 novelettes and free-standing short stories over that time.
Making another assumption — that I can learn to format these things for Kindle and Nook myself — the major costs are editorial (i.e., hiring writers), cover design, stock art, hosting fees, and back-end website management. Over six months, these will range from a minimum of $5,085 to a maximum of $7,850.
I propose to capitalize the new business with funds in the S-corporation. These figures represent about half to three-quarters of the S-corp’s liquid assets. And of course they don’t account for any unpleasant little surprises, like this handy-dandy MacBook Pro self-destructing….
True, The Copyeditor’s Desk will continue to bring in some money. We still have several editorial clients, two of whom pay a decent rate. But in a good year the editorial biz only nets about 10 grand. This has not been a good year, so far. Nor am I any more enthusiastic about taking on new editing clients than I am about ever having to teach another section of freshman comp…
But oh, my! This morning I sat down to begin drafting the proposal for the Boob Book, preparatory to sending out my pitch to publishers who might actually pay me an advance — which, should any such thing come to pass, would also help to capitalize the nascent porn business. And the thought wafted into my mind:
How incredible would it BE if all I did, every day, is write?
What if once again, after all these years, I were a writer and ONLY a writer?
But then of course the sane voice whispers, “Are you kidding? Have you even considered the opportunity cost of spending all your time writing when you could be earning actual dollars teaching dunderheads online?”
The question is, which endeavor really represents the opportunity cost: the writing or the teaching? If scribbling steamy novelettes really can generate more than $1,120 a month, then teaching is the culprit here, because it would take away from the total potential earnings.
But if I can’t make that much, then spending my time writing instead of teaching is going to cost me $1,120, every month from now until I shuffle off this mortal coil.
It’s a big risk. Very big. I could lose my shirt.
Is it worth it?
Well. I’m not fond of teaching. In fact, I would go so far as to say I hate it. And I’m very, very tired of editing arcane academic works. I would go so far as to say I hate that, too.
I like to write. I’m good at it. And any day I’d rather spend eight to ten hours writing in pursuit of the almighty dollar than teaching or editing for part-time hire.
Yeah. Say I’m crazy, but I think it is worth it.