Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 16,468,677

April 13th. 2014 ...

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops

April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective

March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!

March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness

March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright

March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects

February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are

February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?

February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings

February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)

January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected

January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence

January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression

January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild

December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed

December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)

December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots

December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward

December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism

Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?

November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy

November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?

November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?

Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return

The Celtic Tree Calendar

Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs

November 3rd. 2013 ...

The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?

October 27th. 2013 ...

Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 10870

VoxAcct: 152354

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,804

Times Read: 4,939

RSS Views: 67,807
To Charge or Not: A Pagan Author's View on Fees

Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 13th. 2006
Times Viewed: 4,939

Ever since I got involved in Pagan ways a decade or so ago, one of the hottest debates has been whether or not to charge for services such as classes or readings. On the one side are those who claim that charging money takes away from the sanctity of the action, that charging money turns the action into nothing more than a commodity, and/or that charging is more or less unethical. The opposing viewpoint states that one’s time, effort, learning, and energy are worth money and that these skills are just as valid a way of making a living as carpentry or artistry.

I’ve always been in the latter group, but no more have I understood why until I started on my career as a Pagan author. It really opened my eyes to the reality of the Pagan-specific market and why some people do charge for what others think should be a free service.

Let’s start with books. For my first book, I put in several hundred hours of my free time, writing the rough draft, editing it, looking for a reliable publisher, editing it more, getting artwork together for it, editing even more—not to mention the several hundred dollars I had to save up to buy my first 30 copies. (Contrary to popular belief, which shall henceforth be abbreviated “CTPB” because I’ll be using the phrase a lot, most Pagan authors don’t get advances.)

Then add in promotion. CTPB, Pagan publishers generally don’t offer much in promotion other than a place in the catalog and an occasional ad featuring usually their tried-and-true cash cows. Plus smaller publishers just don’t have the advertising budget. So it’s up to me, as the author, to buy ads, send out flyers (and sometimes catalogs) to retailers, and otherwise talk my book up to get word out there that it exists. That, too, takes a lot of time. There are a lot of places where I’m free to announce my latest book, but I have to write the promotional material and then get it in place. In addition, a lot of us write articles for magazines and Web sites on the side (just like this one), and that takes time and doesn’t always pay.

Keep in mind, too, that workshops are information, just like books. You don't buy a book just for the paper, do you? And you can't ask a book a question, whereas most authors are more than happy to talk shop after a workshop. A lot of us respond to your e-mails and letters, too—it may take a bit of time, depending on how popular the author is, but we get there eventually!

Now to dispel another common myth: CTPB, very, very few authors, Pagan or otherwise, make enough money off our books to make a living. The average author gets about 10 percent in royalties. On a book that costs $15.00, that’s $1.50 maximum. If you buy from the author hirself, consider that s/he probably paid 60 to 70 percent of the cover price, which still means a gain of about $3.00, minus shipping costs if the publisher doesn’t cover it. Some publishers reportedly make authors pay for books that are received damaged or even lost, which means more cost to eat. Except for really good sellers year after year, most books only sell a couple hundred copies a year at most, and the numbers go down each year, especially once used copies start into circulation. So feel free to do the math.

Some authors try to make up the difference by presenting workshops at Pagan gatherings and bookstores. Very few gatherings can offer their presenters more than a free admission; it’s a rare one that can help pay for travel expenses, let alone travel, lodging and food. So that comes out of the author’s pocket. As for shops: again, the author, not the shop, usually covers travel, lodging and food.

Most presenters at gatherings don’t charge for workshops; they’re considered paid for by general admission. As for shops, most of them take 20 to 30 percent as a fee for allowing the author to use their space for workshops. Most are pretty good about letting the author bring hir own books, but you’ll get an occasional shop that will allow only books in hir inventory to be sold, which means all the author gets is the 10–20 percent royalties. Some shops also have in-house readers and won’t let visiting authors give readings of their own.

To make a living off of books and classes, an author basically has to be on the road year-round and spend enormous amounts of time self-promoting. A few lucky ones have significant others who can help support them, but the vast majority of us work part-time or full-time day jobs, which can cause scheduling conflicts if the job is on weekends. Taylor and I both work 40 hours a week jobs; most of the money we get on books and workshops goes right back into more books and workshops and all the promotion that’s required. There is just no way to make the rent, the car payment, and all the other bills for two people on a few thousand dollars a year.

Some authors will blame the Pagan community for being too cheap. I don’t. It’s the nature of the beast: Pagan books are a niche market with a limited audience. Even more mainstream authors can’t make a living off their writing. And add in that not every Pagan is going to want to read my books. How can I expect to be any different with a much smaller group of people to sell to?

But you know why I do it, despite the fact that I don’t make much off of it? Because I enjoy it immensely. Whether I’m putting together catalogs for the small publisher I work with on a purely volunteer basis, traveling to a new place to present to a whole new group of people, or doing just one more edit on that manuscript, I’m having the time of my life. Sure, I’d love to be able to quit my day job and do this all the time, but it just isn’t possible. And that’s okay. If I can cover my basic expenses from this career—even on the travel, lodging, and food—then it’s all good. And that’s why I charge: so I can keep doing this thing that I love.

Copyright: Repost long as you say it's Lupa's and give a link to this page.



Location: Portland, Oregon


Author's Profile: To learn more about Lupa - Click HERE

Bio: Lupa is a twenty-something experimental magician and animistic pagan living in Seattle with her partner and fellow author, Taylor Ellwood. She is the author of "Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic" (Immanion Press: 2006) and spend her free time creating artwork, gardening, and being owned by a grey and white tabby cat.

Other Articles: Lupa has posted 25 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Lupa... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Lupa ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).