Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When People Misunderstand

When a sweet lady who'd seen the newspaper interview about my debut book release called to congratulate me, I smiled and thanked her. But her next question took me by surprise:

"Do you have a special fund that the proceeds of the book are going into?"

Picked My Brain off the Floor

I paused as I picked my shocked brain up off the floor, then said, "Yes. It's called the Jeanette Levellie fund." I went on to explain that I did not receive any books for free, and I had spent the last four years of my life writing, honing and marketing myself and the book. I didn't mention the thousands of dollars I'd spent on attending writers conferences, buying promotional materials, paying my professinal animator son for his awesomely funny illustrations, etc. I didn't want to waste my breath.

"Of course, I will tithe on all the profits," I told her. But I think it would have impressed her more if I'd said, "Oh yes, 100% of the proceeds from this book will go to an orphanage in Boo-Boo Land."

Help Me Understand This 

I wonder why people think that because we are Christians with a Godly product, we can produce it for free and then give away any money we make on it. Can you help me understand this kind of thinking?

P.S. If you'd like to read a post that doesn't include picking brains off the floor, I'm being interviewed today on Caroline Brown's blog, Sunnybank Meanderings. I'd love you to join us!


  1. I think your answer was perfect. "the Jeanette Levellie fund." It should not have required an explanation. Hugs!

  2. Sorry, I can't help ya. I believe the laborer is worth of his reward (or whatever that verse is, lol)

  3. I think it is kind of interesting how this assumption is prevalent. Not that it isn't a good idea, of course, depending on the circumstances. Christians must earn a living too. :)

    Heading over to Caroline's!

  4. No words of wisdom here either. That is a difficult mindset to change.

    Off to read your interview.

  5. I have no smart words of wisdom...just pick the brain up (you'll need it and move on.

  6. I laughed at your comment about picking your brain up off the floor. Wish I had a good answer for your question, but I don't understand the mindset either.

    Enjoyed your interview with Caroline. I tried to leave a comment, but for some reason it didn't work.


  7. It really isn't limited to Christians with a Godly product, is it? There's long been a public misconception that writing is a simple process and publishing a book brings instant wealth. It doesn't occur to most people that there aren't any "profits" unless the author happens to be one of the few who are uber successful. Only another writer "gets it", but I think your response was a good one. I probably would have laughed hysterically and pointed to my expense spreadsheet!


  8. You gave the best answer ever! So proud of you that you did!
    When I owned a Christian bookstore people often thought we could give away product all the time. Um--they cost to buy and there is overhead...

  9. A lot of people don't get it that writing books is not a get rich quick thing at all! Since my first book in a series of four is being released this fall I have had more people than I can count right now, approach me hoping to get a free copy. Umm... sorry.... it doesn't work that way. I usually tell them I'll be happy to autogragh their books for free after they buy one. :)

    I also find it annoying how many people ask how much money I'm making from writing. I don't ask them how much money they have so why do they think it's okay to ask that question of writers? And why do they think the proceeds should go to some charity if they don't donate all their profits as well?

    Congratulations on the release of your book! I'm looking forward to reading it.

  10. Hi Jen -

    There are plenty of publications that expect writers to give freebies as well. I've stopped submitting to those venues.

    I've heard that some well-known writers (as in those who make a bajillion dollars) have special projects. Perhaps readers hear about their generous donations and think we're all raking in the money.

    Susan :)

  11. Jen: I like your comeback. If I ever get to the place I receive remuneration from my writing, I will have to tell people, if I'm asked, that it's going to my retirement fund.

  12. I think it is funny that she would ask ... rather a personal question.

    And we all know, you don't make much money writing books.

  13. Bless you sweety, I think you handled it beautifully.

  14. Are you serious?? Really? That was my response.

    You handled it well. My very carnal nature would've felt like asking her what special fund her earnings went into, or her husband's. Thankfully, my Christian maturity usually filters out such frivolity. Barely, some days, but usually.

    You did great!!


Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you here today, and look forward to reading your comments.