Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Making Money as a Writer

"Just thought you'd want to know you got something in the mail from your publisher."

I grinned into the phone, as if my DH could see me. "Open it, open it! I'll bet it's my first royalty check!" I planned what missionaries I'd help, what cruises I'd take, and what model of new car I'd buy for Mom in the time it took him to rip the envelope open.

His voice changed from sparkling cider to skim milk. "Oh."

"What? Is it that dinky?"

"Well, honey, it's only the check for the books people pre-ordered on Amazon the month before your book came out. Don't make any big plans. We'll be able to put some in the offering at Vacation Bible School this week,  and then go out for ice cream--but only one scoop."
Oh, well.

I don't write for money, anyway. Don't misunderstand. I have no qualms about making lots of money. But that's not my motivation to write.

I write because I have this vibrant garden-full of seeds in my soul, shouting at me to plant them on the page and get them into others' hearts, so they'll sprout and blossom and grow. If I make some money along the way, splendid. Then I can help more people meet my Jesus, take some trips, and get Mom a new car. If not, then at least I know there are some gardens out there that that would be barren deserts unless I'd planted some hope and humor into them.

Maybe my next royalty check will afford me a gift to a missionary. And Two Scoops. As long as we have Chuckles on Top, I'm good.

And you? How do you feel about Christians getting rich from writing, singing, or using other gifts? If someone offered you a book deal for ten million dollars, would you turn it down?


  1. Your picture of the scoops of ice cream look so good on this hot, hot, hot day! I know before long you'll be able to get as many scoops as you'd like. And, I believe Christian writers, artists, business people or whoever have the right to make money just like everyone else. We all have that right as long as we're doing what God called us to do and doing it for His glory.

    Blessings, Jeanette.

    1. Well, Barb, I thought they were ice cream scoops, too. On closer inspection, they look like play-doh. But I can dream, can't I?

  2. I agree, Barb - as long as we do it for God's glory. I enjoy your chuckles, Jeanette.

  3. Thanks for the heads up! It's all about Jesus and fruit for Him. Be sure to keep a file of those notes you receive telling you your writing brought some to Christ. It's all worth it.

    Hugs, friend.

  4. Congratulations on your first royalty cheque! A memorable moment in any author's career.

    There's no suggestion in scripture that Christians shouldn't earn money, assuming our acquisition isn't causing others hardship. I don't think "how much" is as important as what we do with it, or perhaps our motivation for wanting it.

  5. Hi Jeanette,
    Praise God He has given you the heart and the ability to write as a way to sow those seeds. To God be the glory. Enjoy every little royalty cheque that comes along and know that every soul you touch for Christ is priceless in His kingdom. I understand totally that your writing is a ministry(for so it is to me as well), but writers have to pay their bills too. Blessings to you. (

  6. Congrats on your book and your royalty check. I think it's wonderful that you've taken your passion and made it into a work of art. I hope to be able to do the same one day, so you are an inspiration. One of these days I will pick your brain and learn from you.


  7. One scoop of ice cream ... and a lot of rewards we can't see here on earth. Enjoy the scoop.


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