Thank you to all those people who attended this session at the Melbourne Writers festival. I hope you gained some insight into the many issues that need to be considered if you are seriously going to contemplate the difficult life of a professional author.
I was pleased to be able to work with Louise Connor (Victorian Branch Secretary from Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance) and Joel Becker (Director of the Victorian Writers’ Centre) to try to alleviate your fears about life as a professional author. I think we managed to give considerable practical advice about support services, networking and negotiating your net worth as an author (book contracts) and a freelance writer (individual contracts) in the time allowed.
But if you need to know more, I highly recommend the Australian Society of Authors website where you will find an enormous amount of information to assist in setting you up as a professional author and help you towards getting published.
One thing that the MWF session made clear was the need for authors to feel they are not alone. Memberships of writers centres and professional organisations like the Australian Society of Authors are excellent ways of overcoming the lonelineness of the professional author and in creating the networks necessary to enhance your career prospects. If you want to be a professional author, you should become a member of the peak organisation represeting your rights and interests.