Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saga of the Unemployed Historical Fiction Novelist

1st: This is my 100th post!! Very exciting. (At least for me.)

2nd: Thanks to everyone who has voted on my poll! I'm surprised so many of you want to hear me blab about my stories. Yes, that's what the My Writing/Characters option REALLY means. You have been warned.

3rd: I considered name this post "Amazon is Ruining My Dreams" but I realized that was over-dramatic, not Amazon's fault, and hey, I really do LOVE Amazon. (Not the river. The online store of awesome low prices.)

4th: I'm not really unemployed. I hold a small part-time job with a wonderful employer. I just lost my "big bucks" job with my not-quite-so-wonderful-employer, so, yeah...I feel unemployed.
5th: I could go on like this. How long would you read? I've heard people like to read lists.

6th: Really? Okay, now for the actual post.

Already, writers have this kind of stereotype:

But what happens when you add a history-lovin' and books-on-history-lovin' facet to this? Well. Things get ugly, when you get in as deep as I am.

My period is so scantily researched that all of the good information comes from very scholarly (and maybe starving themselves) people; not many people buy these kind of books, right? So the price skyrockets (even on the wonderful Amazon).

For example, what looks like a wonderful series of very detailed books (re-enacters on Amazon seem to love 'em, so I think they're just on the track I like): Medieval Finds from Excavations in London. The sad thing? The prices on Amazon are ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. I am somewhat distraught. (I wish I could find a library that carries these so I could figure out if I like them $34-$50 worth, but I can't.)

Then I'm skimping for other books too, like New Oxford's Norman and Angevin Kings (which I posted pictures of on Friday). I was lucky to find that one for only $25. I was also lucky enough to pick up what look like spectacular books on Half-Price books, and am again scouring the depths of Amazon for a few other books in reasonable price ranges. (Having looked at those expensive babies, Amazon now thinks I'm a rich historian and is giving me a wide range of highly expensive historical clothing books.)

Then, for this program this year, I also bought two Great Courses (highly highly recommended resource for people who just plain love learning), which were on sale, but still not QUITE cheap.

Nobody told me that writing historical fiction can have high monetary research costs. So, I'll tell you.

Writing historical fiction can have high monetary research costs.

Now you know.

100 Birthday Cake Image Source.
Blah Image Source.
Money Image Source (edited by me)
Amazon Logo from Wikipedia.
Starving Writer Image Source.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the 100 posts! :D

That stinks about the books being so expensive... that's no fun! :( Maybe you can find them somewhere else, for less?

Nairam said...


They're even bad on ebay and half-price books...not sure where else to look.

Anonymous said...

No problem! That really stinks... how about Barnes & Noble? I could see them being expensive, but you could always check. :)

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