Tagged readers

5 Most Common Questions This Author Gets From Readers About Being An Author ~ Occasional FAQ

Posted by Gail Carriger

Well hello there, Gentle Reader.

I get a great many questions from readers about being an author. Many I could probably have guessed at and a few surprise me. Here’s a selection of some of the most common things I’m asked (online and in person) specifically about the author business side of things.


Part of Miss Gail’s Occasional FAQ series.

1. Where do you get your ideas?

My arse, if I sit on it long enough.
Seriously? I pay very close attention to my friends when they’re drunk, but usually inspiration comes to me when I’m contemplating the absurdity of the universe and at the most inconvenient time – like in the shower.

2. Was being an author always a goal for you?

You betcha. Along with sleeping in Pompeii, owning a motorcycle, traveling to Egypt, and eating guinea pig. Four out of five ain’t bad.

3. What are your least favorite parts to write?

The nookie and the humor. It’s true what they say; it is harder to make people laugh than cry. With the smooching scenes, I keep embarrassing myself.

4. What edition should I buy that gives the author the most money?

Honestly, the first time someone asked me this I was genuinely flummoxed. Now I realize it comes from a place of patronage, really wanting to support the author.

So, for my indie (self-published) projects, here it is in order of “the most money comes directly to me” via royalties…

  1. Directly from my website (via the Gumroad interface)
  2. Amazon digital (USA)
  3. B&N | Kobo | iTunes digital (USA)
  4. Amazon print
  5. Elsewhere print
  6. Subscription venues
  7. Short story reprints (anthologies/audio collections)

I genuinely do not know the order of…

  1. Traditionally published (digital/print/subscription/foreign editions & translations)
  2. Audiobooks (hybrid)
  3. 3rd party indirect sellers (on Amazon & elsewhere) (hybrid)
  4. Libraries (hybrid)

Yes, I can figure out how much I am theoretically owed via my contracts but with advances, flash sales, discounts, distribution, wholesale deals, subscription models, and licensing fees this is unbelievably difficult to tease out.

I don’t get any $ from…

  1. Used copies (print, hybrid)
  2. Charity auctions
  3. Charity foreign edition sales
  4. Giveaways

I’m talking purely fiscally here, there is a return on many of these, it just isn’t always in hard cash.

5. What’s the best thing I can do to help an author?

  1. Buy the book.
  2. Leave a review.

Other things are sweet and thoughtful: tribute, fan mail, cosplay, social media interaction, but honestly the absolute nicest thing you can do for any author is leave them a review.

Fan Art Conall by Matt Harrison via Twitter

I have a career because YOU spread the word and shared the love. For no other reason.


Hey, thanks for that.


Miss Gail

Want more like this?

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger.}


  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 0r 2019.
  • How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Featuring a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him). Coming 2018.


The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Gail’s guest blog post for Horn Book Review: Fashion-Forward Vampires and the Power of Humor in Genre Fiction

Book News:

Parasol Protectorate in Thailand (thanks Pete)

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

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