A lot of writers don't only earn less than the national average wage, they earn far less than the minimum wage. I'm not talking about writers who are unpublished or indeed, failed by any measure - I'm talking about people whose books have been taken on by bona fide publishers and whose work is building a steady, if not bestselling following.
Henry Miller is right. The only way to have consistency is to have joy. Writing is a thankless task if the validity of doing it is dependent on external approval. That's fine if you're JK, King, Mantel, Boyd or Rushdie. The rest of us bottom feeders have to like the taste of crumbs and get a big kick out of small things like the possibility of a feral word.
At last great news for libraries! And it's the children who are putting their giant stamp of authority on the matter. Not only are there six writers of children's books amongst the top ten most borrowed authors of 2011/12 but children's fictions titles were borrowed a staggering 81.8 million times over that period.
It seems that ebooks have become the latest creative medium to be hit by digital piracy. According to one report, ebook publishing is being undermined by pirates in the same way that the music industry has been. Books which retail on Amazon and elsewhere for up to $15 are being given away free by bootleggers.