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Dec 4 / King Kaufman

Esquire magazine: There’s never been a better time to be a writer

Here’s some happy reading for writers, aspiring and otherwise: Esquire culture columnist Stephen Marche argues that there has never been a better time to be a scribbler.

Writers are prospering as never before, on all levels. At the very pinnacle, J.K. Rowling is a billionaire. She is richer than the queen of England. A little lower down the scale, Tom Wolfe was paid $7 million for his last novel. Just to put that in perspective, Charles Dickens’s net worth when he died would be about $10 million today. And for writers starting out, there are more options, more means of access to the marketplace, than ever before.

People are reading more and buying more books than ever, Marche writes. All while writers—as is our wont—are complaining that people don’t buy books anymore and writers are doomed.

Marche mostly writes about novelists, but also points out that other forms of writing are thriving, with competition forcing publications to bring their best stuff.

“A massive process of literary rebirth is under way,” Marche writes. “Everyone seems to understand and accept this golden age except the writers themselves.”

  • Scott Carasik

    I should probably get to kicking on a novel then.

  • Mike Schottey

    The push back to this that I’ve seen is that there’s more of a “Triple-A” crop of writers than ever before (ie Bloggers, self-publishers, people making money but not a living on it.) To that I say, HOORAY! The more content, the better! Good content rises to the top.