spending a small author advance

Regular readers will know that I got the advance for my first YA book (a hi-lo medieval fantasy published by HIP Books, Sept 2009) not long ago.

I intended to put the entire advance on bills (it’s not a huge advance, and I definitely have bills). But a fellow writer, Lena Coakley, had a fantastic and wise suggestion. She suggested that I put most towards bills, but to keep some aside and to buy something special for myself with it–something that I will look at over the years and remind myself “My book bought me that!”. She bought herself a rug she loves with one of her advances, and every time she looks at it, she thinks of her book.

That sounds like a validating and wise thing to do. I thought abotu it for a while, trying to figure out what I wanted that would feel good, and that wouldn’t be a lot of money. Something I could have around both to enjoy, and as a reminder that I was able to get it because my book got published. What a happy feeling!

Of course, I’ll be spending more money on some book promotion, but first I have to pay other bills.

I decided to get myself two small fairy figurines. I love fairies. Though this particular book I wrote features dragons, fantasy is a love of mine.

I ended up getting this fairy:

It delights me, and when I look at it, I do think of my book, even though my book has dragons and not fairies.

I also got this fairy, just because daisies on blue somehow make me feel happy, and so do fairies:

Both fairies are “Butterfly Fairies” by Country Artists, I think originally from England. They’re delicately sculpted, with happy, kind faces (that’s important to me).

What would you get yourself? On a limited budget? On a bigger budget?

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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7 Responses to spending a small author advance

  1. Lisa says:

    I confess, I do often think about what I would spend advance money on, if/when I get a contract. Some of the ideas are too personal to post online, but I’ve also considered getting a tattoo or a new bed on the low end, or taking a return trip to England or buying a motor scooter on the high end. 🙂

  2. Madison says:

    I will buy myself another pair of cowboy boots. I <3 my cowboy boots and I feel you can’t have enough! I would also get myself an iPod. Or save that one for the next book! 😉

  3. Book Chook says:

    Oh, I like this game!

    I know myself well enough to suspect I would get a special plant for my garden. I love to walk in it, saying hello to “the tree Mary gave me” or patting a bench seat called Les’s seat because my husband bought it for me.

    I won’t get an advance for my first book, but I will nonetheless buy a grevillia, one that the parrots will enjoy.

  4. shelli says:

    spend some & save some. you deserve a little something for yourself. congrads on deals.

  5. Jo Treggiari says:

    I bought myself a laptop with my first paycheck. The rest went to bills. I figure it was a mature choice but also a luxury and a pleasure since my old computer was a ten-year old clunker and some of the keys stuck. Enjoy your fairies!

  6. Kate Coombs says:

    I completely agree about buying something special with your advance! I tend to go on a book-buying binge when I get one, but the best thing I’ve ever bought with book money is an original piece of art by Elise Kleven–a really happy one, like most of her stuff. It’s the ONLY expensive piece of art I own, and every time I look at it, I sigh blissfully! I do like your fairies–thanks for sharing them.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate it. Sorry I’ve been missing for a bit.

    Lisa, your list sounds great! I hope you get or do some of those things, your next book advance. Wow, a trip to England!

    Madison, those sound fun! Cowboy boots an an ipod!

    Book Chook, a plant sounds so lovely, the way you put it–with memories and people attached. Wow. I’ll bet your garden is beautiful! And a peaceful place to be. I’m sorry you won’t get an advance for your first book! Geez! But glad that you’ll get yourself something, any way. That’s important.

    Shelli–yes, I agree. It’s good to do both! Thanks for the congratulations.

    Jo, I think a laptop, and then bills, is a great choice. I’ve been thinking about that for my next book, where there’d be enough…. My old laptop is lagging, and i’m thinking of a decent netbook…. It’s so nice to think about/dream! And thanks–I really do like my fairies. 🙂

    Kate, oh, I get going on a book buying binge! But wow, buying a piece of original art–a happy one–that sounds so beautiful and lasting. What a great way to remind yourself of your book! And thanks for saying you like my fairies. 🙂

    I have some book-related prints that I absolutely love, that remind me of how much I love books, and writing, and fantasy….

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