Elizabeth Harper

Elizabeth Harper


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Color Commentary

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Get regular articles about what I'm working on, my thoughts on writing, and perhaps other surprises. Writing is an adventure, and you're along for the ride.

Nab the Novels

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All of my color commentary plus a copy of each of my novels when they're released in ebook form. You'll have access to these before they're published.

Rough Draft

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No piece of writing starts out perfect. At this tier you'll get previews of work in progress, which may include early drafts, deleted scenes, or more polished work with notes on how it evolved — plus all previous rewards, of course.




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About Elizabeth Harper

My name's Liz

If you know me, it's probably from my writing on Blizzard Watch (or elsewhere around the web), I'm a freelance writer with a focus on tech and gaming, with a little personal finance thrown into the mix (depending on what people are paying me for this week). But now I'm delving into fiction and working on a novel: it's a sci-fi, time travel thriller called Accidental Futures, and I'm pretty excited about it.

But making it work as a freelancer isn't always easy, and I could use your help to support myself day-to-day and make these fiction projects come to life.

The cost of writing

I've been a freelance writer for about a decade now. Freelancing means cobbling together a lot of writing and editing work to make a living every month — which can be a continual scramble for new assignments and clients. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing and the freedom freelancing offers me, but like any job, it can be tough.

The biggest challenge in adding fiction to my repertoire is finding the time. Writing fiction does nothing to pay the bills — at least not at first — and it takes time away from work that does pay the bills. Yes, there are plenty of authors who support themselves by writing books, but writing and publishing can be pricey. A lot of authors keep day jobs.

Here's a look at the costs of publishing a novel:

  • Story development ($150-$1000+). This involves working with a professional editor to develop your story to make sure you have a solid narrative. I did a simple (and budget-friendly) outline review to make sure I had the building blocks of a good story, and I found it invaluable. But sometimes a story needs more work: developmental edit goes beyond the outline to help develop the story. 
  • Line editing ($1,500+ depending on length). This includes the basics of fixing grammar and spelling, plus polishing everything up to create a great finished project. It's a crucial steps, because everyone — even someone like me, who edits content every day — can make mistakes.
  • Cover art ($150-$500+). Pre-made art, where an artist has put together a layout and drop in your title, can cost as little as $25... but isn't necessarily great. Professional designers charge $500 or more for custom covers, but having good cover art is crucial, because it's the first thing people notice about a book. It either grabs their attention or it doesn't.
And that's taking a budget approach to publishing. To keep costs down, I won't be doing intensive editing, I'll be formatting books myself, and I'll skip any advertising that might help the book get more attention. Still, I'll spend around $1,500 on the first novel.

Then there are a host of related expenses. I have a website to help freelance clients find me, and it will serve as an online portfolio for my fiction and non-fiction work. It costs money to host it, maintain it, and keep it updated. I need software for writing, editing, and formatting. And all the while, I have to bring in enough to pay for mortgage, utilities, internet access, and all the rest.

This is where you come in

I know I went off the deep end with business speak up there, and I apologize if your eyes have glazed over. Self-publishing means I'm doing the creative stuff, the technical stuff, and the business stuff by myself, so I have to think about all of these things.

I'm here because I need your support. Day-to-day bills are a strain and work has dried up as companies tighten belts because of Covid-19. I'm currently scrambling to get work done, hunting for new gigs, and making well less than I need to cover budget basics and pay down medical bills.

On top of that, the chances of a first novel being a breakaway success are similar to the chances of winning the lottery. Sales probably won't cover the cost publishing because self-publishing success usually means writing series. Each book helps get your name out there and encourages people to buy more books, and eventually you can make a living (or a steady side gig) writing. That's my goal, but it will take time and a lot of up-front costs to get there.

Your support can do a lot. With Patreon, you can help me manage everyday expenses and afford the time to write fiction until it becomes self-sustaining. 

What you get out of the deal

I appreciate any support you can throw my way, but there are a few benefits, too!

You'll get to read my thoughts about writing, freelancing, and the day-to-day behind the scenes of life as a writer, editor, and manager. You can also get copies of the novels as they're finished and rough drafts, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope I can count on your support — whether it's financial support or moral support, every little bit helps!
$73.20 of $250 per month
This covers the cost of producing one novel per year, including expenses editing and art, as well as general writing expenses like paying for web hosting and buying software or services related to writing. There's also some cushion here for extra expenses, like additional editing or better cover art.

My first novel, Accidental Futures, will be published early 2018 regardless of whether I hit this goal. (Patrons at $5 a month or more will receive the ebook when it's published.) However, hitting this goal will offset production costs and let me focus on getting it done rather than taking on extra work to pay for it.
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 8 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 8 exclusive posts

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