Life as a Full-time Author
The first three beer books I published.
As I wrote last year I quit my job as a software engineer to have more time for writing books and doing research, even though I suspected that economically that might be a less than optimal decision. In practice it's worked out as I thought: I did get more time for writing and research, and a lot less money.
This blog has been rather quiet, and I think the reason is that while blogging used to be a break from programming, writing a blog post as a break from writing books doesn't work quite the same way. I need to change that, because there's still masses of material that need to be blogged about.
On the book front I have drafts of three separate books in various stages of completion. The downside is that I only have a deal with a publisher for one of them. I'm still searching for a publisher for the other two. That has a further downside: the book I have a publisher for will be out for easter 2023 (in Norwegian), which means income from it will arrive in 2024.
I found that a good way to get some income was to do talks for a fee in pubs, museums, and for all sorts of events. I worked hard to set up talks back in September and October and had one month of good income with from that, becore covid stopped it all. So now I need to try to restart that, but without spending so much time on it that I miss my book deadline.
I got a deal writing articles for Craft Beer & Brewing magazine, which has also helped.
The long and the short of it, however, is that less than a year into this I've had to start dipping into my savings, and it's not a great feeling. So while I will keep doing all of the above to produce some money it looks like it won't be enough.
The blog book, volume 2.
Because of that, and because people asked for it, I decided to release volume two of the blog as book. Selling books through Lulu.com turns out to yield a reasonable amount of money per book sold. Enough that even a fairly low number of books sold becomes real money. So if that book sounds at all interesting, please do buy.
Another thing I've been experimenting with is getting donations via Buymeacoffee. While it has not been enormously lucrative there was sufficient interest that I decided to develop it a little further. So I've now set up actual support levels there, and decided to introduce a newsletter.
The idea with the newsletter is to give something back to people who support me, and of course to tempt more people into supporting me. The content is planned to be higher-quality writing that hasn't been published. Writing these books has ended up producing several chapters and chunks of writing that were dropped from the books, because as the storyline evolved they no longer fitted in. So even though I personally think a lot that writing is very good those pieces are homeless, and the newsletter looks like a good place for them.
I might also do occasional pieces on future plans and so on in a bit more detail than I'd be comfortable doing here.
I have enough savings that I can keep going for a while still, but if you can support me that may mean I can keep going longer.
Johan Olav Hegge getting juniper infusion. Stjørdal, January 2020.
A good while ago some reader suggested that I should publish this blog as a book for people who want to actually read through the whole thing in sequence
Read | 2021-06-19 14:01
Svein's recent review of Simon Sebag Montefiore's Stalin biography finally made me write up some book reviews I've been planning for a long time
Read | 2007-01-06 23:26
Sage - 2022-08-10 19:49:14
I feel you on that front! I'd love to quit my engineering job for something more brewing-centric but I still have a ways to go.
If it helps I'll keep buying your books. I loved the book on historical brewing techniques and I am personally grateful for all the work you've done brining Kveik to the world.
If there's a nobel prize for beer/yeast-history and preservation maybe you can use the millions to afford sticking with it! If I can just figure out how to nominate you....
Lars Marius - 2022-08-10 22:06:58
@Sage: Thank you! That's very kind.
Erwin - 2022-08-29 12:07:06
Very good book! I visited Sigurd Johan Saure in Sikkilven. Learned how to brew raw ale. Tanks to your blog!
Kiki - 2022-09-08 23:32:35
Muy interesante todo lo que planteas, en lo personal puedo decirte. Que tus trabajos tendrían que estar en español tambien. Yo te puedo seguir desde hace tiempo por tu libro, gratuito se cervezas de Lituania. Ya que soy apicultor, cervecero e hidromielero. Por vos y tu trabajo pude conocer la cerveceria nordica, técnicas, historia, la levadura kveik, que he usado de lituania para mis elaboraciones. Me encantaría poder comprar un libro traducido al español tuyo sos un exelente escritor y contador de historias. Todo lo que e leído de vos es por el traductor de google. Las editoriales tendrían que pensar mas en otros mercados. Principalmente donde la revolución de la cerveza artesanal llego para quedarse como países de habla hispana. Yo estoy fascinado con las cervezas de granja, y sus técnicas ancestrales y todo gracias a vos Lars Garshol! Tu pagina es fenomenal podrías hasta tener suscriptores. Espero que sigas con tus blogs o lo que armes para poder sostenerte sos un gran transmisor de cultura. Lars Garshol von Bergen. Skol!🐝🍻
Lars Marius - 2022-09-09 08:33:47
@Erwin: Thank you!
@Kiki: Muchas gracias. I'd love to see my book translated into Spanish. I know the publisher is trying to get it translated to different languages, but apparently no luck with Spanish so far.