Monetizing a blog, negotiating a contract with a publisher, what's a good advance, how much I should get paid for a short article... are all these things on-topic here? I don't think these intersect with other Stack Exchange sites.

We've only had one question specifically about money so far, but if you search on the word "money", several questions mention it (at least a little).

So: Money and writing, are we allowing it?

3 Answers 3


Some of this stuff (contract negotiation) overlap with legal questions, so the same rules should apply.

Another issue is, that still too many people are fooled by publishers, who charge money from the authors to print their books (vanity publishing house is the correct term, I think, but I'm not sure). We have to warn these people. So I vote for on-topic, even if many questions (like the one you linked to) are too vague to answer them.


The focus of the site is on writing and writers, so I think the best way to judge any of these potentially tangential topics is to consider how closely they are bound to writing and writers.

So, I ask myself,

  • Are there financial, contractual and payment-related questions that are unique to writers? I would argue YES.
  • Are finances, contracts and payments a significant or necessary part of being a writer? If you want to write professionally, YES.

Based on these answers, I think there is a place for some of these questions on our site. Writing or being a writer must be integral to the question. If it could be easily rewritten to not involve writing or writers, it's probably off-topic.

  • 1
    You are very bold, aren't you. I hope you don't do that in your novels. Dec 14, 2010 at 9:25
  • 6
    In my fiction, I prefer to alternate between bold and italics in every other paragraph.
    – sjohnston
    Dec 14, 2010 at 14:50
  • 3
    Seriously, though, on SE I've gotten in the habit of highlighting the cliff's-notes in case someone can't be bothered to read the whole post. (And yes, I probably go overboard sometimes.)
    – sjohnston
    Dec 14, 2010 at 14:51
  • I've seen posts on Meta.SO indicating that the cliffs notes highlighting is an important way to get up-votes.
    – justkt
    Dec 14, 2010 at 20:59
  • @justkt - Might you be referring to this? I'm not worried about the rep (and this is meta, anyway), but things like bullets and highlighting really can increase readability, which is why they tend to garner rep. On the other hand, John was right to point it out here - I was going a little crazy with formatting. I've edited the post and calmed down a little bit :)
    – sjohnston
    Dec 14, 2010 at 21:19
  • I like the tl;dr formatting if the post is longer than one screen ::cough::OneMonkey::cough:: May 11, 2012 at 14:45

For me the one question has been very educative and generally I feel that this type of question (potentially) gets down to the practical how-to of a being a pro-writer. So I say clearly on topic.

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