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How to Make Money as a New Writer

You’ve been dreaming of this day for as long as you can remember. The day you’ll finally make that first sale, sign that lucrative contract or earn that first royalty check. Well, that day has finally come! You’re about to make more money than you could ever imagine – free money, money that wouldn’t have otherwise gone to waste – and it’s all thanks to something called “creative accounting”. Here’s how it works. 

The Biggest Bucks Of All Time

You’ve probably always wondered how the big names in entertainment made it big. Well, the secret is within your grasp. You just have to know where to look. Let’s dive in.

In 1934, entrepreneur and publisher Sam Goldwyn stated publicly that he was “the most successful man in the motion picture industry”, estimating his annual income at over US$100 million. Indeed, at the time, Goldwyn had a fortune of nearly US$250 million and owned movie studios, a sports arena, race tracks, and hotels. In a 2018 video published by the American Institute of Stress, Goldwyn reveals that he created “Goldwyn Studios” to ensure his employees had steady employment even during the Great Depression. The studio’s mission statement proclaimed: “To provide a means whereby creative technicians can carry out their creative ideas with the least possible interference … to create a safe and healthful working environment within which employees can develop their talents and attain maximum efficiency.”

The Depression turned out to be a profitable time for Goldwyn, however, as the company’s revenue more than tripled between 1931 and 1935. That same year, Hollywood superstar Mary Pickford also claimed to be “the richest woman in the world”, with a net worth of approximately US$100 million. Pickford was one of the most famous and successful women in Hollywood, starring in films such as “Blonde” and “The Little Lady”, and was renowned for her philanthropy. In her 1994 autobiography, Pickford states that her wealth was derived from her talent as an entrepreneur: “I became a rich woman because I possessed the genius to create business enterprises, both before and during the Depression, that provided me with steady employment.”

In an article for The Atlantic, L. Worsham estimates that today’s equivalent of US$3 trillion would be needed to reconstruct the fortune of William Randolph Hearst, the American publisher and entrepreneur who also owned a newspaper chain. In a 1921 interview, Hearst expressed his desire to revolutionise the way wealthy people made money: “It is my aim to reduce ordinary business transactions to a minimum and to handle my affairs in what I believe to be the most practical and efficient manner, so as to minimize the tax burden.”

Hearst built up his media empire in the late 19th century, eventually amassing a fortune of US$500 million. By the time of his death in 1961, he was known to be “the richest man in the world”, with an estimated net worth of US$10 billion. The New York Times estimated that Hearst’s “vast media empire” was worth as much as US$10 billion in the year before he died, while Forbes estimated his estate at US$12.8 billion.

The estate of John D. Rockefeller, the American businessman famous for establishing the Rockefeller Center in New York City in the 20s, was valued at US$25 billion in 2019. Rockefeller was also an early investor in American transcontinental railways, as well as in numerous other businesses and projects, such as Standard Oil and Xerox. He was also a member of the Rothberg family, which controlled United Airlines and Armstrong World  Travel as well as a colony of Bard Island off the coast of Norway.

The estate of H.R. Hewitt, also known as H.R. Haggard, the American publisher and founder of the Hewitt organisation, was valued at US$20 million in 1921. Hewitt was also a prolific inventor, credited with over 500 patents and hundreds of trademark registrations, including the Hewitt Hotel & Restaurant chain. In her 2001 autobiography, Peg LeStrange reveals that among the more unusual ways in which Hewitt made money was through “blackmailing” other hoteliers.

Richemont, the Swiss company that owns the Swiss chocolate brand Bäckers and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain, is now valued at over US$20 billion. The company was founded by Peter Richemont in 1847 and is one of the world’s richest companies, second only to Amazon in terms of market value. The Richemont Group owns, operates, and provides staffing for over 100 hotels and resorts around the world, including five Stars as well as Four And a Half Stars, which The New York Times has proclaimed as “the best luxury hotel in the United States”.

The Fortune 500 company Laurence Graff, the founder of Graff Lang Setser, the maker of AquaVac cleaning systems, was reported to be worth US$16.5 million in 1921. Seter’s AquaVac system became the standard in both domestic and international markets for residential and light commercial use. Its headquarters was later opened by Hewitt (Haggard’s estate) in 1922. In 1980, Seter sold its North American headquarters for US$18 million and its international headquarters in Switzerland for US$3.67 million. That year, Graff Lang Setser was valued at US$21.2 million.

The Worth Group, the publisher of The Worth Weekend (formerly The Sunday Worth Weekend), was valued at US$16 million in 1923. Founded in 1900 by Sydney Worth and his brother Edward Worth, The Worth Group started as a weekly newspaper before expanding into books and other areas of interest, including real estate. In 1925, Worth sold a 25% stake of the company to the Peregrine group, which later merged with Baird and Company. In 2018, The Worth Group was valued at over US$19 million.

How To Make Money In Popular Media

It’s well-known that the Hollywood major studios have been struggling to stay in business for quite some time now. The industry’s major studios have seen a 90% decline in their revenue since 2011, and the industry is now valued at less than US$12 billion.

Netflix’s The Irish Director, Kevin MacLeman, estimates that only 1% of filmmakers make money, with the vast majority struggling to break even or lose money. According to Filmmakers Union (FoMU) and Film Distribution Council (FDC) figures, only 22 feature films were distributed in Ireland in 2019, with the vast majority of these (19 out of 22) costing less than €500,000 to make.

This trend of major studio closures and digital distribution continues. In early 2020, it was revealed that Disney was in talks to buy back all of their 20th Century Fox studios, including the studio where Avatar was first shot. Several well-known studios, including Fox, Warner Studio and Paramount, have either shut down or reduced their production operations. MGM Studios recently halted production on new films, while Universal has scheduled the stop production of their 100 plus film library.

While some industry insiders claim that these shifts to digital distribution and social media are beneficial, particularly for independent filmmakers, the figures do not lie. According to figures from FoMU and FDC, film piracy remains a major issue, with almost 40% of respondents stating that they’d downloaded content from unknown sources in the previous year. In the United Kingdom, statistics from the Intellectual Property Office show that piracy costs the UK economy over £77 million each year. The UK government estimates that these losses alone amount to £5.8 billion per year – more than the UK economy’s annual revenue!