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'The money was a bonus, really.'

18 August 2014

‘I never started writing thinking I would make a lot of money out of it. Most of the writers I knew in the early days had day jobs. When I started making a bit of money from it that was nice. When it became a full-time occupation that was lovely. So the money was a bonus, really.

Now, as a successful author, the bad news is that having been successful financially previously does not make the books any easier to write. Once you have become a No 1 bestseller then the pressure is for the next book to be a No 1 bestseller. Or at least to sell more copies than the previous book. Once you have got to a level of sales you kind of reach a plateau and pretty much the only place you are going to go is down, eventually. One can only hope that a nice long leisurely stay on the plateau is possible.'

Ian Rankin, author of Saints of the Shadow Bible and many other Rebus novels in the Sunday Telegraph