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I'm the author Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions, and Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations, plus various articles.Being a research scholar and author is not quite as competitive as pursuing a career as a rock star or a Hollywood actor, but it's close. I do this work because I have original ideas I want to pursue in depth then share the results with the world. People are often surprised to discover that scholars are paid nothing for the articles we write. We are lucky if we receive a copy of the book or journal it appears in. We're almost never paid for public lectures and interviews, not to mention the endless "extra" work we are expected to take on - such as book reviews and editorial tasks. Some academic publishers do pay royalties for books, but even when they do it will likely add up to a couple of months of grocery money.