Some of the statistics about self publishing book sales and the 95% of traditionally published authors who can’t live on their writing alone aren’t encouraging.
That is… if you expect to get rich writing your stories.
Reality is that you have to earn money to support your writing. At first, I tried freelance writing and earned enough to avoid 9 to 5 work days, but I had no energy for writing the fiction that inspired me to start. So, I went to graduate school and took part time jobs. Continued writing.
I got seriously into minimalist living and cutting my expenses so that I could focus on my passion. Obsession. Passion. Writing career. That thing.
After finishing my first full science fiction novel, I admit I did expect my friends and family would come through with some pity sales, but I was wrong. People who wanted to read the book bought it and some friends took print copies and never paid for them. Thanks you guys.
But, after two months, the book has made its way into 100 people’s hands, some paid and some giveaways. I’ve earned about 200 USD in total, most of which I’ve spent on ordering more copies and drinking coffee. Of course, coffee.
On my best day, I sold four copies of the book. I knew who bought two of them, but the other two went to people I hadn’t connected with at all. And that always feels amazing.
But, what is more amazing is that I’ve been able to talk about the characters and events in the story with people who read it. Awesome conversations. A couple people have even read a free copy, reviewed it and gone back and purchased it. It’s been bought as a gift and more than one reader has encouraged someone else to buy it.
That’s how I know this is what I should be doing with my life.
It’s really a shame I can’t live on $100/m and no, I can’t loan anyone money from my incredible book sales, but I can offer this glimpse into what it’s really like to write and sell books. Work a day job. Write. Write. Write. Drink coffee. Swoon when someone reads and reviews your work.
I read a few posts like this one when I first started writing and I thought it would still be worth it. And it is.
Thank you to every one who has bought a copy of one of my books, shared the links, told a friend, written a review or just liked it when I posted about it. Every minor support makes a major difference for independent creative type!