They say necessity is the mother of invention. I hope that is the truth. I am finding myself needing more and more to be able to cut back on work to be at home. I would like to get to a point, preferably in the next year, where I can cut back to working 2 or 3 days a week at a regular job and earn the rest of my income from writing.
This is fairly daunting. But, we also are fairly poor already. According to my tax return this year I would need to make 20k from writing to completely replace my income. That is daunting. But, not as daunting as if I was making 100k a year at my job. And, since I don’t need to completely replace my income but just supplement it then 10-15K would suit my purposes. Especially since I currently spend $200 a month on the commute to and from work.
I published my first book in Feb 2013. I have 2 fiction books out as well as one non fiction book under a different name. Two of my books are audio books. The third will be in April. Now, with all that, I have not actually received a royalty check yet because my royalties have been under $100 which is the Amazon threshold for a check payment.
Honestly, what I am trying to do doesn’t look possible from where I sit. But, I have to give it a try.
This year I intend to self publish no less than 7 books. Fiction and non fiction. That will give me a total of 10 works available for public consumption. Lets say I average one dollar for each book sale. To earn 10K I will need to sell 1000 of each title to paid consumers. Daunting. But, hopefully not impossible.
Now, my big confession, my books are well edited by myself and a small group of authors and friends but they are not professionally edited. I looked into the cost and for an average novel it would cost between $700 and $3000 for editorial services per book (based on a $.01 and $.05 per word cost) which is WAY out of my price range.
Cover art I do myself though I am currently working with an artist who will make me cover art at $20 per project. If she and I both can’t quite get a cover design I love then there are covers available through the author marketing club from $20 per cover and up.
They say you have to use money to make money. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to invest. I will have to put as much elbow grease into it as I can and then hope and pray that in later books I will have the financial freedom to make bigger investments in my work.
Why am I telling you this? I am a writer with a dream like so many other people. I am hoping to give weekly updates about my journey and provide an honest account of my triumphs and failures. I want to help other writers. New writers who have just started their self publishing journey. Writers who haven’t yet begun. People who are afraid to try. People who say it can’t be done.
Be aware, if you embark on this journey with me, that I might fail. At 10 available books I still may not receive my first royalty check. In 5 years I still may be braving the awful weather to make the long journey to a job that pays the bills but doesn’t provide much social fulfillment. I might still be struggling. I have twin daughters at home who desperately need more of me than I have time to give right now. I am fighting and losing more and more my battle against my anxiety disorder. Among other things I am terrified of driving in snow (not at all a good attribute for someone living in Ohio). Some days, getting to work is a huge struggle. And some days, like today, I fail to make it. This morning the roads were too bad. I started the 45 mile drive to work and kept slipping and sliding. I was the only car on the road and it is possible I would have made it all the way to work if I had pushed on. Though, it would have taken hours. Instead, at the 5 mile mark I turned back. I just couldn’t make it another inch. I was too overcome with fear and panic from the slipping and sliding. Too aware that my life is precious if only because my daughters need me and they are precious. My manager will be understanding today. But, tomorrow, it will be that much harder for me to get behind the wheel of my car and attempt the long drive to work. Even if the roads are clear. I need this professional change. And, I want to share this struggle with you. Because maybe, just maybe, I will make it.
Your comments are welcome. And, if you are on such a journey or if you have been, feel free to share your wisdom.