There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere lately about the real income of indie writers. I'm probably as average or median as they come. The following is my experience. Mine alone.
I currently have eight stories for sale under my name in the urban fantasy genre: four novels under one series and four novellas under a second series. I have one perma-free novella under the first series.
Alter ego currently has eight novellas and one short story for sale in the contemporary erotica genre. Four novellas are under the first series, two novellas are under a second series, and one novella is the start of the third series. The rest are individual stories.
In both cases, I'm only selling e-books, though I hope to expand into print by the end of the year.
For 2013, I'm averaging $392 per month before taxes.
For comparison, I averaged $649 per month at my former part-time, retail job before taxes.
Yet, I'm a little further ahead by writing full-time. Why?
Because there are a lot of expenses that people don't take into account when they work outside of the home. In my case, there's gas money. There's the business casual wardrobe. There's the sheer time of the commute. There's the stress of dealing with the public, which makes getting my head back into writer mode all the more difficult.
On the positive side of being an employee are things like health insurance. Even when you make a decent income as an author, simply buying a policy can be impossible. Writer David Farland tried to get health insurance, but he is a Type II diabetic. Any company willing to insure him and his family charged more than he could afford.
A few months ago, David's son Ben was severely injured in a snow boarding accident. Ben's medical bills already exceed a million dollars and will climb higher. David and his wife are facing the possibility of bankruptcy and losing their home, much less keeping their other kids in college.
There's also the fact that your taxes are doubled as a self-employed person. It amazes me how many people don't realize half of their taxes are paid by their employer. Once again, it's those little things we don't think about that trip us up.
These were among the many things that my husband and I considered before I left my job. Overall, it's been a success for us. However, the long-term goal for me is to get to the point where I'm selling enough books to match DH's salary, bonuses and benefits.
Just in case.
Your mileage may vary.
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