Friday, June 7, 2013

The Real Life of an Indie Writer

Yesterday, when I talked about my income, it brought a few of interesting comments, both on- and offsite. But here's the thing--I did NOT include my traditional publishing income.


Because my advance skews my income average for the year. So far, every Sword and Sorceress anthology released has earned out, but I won't see any additional monies coming in for two years at the earliest.

I also did not include my Apple, etc., numbers for the second quarter because I don't have all of them yet. So basically, you're looking at Amazon and Barnes & Noble only.

Some people found the figure of $392/month for 2013 depressing. I don't. Considering my average earnings per month in 2011, my first year indie publishing was $14/month, I've come a long way.

If you are looking for instant gratification for your efforts, frankly, indie publishing is NOT the way to go. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Mind you, the work isn't hard. At least, it's not to me. But like building any other business, you take out what you put in.

Also, if you're looking for a regular paycheck, indie publishing is NOT the way to go. On my best month so far, I made $1200. At the worst, my first three months of indie publishing my income was $0. I didn't get an EFT from Amazon because I didn't meet their $10 threshhold for issuing payment.

Later, when I did get payments, money had to go into savings and stay there, only to be doled out for bills and necessary business expenses. Needless to say, I haven't gone on a hog-wild spending spree and bought a Mazaratti or some other stupid shit like that.

No, real life has its own demands. Thankfully, that best month payment came two weeks before GK needed surgery on an impacted wisdom tooth and to realigned a skewed molar.

If you want to be a successful indie-published writer, you need to be in this for the long haul. There will be ups and downs in the seasonal selling cycle as well as ups and downs over the next several years. As Bob Mayer said, "The gold rush is over."

Hopefully, you're not one of those people looking at indie publishing as the proverbial gold rush. If you have, you may want to rethink things.

There's not guarantees in this business. I hate to tell you this, but there's no guarantees in life either.

The only question you have to answer? Is writing what you want to do with your time?

If so, then you need to put your heart behind it. Readers can tell when you're only going through the motions. You WON'T sell any stories if you're putting up half-assed shit.

There's no guarantee you will sell if you put up the greates novel ever written either. That's the chance you take.

If you can't deal with taking chances though, I strongly suggest finding another line of work.


  1. Hey any money coming in, to me anyway, is good. Very good. Toss in a few good sales and some coupons whilst shopping, and no gas spent on driving and you've got yourself something good.

    Keep up the great job.

  2. Hey, coupons and no gas money add up very quickly, Whisk!