Isn’t this the biggest wish of most aspiring, new and established authors? For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a published author, as I’m sure many of you do do! Or perhaps your wish is to become a successful freelancer, website designer, food blogger extraordinaire, ghost-writer, savvy media journalist or a fashion magazine editor. Whichever one you are, we’re all in this together! (OK that line was corny, please ignore).
While I’d love to write full-time, I’m a little concerned about the potential for my chocolate intake to increase, to be constantly craving coffee, to become obsessed with school stationary sales and for the inevitable hair-raising moment when my friends stage an intervention ‘writervention’ and ask why if I’ve turned into a pale, hermit-like night owl creature that has forgotten humans need a bit of vitamin D every now and then.
My motivation for producing a final, polished and publishable product is to have something I created out there in the world potentially inspiring and bringing joy to others. I can’t wait to have a final, printed copy of my book in my hands, and sometimes it’s all I think about. And yes, I’d love to write all day, every day, while eating chocolate, sipping double shot lattes and sitting on the front veranda of my future beach side shack.
I can almost see myself sitting there as the warm coastal breeze brushes the hair from my face, my new Mac Book pro (I’m contemplating getting an Air) waiting patiently in my library/study that overlooks the ocean. To accomplish this dream of mine I need to make money from my writing.
I’m sitting here and the hope and desire to be a published author (living off my work) is so strong I can almost taste it. This must be what most of us feel, that intense drive that fuels us through many a writer’s block moments. I do love my job (it involves helping others) and would only have to hope that writing would also bring the happiness that I feel working in the industry that I work in.
I’ve done plenty of research on the expected incomes of indie authors who self-publish, and it can get fairly depressing! (No but seriously, research at your own risk!)
I’ve estimated I’ll need to self-publish 6 books a year for 6 years before I can live off my writing. This is based on the currently circulated assumption of $100 a month for each book, which may or may not be an overestimation (I’ve heard it can be as low as $0). That’s one book every two months! As I love writing category romance (shorter word counts), this is theoretically possible, but for others it might be more difficult.
My calculations in AUD (these calculations don’t take into account any potential snowballing effects from having multiple novels out in the world):
6 books x $100 a month = $600
$600 a month x 12 months = $7,200 1st year
6 years x $7200 (36 books)= $43,200
That’s minimum wage in my country! Oh dear.
So I drew up a little plan for myself (for this year) using some of the novels I’m working on:
Publish one book every two months.
Write 1,500 words a day for 6 weeks, with two weeks left for editing
Novels I’m working on with current word counts:
Novel 1 (paranormal romance): Currently editing. 64,340 words – publish end of February
Novel 2 (dystopian YA): 23,122 words – publish end of April
Novel 3 (dystopian YA): 17,989 words – publish end of June
Novel 4 (fantasy romance): 21,506 words – publish end of August
Novel 5: (science fiction romance) 8,783 words – publish on October
Novel 6 (paranormal romance) – 46,871 words – publish end of December
Phew!! That looks hectic. Then I’d have to do it all over again in 2017!!
p.s please note I am being sarcastic