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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forget getting rich, having groupies and hiring a staff. The question I have is, how many people who have gone the indy route are able to make a living from their writing?

For most people right now, making a living is making like, $500 a week. Are you there with your ebook sales? How long did it take you to get there? And what do you think is the single best thing you did to push your book sales?
 
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I make a living from my writing, though I don't think I could do so on $500 a week. It took a long time, and a big part of it was better molding my writing into what was popular.
 

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Not yet, but I do see it as a possibility at some point.  I still write what I feel I need to write and I don't try to cater to the pop culture.  I write the stories that come to me and that need to be told.
 

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My last three months have been equal to or higher than my current salary, and I hope things stay that way, but I don't know if they will. Regardless, I will probably drop back to substitute teaching after this upcoming school year. I figure I can supplement the writing income with subbing, which is a great job that you only have to work when and if you want. Also, I'll know two months in advance whether or not I need to step up the substitute jobs if my writing income flags.
 

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I'm about 1/4 of the way to my goal for full-time writing. The book is hovering around 7,000 on the ranks right now, up from 10,000 most of last month. Hoping to see it increase soon.

My weekly goal is $750, but I live in Houston, so it'll be awhile until I can move to San Diego or - and this is the REAL dream - split my time between SD and Colorado.

Of course, once I'm able to write full-time here, then I can start pumping out the books one helluva lot faster and the money will hopefully build that much faster.
 

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Sophrosyne said:
For most people right now, making a living is making like, $500 a week.
Actually, what constitutes "making a living" is going to vary widely depending on your particular family circumstances, your fixed expenses, and also the cost of living where you are.

$500/week comes to $26,000/year which wouldn't be considered anywhere NEAR "making a living" where I live. That's about $2000/month, which is what most people around here pay in rent alone!

For the record, I'm making far less than $500/week from my writing, but fortunately I have a day job. And even if I was making $500/week, I'd still need a day job, since the $500/week wouldn't even pay my mortgage, let alone anything else. (Heck, daycare alone comes to $1500/month!)

So I hate these questions about whether someone is making a living, because everything is so variable. What would be considered good money in some parts of the country would be just above the poverty line in other parts of the country.
 

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Not many writers, indie or trad, make a living off their writing. I certainly don't. I could maybe support myself off my graphic design work if I didn't have kids but that's about it.
 

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Uhhh.... no.  Definitely not.  Unless the exchange rate were to suddenly change.

Since I write for fun, sales are a way to just keep score.  But it would be nice if it could eventually add a nice supplement to my income.  My goal right now is to make $100 a month from ebook writing.  That's a nice dinner for two every month or a good portion of a car payment :)
 

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Amanda Brice said:
Actually, what constitutes "making a living" is going to vary widely depending on your particular family circumstances, your fixed expenses, and also the cost of living where you are.
This is very true. I live in San Diego so in order to make a comfortable living, I would need to be hauling in at LEAST $3000 a month from writing. Whereas if I were to move to the midwest, I could make considerably less and still live well. Ah well, it's my nice weather tax.
 

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I guess I could say I am making a living from it but, if I didn't have a husband who worked I would never be able to not "go" to work-I am chicken it will stop. I have three kids.

I started in August 2010 and the first month I made 38.75  the next 273.  The next month 1,000, 3050 then God bless Christmas time I made 9,500, 8,800, 6,800,6,500, 7,800, 7500, 7000 this month will be about 7,000 again.

Most of the money is from erotic romance I don't advertise. (31 titles)

I am still in shock and still waiting for it all to come crashing to a hault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm using the $500 a week figure, since that would basically what you'd make at the top end of unemployment. I chose a figure, rather than leaving it amorphous, because what constitutes a living is a constantly shifting variable, depending on where you live.

For the people who have hit that $500 mark (or $2,000 a month) what pushed it over the edge for you? Was is promotion? Blog tours? Reviews? Or constantly putting out more books?

I'm really curious. I just started at this. My first book was officially released on July 12 and I've sold 53 copies so far.

I have a friend who released her book in March and after two months, she was able to break the "make a living" ceiling and surpass it.

But as I was reading through the board, I was surprised at how... well, it seems a number of people are selling thousands every month but then it drops down to a whole lot of people who are selling only a few books every month. And it made me wonder... is this a way to earn a living if you hit it right? Or is it a useful creative outlet that's more like a lottery than a career?

Is being successful at e-publishing the aberration? Or is even making a living at it an aberration?

I mean, for me, the universe is conspiring so I have no other option but to write. I'm just starting to get edgy about how well it's going to pay the bills.

 
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