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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Out of curiosity, how many authors here only write for their source of income? I have recently released my latest ebook, and I know that I could have more time to come up with more sales tactics if only I had the time. Again, still waiting for sales reports (I distributed through bookbaby) and am making every effort to forward to try new marketing ways to get my book out there.

So far, I've been advertising with goodreads receiving about 60-70 clicks per day, I have you guys  ;D, I also have my first book lecture this weekend at a psychic fair, I have flyers, and the list goes on and on. My sales rankings on amazon have peaked at 43000, and I'm not really sure how many books I've sold with that number.

The whole point is, my job takes up a good portion of my time, plus I attend college full time, and have a family to support. My goal (as I'm sure it's a common goal with whoever is reading this) is to write and go to school full time. I have one more book I'm sitting on before I release it and half of a sequel to finish of The Growing Dim Project.

If you are an author who writes full time,how did you do it? How did you get there, and how long?

I used to love my job, as I've been doing it for 14 years, and now I just despise waking up to find that I must leave my house, my kids and computer to make ends meet.

Let us all know, I'm sure I'm not the only new author here who would love to hear your story!

Nicholas.
 

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I write full-time, correct that, I write and promote full-time. The only way I'm able to do this is because I moved from the UK to France.

The cost of living is so much cheaper, I don't have a mortgage because the properties are cheaper too.

I've been living off my savings for the past ten years and recently started making a living from my writing thanks to ebooks. ;)
 

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nicholasmcgirr said:
Out of curiosity, how many authors here only write for their source of income?
Not I. Designing is my day job and writing is something I do late at night or in the odd hours when I can cram it in.
 

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Dara England said:
Not I. Designing is my day job and writing is something I do late at night or in the odd hours when I can cram it in.
Dara, I'm a designer too and I love it. If I had to choose between designing and writing it would be a difficult choice. My ideal life would be to make enough money from books to let me pickier about the design jobs I am willing to do which would leave more time for writing. How do you fel about this?

I guess, in response to the OP, I would have to say I don't make my living writing but that's not really a priority for me -- as my book sales increase (and they have), my design business occupies less of my time but I don't really want to give up either.
 

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Nicholas, does it count if I also do some artwork in addition to my writing (the artwork is usually related to the writing)? If so, then the answer is yes: at least for the past ten years.

However, this writing for income has been on my web site; I only began publishing ebooks the past few months.

I've managed to do this by living extremely frugally, plus whenever I have a spike in income I stuff it into savings for a rainy day.

I've been self-employed since before the internet existed, and what I learned then has helped all the way up through today.

However, I'm definitely not financially secure. Being self-employed often means a constant or at least regular scramble for new opportunities as old ones dry up, and related new learning curves. For instance, I'm presently trying to learn how to break out promotion-wise in regards to my ebooks.

Maybe half of my writing has been suitable for presentation in novels. The rest has been a mix of research compilations, technical how-to, and opinion pieces.

As for my artwork, you can see some examples in my book covers below (I did them all but for the single science fiction cover shown).
 

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I quit my day-job prematurely in 2002 when my second book sold, and for the next 6 years we lived on my hey-honey's income as an engineer. During that time I wrote probably 30-50 articles a year, plus 7 books . . . but didn't make much above poverty level until THE AGENT came along.  ;D Together we sold another dozen or so books for some major bucks.

These days I'm still full time as a writer even though the income level has decreased. Hey man, it's what I do.
 

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I write for a living, but then, I'm a newspaper reporter, so it doesn't really count. I figure, my monthly sales pay for a day, a day and a half of living off it. Could be worse, I guess, but could be lot better, too.
 

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I've been writing full time since 2006.

But that is from publishing traditionally with Kensington, Avon and Harlequin.

I'm a single parent, but have been lucky that I have little to no debt.  So my expenses are small.

I wouldn't quit your day job until you are making more a month than you are currently, and put some aside in savings. 

 

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Regarding writing for a living: I just found this great article that dispels the myth that "writers don't make anything." I knew it was a bunch of hooey, but his common-sense approach makes it easy to understand how this ridiculous myth got started.

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=607

Like he says...if we did a study of how much lawyers make, but we include people who are still in law school, and haven't even passed the bar yet, how much money do you think the study would "prove" that lawyers make? Not much. Why is it that people who claim that writers make no money always want to include every goober that has ever taken a pen to paper as an "author?"

I did a whole blog post on this (http://www.emelinedanvers.com/2011/05/writers-dont-make-money-thats-bs.html) but let's sum my reaction:

So...(I'm saying this to the negative nellies out there who like to dissuade writers from their dreams)...please stop propagating this myth, until a reliable, proper study has been done!

End of rant. ;)
 

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Mel Comley said:
I write full-time, correct that, I write and promote full-time. The only way I'm able to do this is because I moved from the UK to France.

The cost of living is so much cheaper, I don't have a mortgage because the properties are cheaper too.

I've been living off my savings for the past ten years and recently started making a living from my writing thanks to ebooks. ;)
Mel, that's really cool that moving to France allowed you to be able to afford to live off your writing. Fingers crossed my books will sell well. If they do, I will most likely move back to the US (even though I love London) so I can afford to do the same.

So I guess that answers your question in a way, Nicholas. I don't make a living off writing (Though I have made a few hundred pounds off writing articles.). But that's because I'm not published yet. :) I'm publishing my first at the end of June and keeping my fingers firmly crossed. In the meantime, I'm not giving up that day job! lol
 

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My husband and I have a business we run out of our home. But my writing has brought in more income than our business so far this year. We'll see how the rest of the year goes. If the writing really does sustain itself over time, we might sell the business. We'll see.

Vicki
 

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I'm writing for a living, but I don't think I qualify as an answer! Mainly because I have no other choice. I was laid off and no one else is hiring out here, unless you're willing to work for free. So I work a lot for free. Which means, my only source of income is my writing, no matter how little it happens to be!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
CaedemMarquez said:
Out of curiousity, how much does it cost to advertise on goodreads?
I pay about 25cents per click. I spend about 20 US dollars a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow! I really wasn't expecting this kind of response from everyone. So many different types of answers and advice. Thank you.

I guess it all adds up to what the cost of living is for each part of the world. Until I receive that first paycheck from the distributor, I guess I can only dream about staying home with my family as I write more tales about Crossman...

Again, thank you everyone, your responses have really helped.

Nicholas.
 

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Nicholas,

My writing so far is paying for groceries and lately a little more, which we are ploughing back into marketing and the cost of writing.  We're hoping for more, of course, and toward that end I will be publishing two novels this summer and a major companion book to Game of Thrones at season's end.  In addition to writing, I work full time for a pharmaceutical company, run a consulting business that caters to the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, and I do the occasional stint as pharmaceutical expert for various companies offering online courses in separations science, analytical development, regulatory compliance, and related areas.

As time goes on, I am convinced the quality of our writing will become the determining factor for success.  I spend little time marketing, but I spend hundreds or even thousands of hours editing and rewriting and working to get it right.  The gold rush will soon be over.  By that I mean that readers will not much longer tolerate poorly written stories plagued with typographical errors, incorrect spelling, and bad grammar.  Those who succeed will have mastered the language and will tell compelling stories.  That is to say, if we put the reader first in everything we do, we will not lack for readers willing to pay for well-told stories.
 

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What's a living?
 
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