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Even if you do end up returning to full-time work, you’ll have the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from this and you can still write, though things will take longer. At the moment you’re basically compressing what you would have done into a much shorter space of time.
I get this huge envy when I read blogs about some authors (indie or not) writing full time without a day job. I still envy them but after reading the articles above, I feel better. Besides, the pressure to constant produce and sell just to avoid working a day job is stressful. Yes, I get tired after hours of work but I get my biggest relief just by writing my stuff.
Sometimes I wonder if said authors are actually making the income from their writing…
It is mildly stressful. I’m a full-time author and I always feel like I should be producing more than I am, especially since by far the biggest boost you can get on Amazon is releasing a new book in your series. Income varies wildly by month.
In October I released a new book in my most popular series and made 10k USD
In November I still had some momentum from that and made 7k
In December the momentum kept slowing and I made 5k
In January I released the first book in a new series and made 7.5k
But this February the sales of both my series keep slowing and I might make 4k. That’s a pretty wild variance, and it really encourages me to have a new releases at least every 3-4 months.
Also, I spend around 1k a month of advertising so that needs to be deducted off these totals immediately. So if I make 4k, then -1k for advertising, then -1k for rent, 200 for insurance, I suddenly only have 1800 or so left over for daily life and savings. If I stop releasing again for 6 months the income will keep dwindling. So yeah, there’s a big pressure to keep producing content quickly, and I do worry that it’s not my best work as I need to get it out there ASAP. Now, the positive part is that all these books and series are indefinite income earners so long as I keep flogging them. So I might only have 3 books out now, but when I have 10 books out in 2 years I won’t have to squeeze as much money daily out of each to make a decent living.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, three is the magic number. Before you have three books out, it’s best to concentrate on more content then to “work on marketing” – because you don’t have much to sell. I’d say 90% - 95% of the time should be on writing and with the 5% to 10% of the time you do spend on marketing, it should be concentrating on getting reviews (because until you have at least 10+ reviews on Amazon and 25+ reviews on Amazon you don’t want to turn on the marketing efforts as people don’t like to be guinea pigs.
Most authors (including myself) don’t/didn’t earn as much as you with so few released books. So, you are doing very well. As long as you continue to focus on high-quality work, I’m sure you’ll continue to do well and there is plenty of “upside” in your trajectory.