♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
What did you do with your first book “paycheck?”
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Indie publishing is also an independent business, so keep that in mind whenever discussing the idea of a paycheck, income, or getting the green. Often writers get their idea of what writer life is like from films and what they assume they see through celebrity gossip and news. Contrary to what all of that would have you believe (because just like the single parent buying that sprawling Victorian is fiction), we are not mega millionaires. It is a serious rarity built by what is in the cards for those that do make a living from their writing, or grow rich.
In remembering that writing is a business (be it an art business), you’ll realize that most of the profit from the sales of books just turn back around into the business. For example, the publication of my first novel, Blue Honor, led to my second book OP-DEC in print, too. I did marginally well with the little I had to get Blue out in the world. I paid editors and proofreaders at a grade I could afford, managed to get a snazzy photograph I took to build my cover myself with my modicum of graphics knowledge, and paid all the fees to put it on the shelf. People really loved that story.
I’m grateful to those who supported me through that endeavor, because I have been able to follow suit another three times with Trailokya. Each one gained me access to better services, such as editors, designers, and marketing with the green that built. This said, I am not living off proceeds. My art is moderately self-sustaining, until I start working on scripts, which are far more expensive to produce and shop. That has made it difficult to grow the book end of the business as much as I have wanted. There’s only so much green to go around!
Unfortunately, the money coming is the money going out to keep building my business, and therefore I have to work a regular job to pay the bills. That is a fact for almost all writers. Very few make a living just from the sale of books. I hope that young writers understand this before getting into it. What you see on social media is often a lot of posturing (faking it till they make it).
Maintaining my honesty about the process has been a passion of mine, because I wish I had someone so frank in the years I started out. It would have helped me plan and grow in smarter ways. It also would have helped me to not get so angry with myself for things I viewed as failures. Embracing the fact that I have published at all, for the miracle that it is, would not have felt anticlimactic. It really is not all about the green.
My first paycheck aided in better publishing the next round. Yes, my focus went there immediately, as stated above. Also, I used future proceeds to improve Blue in another edition, after my publisher closed, along with a new cover. It’s been a steady but small growing business. I am just blessed to be able to pursue my passion and share my stories with those who find me. Hopefully I’ll be able to use future cash flows for more marketing and build in that capacity.
I look forward to retiring from the day job so that I can focus more time on writing and my art. It will be nice to be able to put my focus on these areas, and not worry too much about how I’m going to sustain my energy. It’s a lot to do both, but a necessary conundrum until one finds more the means to complete projects. My brain has already started shifting in that direction even though it’s several years out yet. I just like to plan ahead!
Click on the links below to find out what the other authors did with the green from their first book pay check…