Today is my last day working a day job. At the end of today, I’m quitting to write full time, which is something I have been working towards for at least two decades – basically, since I started taking writing seriously.
I’ve never been super interested in hitting the New York Times Best Seller list, or becoming the next JK Rowling. The odds are stacked against the average author, and achieving either one of those ambitions is the equivalent of winning the lottery. Now that I’m indie publishing, they’re even further beyond my grasp.
To earn enough from my writing to pay my bills, which would let me write all the time, instead of in snatched moments during my day…that seemed like something I just might be able to achieve.
Even writing full-time is a long shot for most authors, especially fiction authors. Most authors earn next to nothing. Descant Magazine reported that “The average fiction writer in Canada earns about $500 a year in royalties.” No, that’s not a typo. Five hundred dollars. Period. While the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that the earnings of the average professional authors falls below the minimum wage, making less than £10,500 in 2013. That’s not quite $16,000 in US dollars.
When I was still publishing with legacy publishers, I was one of these scrabbling authors. Switching to indie publishing – and taking back 100% control over my books and my career — has made all the difference in the world.
I have been a published author since 1999. Tomorrow, I become an author who is self-supporting…and who gets to spend all day making things up and getting paid for it.
Life is bliss.