A Dose of Hard Reality

Posted: June 16, 2008 in Uncategorized

Time for some numbers. Why? Because like a lot of writers, I want to be able to make a living from my novel writing. So what’s it gonna take?

Here are the numbers. A single sale on Bookhabit nets me about $1. If I sold my books through Parus Press, at $15 per hard copy, I would retain about 7% from each sale – or $1.05.

In other words, I get about a buck from every book. That’s a real easy number to remember.

But if I want to make a living doing this… yeah, that’s a lot of books to sell. Per year.

I can try to write one bestseller, or I can try to write many books that might do okay. If I can sell better than 10K per book per year, then I have a shot at making a living this way. Otherwise, it just won’t happen.

Of course I’m going for it! What kind of question is that? I just want to be upfront about what it will take. I have so many stinkin’ novels in me I have to write them, and the more I’m able to write and put out there, the greater chance I have of selling more of all of it. But that’s what it will take.

Yeah, there are a lot of easier ways to make a buck. That’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing it because I love writing – and who wouldn’t want to get paid for doing what they love?

  1. Fiona says:

    Hi Michael, yep, we’ve gotta do it ‘cos we love it. I’ve been a full-time writer for eight years now and earn less than my neighbour who is a shelf packer at a local supermarket. My money does not come from one source – I tutor, I edit, I write and I earn a little bit through my website. My earnings have doubled in the last year though, and that gives me hope that I will not die a pauper. But even if I do, the riches of living a life true to my gifting and the riches of the life to come, make it all worthwhile. Thanks for your encouraging comments over on Christian Writer.Fiona (aka Fevsmith)

  2. You’re welcome, Fiona (aka Fevsmith). I’m glad to have some forums to express/vent/whine/exhort, etc. besides the blog. Or the pulpit.I suppose I’ll be content to get something from my writing, but will continue to make a living in other ways. I’m still hopeful for the church plant, but it’ll be awhile before the church is able to pay me a salary. Sigh.Still don’t want to pack shelves, though. Thanks for the encouragement!

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