[Repost] Can You Really Make a Living Doing What You Love?

~ By Angela Kay Austin

Have you ever scrolled through the Amazon Bestsellers’ list and wondered, “Will my book ever be listed?”  Well, I have.  I walk through bookstores picturing what my books would look like placed on display throughout various points in the stores, or imagine picking up USA Today to find to my amazement…what, me #1!

But, what is the reality of the life of a writer?

According to Forbes, James Patterson topped the list as the highest paid author earning $84 million over the past year.  In order to amass those earnings, Patterson released 10 books in the last year, and branched out into young adult and e-books.

Number two on the list, Danielle Steele earned $35 million!  And, stay-at-home mom, Stephanie Meyer popped in at number six with earnings of $21 million!

Okay, so I know you’re asking, “What about J K Rowling?”  Well, she hasn’t released e-books of Harry Potter, yet.  But, Pottermore is coming soon, and I’m sure that will change everything.

The question is how do we do it?  Can we do it?

Patterson writes with a team of co-authors, has multi-media deals.  And we’ve all witnessed the success of Twilight and Harry Potter.

But, the reality is everyone is not Patterson or Stephanie Meyer or J K Rowling.  And everyone can’t have the internet success of Amanda Hocking.

According to Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, although there are some six figure advances, most advances are between $2,000 – $20,000.  But, in today’s market, a large percentage of new releases are self-published or POD (print on demand).  So, I don’t think everyone should rush to the bank opening new bank accounts in preparation.

Instead, we should understand that Amazon has approximately 800,000 Kindle books available, and nearly 2 million print books.  And although the Big Six may not be “all powerful,” they still have power which floods distribution channels, agents, and the booksellers that do still exist.

Author Solutions owns Xilibris, iUniverse, and AuthorHouse the CEO, Weiss, has been quoted as saying the average sales per book for all of his companies is 150.

Whether you are signed with one of the Big Six, or not, the world of writing is extremely competitive.  In order to be moderately successful, you need to be sure to have great writing, promoting, and packaging.  You must be courageous!

Can you do it?

After twenty years of practicing marketing: writing copy, designing layouts, developing advertising campaigns, Angela realized each piece of the plans she put together eventually told a story. And, since she was a tween reading her mother’s Reader’s Digest, and every teen magazine she could find she’d dreamt of telling stories.

Her first book, Love’s Chance stayed on Red Rose Publishing’s Best Seller list for 10 weeks.  Her second release, My Son, is available from Red Rose Publishing.  And was a best seller at All Romance Ebooks.  New releases:  Sweet Victory and Scarlet’s Tears are available from Vanilla Heart Publishing.

Angela has written for the Ezine Rithm ‘n Blues.

4 thoughts on “[Repost] Can You Really Make a Living Doing What You Love?”

  1. Angeline De Groat

    From my Swedish perspective point I have also to consider the fact that I write in a near-extinct language and in a genre that just doesn´t get published in my own country. And the rich guys who write over here are, surprise, surprise mystery/suspense writers (the Stieg Larsson-effect). But do I think that I would survive even if I did get published?
    I think down-sizing as far as costs go would be my step 1,and branch out and make sure I get paid another. And I wouldnt even need a million dollars to get by…
    I´ve been looking pretty far into the business side of things over here, and am a bit surprised of the amount of unknown writers who actually write full-time. I´m guessing they are not living in a castle like J.K but to be able to work full-time doing what I love is absolutely a dream that I will make come true one day!:)

  2. Of course, it’s a dream (of mine) to earn enough revenue from writing to cover living expenses … and more.
    But as marvelous as that would be, it’s not my big motivator.
    I want a growing, enthusiastic readership — folks who look forward to my next book. If I attain that, I will consider myself a successful author.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *