When I started this blog back in 2007 I was freshly graduated with my Master’s degree, working two part-time jobs, writing like a demon, and just starting a relationship with my current crit partner. In July of that year I traded one of the part-time jobs for my current full-time job, so that I was working 40 hours a week, then teaching 2-3 sections of general psych online for a regional community college. In January of 2009 I picked up a third job teaching a section of abnormal psych for the psych department of the university I worked for. I’ve been doing that ever since, developing new classes for the full university, being forced to adopt a standardized curriculum for the community college (which I loathe), and generally working my tushy off. I really never intended to do the 3 job thing more than a year, but the bottom fell out of the economy, we were paying off debt at a rapid rate, my husband was working full-time and going to school part-time (still is), and it just seemed like a risk to drop anything. Through it all, responsibilities have increased, the community college job has grown exponentially with bureaucratic B.S., while our autonomy as teachers has been eliminated, and I’ve been cut back to 1 section there. I kept everything up because ultimately I want to be a full-time online instructor while I write. This was all a step in that direction.
In the midst of all this, I kept writing, learning, writing more. In March of this year I put out my first paranormal romance novella as a self-publishing endeavor to build an audience. It started out very modestly, each month seeing growth over the month before such that I’d sold 100 copies by the end of May, which was incredibly exciting to me as I don’t have that many people who love me, so that meant I was getting into total stranger territory. People who bought the book because they thought it sounded cool or because somebody told them about it (thank you Twitter!). This past month has seen an EXPLOSION of sales such that I fully expect to have a 600% increase in sales over last month by the end of this one (yes, I have a spreadsheet). I’ve climbed the charts, getting as high as 562 overall in the Kindle store and getting SOOOOO close to cracking the top 10 in my various categories.
How does all that translate into money? Well, so far I’ve made about $170. Not a huge chunk by living wage standards, but I’ve paid off my cover art and my copyright. I’m pleased with that. And I feel like growth will only continue.
I am working on the novel length follow up to Forsaken By Shadow, which I hope to release by the end of October. Being a longer book (though not as long as I originally anticipated), I’ll be shooting for the $2.99 price point. That puts me in position to take advantage of Amazon’s new royalty structure, wherein I’ll get 70% or $2.09 per sale. I feel like Revelation will start to sell quicker due to the exposure garnered by Forsaken By Shadow (as it seems to be the trend that the more titles you have available, the more you sell–no shock there–it’s greater visibility). Long story short and bypassing some boring math, I should make enough by the end of the year on both titles to make up for what I net teaching a single section at the community college.
Which means…dum dum dum…that I think I can finally DROP the crappy community college job that I really don’t like anymore (they don’t want TEACHERS, they want trained monkey graders), replacing it with ACTUAL INCOME EARNED BY MY WRITING. Which puts me down to 2 jobs and writing instead of 3. Of course the potential for having just 1 job and writing is there too if I wind up getting the full-time teaching position I’ve applied for (no news on that yet). And that, my friends, is very big motivation and proof that for now, for me, indie publishing is the way to go.