Anytime I mentioned my dream job was an author, I got this question thrown my way and it was usually accompanied with a 'you are doomed to fail' tone. Every now and then I met someone who said, "That's awesome! Go you!" and then even rarer, I found someone who actually bought the book and read it and tried to get other people to read it. This was almost a decade ago.
If you have followed me, you'll know I had published two other science fiction novels before I unlisted them. You'll also know it has been four years in between Blood of Toma and Salvation in the Sun. During this time, I knew I wanted to write but it felt like I was throwing money into a really expensive hobby that paid less than $500 spread over eight years and about $200 of that came from my mom...always my biggest fan. Yeah, I know–about what I would expect from a noob indie author.
The problem is...or was...I didn't know how to self-publish. I didn't have the resources to know what I didn't know. I didn't know where to find the expertise that I was missing. I didn't have the network I needed for a 'launch' - yeah - like I knew what that even was at the time.
But over the years, I've found that if you want to get out of the 9-5 grind, you have to become your own boss. Looking around at the financially wealthy people in life, they are either working round the clock for someone else or are successful entrepreneurs who beat the whole 'go to school-get a good job-you'll be ok' system. Don't get me wrong, I excelled in school and I got a great job, but I was tired of clocking in day in and day out at a job I tolerated while working for someone else. I was 25 at the time when I realized this just before I published Blood of Toma. I looked into real estate having missed the opportune time to buy property before the DFW rental market exploded. I looked into other areas, possibly having a property management company. I looked into so many different options because I had been told all my life, less than .01% of authors ever get published. But then Amazon Kindle came about and reinvented the market, but I still was not selling anything. I thought it was useless to try to go that route, so I treated my writing as it was, a hobby, especially after I spent $300 on advertising for Blood of Toma and saw a negative net profit of $44. I didn't know about launch teams, AMS campaigns (for a great start go with Kindlepreneur's free AMS training), how to go about getting a professional editor, how to get a cover design, what should the cover look like–does it matter if it genre specific? Actually, yes, yes it does. Quite a bit actually.
I stumbled upon Chandler Bolt's Self-Publishing School late 2017 while listening to a Side Hustle Nation webinar with Nick Loper, and it was almost as if I had hit the jackpot. I got to the end of the webinar and saw it was $997 for just the VIP course and $1,997 for the Master course...my shoulders sank. That was a lot of money. I took a deep breath and went and talked to my husband. We both had good jobs and he thought Blood of Toma was a good book and so we decided we would invest the $997 into me as an author thinking the more books I write and if I knew how to self-publish and market the books, it would be passive income that just compounded to where eventually it could become a full-time income.
It came with a 90-day guarantee, but I didn't finish my book mostly because I was writing fiction and the writing tactics were more geared toward non-fiction. However, the lessons I learned there about launching, speed writing, and publishing were invaluable.
Then they opened a brand new course Self-Publishing School Fundamentals of Fiction, and of course, it was another $997 but since it was new, they offered it at the Master level meaning I would receive coaching calls with Ramy Vance aka R.E. Vance, bestselling author of the GoneGod World series. It was worth every penny. I learned more about marketing and plotting in those calls and that course than I ever had before. With one book, over the past eight months, I've almost broke even on my initial training with book sales alone on that one book. My only regret is not writing the second book before launching the first especially since we were welcoming our first baby into the family in the meantime. I took four months off to be with my child, time I would not trade for the world, but made it a risky decision given the timing of my book's first launch.
So let's do the math–
$500 (-$200 from my mom b/c let's be honest, that doesn't count) / 8 years) = $37.5 a year with three books
$1000/ .75 years = $1,334 a year with one book
That is a 3555% increase in revenue, and now I can take what I have learned and apply to every single book I will write, and from Chandler and Ramy's experience, once you have more than one book, your sales go up even more because now you have multiple avenues for readers to catch wind of you are as an indie author. I pay an additional $282 a year to be a part of the Fiction Mastermind Community, every week there is a live Q&A session where Ramy answers all of our questions we have ranging from title to cover to plot to marketing to passion projects to you name it. I think it is a great value to me as an indie author learning from someone who has been there done that and is successful.
So why do I tell you all about my finances and life lessons and such that usually people are hush hush about?Well, I want to be transparent. It is my dream to be a full-time author making a full-time income, and everyone knows you can dream all you want, but 'without a plan and some action, you ain't going anywhere'. This path helped me tremendously and wanted to make it available to you. AND LET'S BE HONEST, $1,334 a year isn't going to cover much more than your car insurance, but I am only dedicating 1 to 1.5 hrs a day to this career path. If you have the time, imagine doubling it to 3 hrs a day you could produce double the books or work on an associated business that your book drives traffic to. The thing is you have to start somewhere.
I want to tell stories and even though my first book won't let me quit my job, it has showed me I can make a steady income for the greater part of a year with one book, and eventually if I write two books every 6 months, I may actually achieve my dream in say five years? Not bad. Not bad. And once I am able to quit my full-time job, I could potentially produce four books every year.
If you are serious about writing, consider Chandler's course. Don't get me wrong, it is a serious commitment. I worked my full-time job and then worked til midnight or later writing my book, and after I had my baby, I got up at 4:30am to pump and get the second book and novella done before starting my full-time job at 7am. I wanted to spend the evenings with my child so I scooted writing to the mornings only–priorities.
But if you really want to write, you need to invest in yourself. Otherwise why would any one want to invest in you if you don't even want to invest in yourself?
To learn more about Chandler Bolt and R.E. Vance and their courses, click the button below to sign-up for his webinar where he explains his program and gives you a chance to sign-up for his VIP or Master course.