You are going to read these numbers and probably…
- feel sorry for me
- cluck your tongue and say, “Wow, that’s, um, that’s all?”
- ask me why I bother
- firmly commit to never quitting your day job in order to write books
- ask why haven’t tried my luck with a publisher
The answer would be long, tedious, and possibly short-tempered on my part – for now, I’ll simply say this…
Someday, I’m going to look back at these numbers, smile, and pat myself on the back for my persistence. I’ll remind myself that, despite the frustration and despair I felt at times, and occasionally admitted to publicly, I have surpassed all of my own expectations.
It will happen.
So below is my income report for the first three months of this year. As a reminder, Amazon pays out nearly three full months after the sales. So these totals are for November and December 2017 and January 2018. They were paid out in January through March 2018.
January 2018 (sales from November 2017) gross income: $123.30
February 2018 (sales from December 2017) gross income: $203.91
March 2018 (sales from January 2018) gross income: $127.41
Total for 1st Quarter 2018: $454.62
At this point, I’m only tracking gross income. Why? Because what I’m spending on cover design, marketing, and ads campaigns is probably eradicating my profit margin and taking it down to almost zero.
I’m still learning the marketing side of things and hope to fine-tune it over this coming year.
Writing My Future Fund
At the end of January, I started a new bank account with Goldman Sachs. It’s online and highly convenient. I just add up all of the various payments from Amazon (they send one from each country and a separate one for my paperbacks POD in CreateSpace – typically I have four in total) and then transfer that amount into my savings account. It’s also earning 1.5% interest, better than any local bank.
When my income grows to at least $3,000 per month and it holds there for at least three months OR I have $6,000 in my Write My Future savings account, then I can quit cleanings and start writing full-time. Basically, I need to have a net income of $2,000 per month to stop running my cleaning biz on the side.
I’m following my dreams – but I’m doing it in a responsible (and realistic) manner.
So when you add the total for the quarter with interest earned on the savings account, it comes out to a total of $455.19. Divide that number by $6,000 and I’m 7 1/2% of the way towards my goal.
I’m hoping that will snowball soon as my sales slowly rise.
Writing is My Secret Weapon
The other day, as I cleaned two big cleanings, back-to-back, my mind kept replaying these words…
Writing is my secret weapon.
Well, maybe it isn’t a weapon. Nor is it secret, but, well, you get my drift. Or maybe you don’t, so I will explain better.
Writing is kind of like the last frontier of exploration.
- My husband makes the most money he can make with the education he currently has
- I clean as many houses as my body can possibly handle right now
- I make a little more on the side by caring for my elderly father and occasionally teaching classes
- We can’t make money on our rental houses until they are ready to be rented (another $50-60k in renovations – or approximately 2 1/2 years and 4 1/2 years respectively to completion)
In other words, if I want more money – I need to figure out how to make my writing pay.
My writing is my secret weapon. It’s been primed, well-oiled, and assembled. Now I just need to get it out there.
Word Count and Making Words Count
I promised monthly short stories beginning in January. And I have delivered. The last one I have finished is due to go out in a day or two in the April newsletter. But then I’m out of new material. The advance planner in me is panicked. I only have a month until the next short story is due!
So I’ll probably be stopping on the manuscripts long enough to write 3-4 stories, thus calming my obsessive over-wrought “I must deliver on time!” mind.
Meanwhile, I’ve been making progress in plotting out the story arc of Gliese 581: Zarmina’s World (the sequel to Gliese 581: The Departure).
My main emphasis for the past two weeks is The Hired Gun, book one of The Hired Gun series. And I’ve identified 29 chapters, have written ten, and I’m currently at 30k words. So the book is approximately 1/3 done.
Food for Thought
I have this book in the bathroom, The Little Zen Companion by David Schiller. It’s short and sweet, which is good because I’m not looking for an opus while sitting on the throne.
I read this quote this morning and thought of writing:
“Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
Something to think about.
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