Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

A Solid Writing Career Doesn’t Mean Easy Money

3 min read

Creating a quality body of work requires patience and content

Building a writing career means you are focusing on building an audience.

Too often are people promoting that you can create a quality ebook on the weekend and make easy money.

If you quickly write and release a book, it’s inevitable that your readers are going to begin finding mistakes due to your rush to publish. This then means that you are going to begin to rack up poor reviews on publishing platforms. Which turns into fewer sales in the future.

In order to build a solid writing career, authors should be building a process to publish which includes:

  • Setting a timeline from start to publish

  • Finding Alpha readers to read your book after the first or second draft

  • Finding Beta readers to read the polished and finished draft

  • Talking about your book from start to release

  • Revealing portions of your book before release (cover, description, characters, locations)

When authors set out to release a book, they must understand that there are no shortcuts to success.

Even if authors are releasing episodic fiction on a platform such as Kindle Vella, they should be taking the proper steps to ensure their readers are receiving a quality product.

According to WritersLife.org, fewer than 1,000 fiction writers earn a living from writing.

WritersLife.org also reported:

What are authors getting paid?

Self-published authors can earn between 40% — 60% royalties for each book they publish if they publish on platforms such as Amazon. Traditionally published authors get around 10% royalties on each book sale. If you manage to find a publisher, you may well be offered an advance, though this is far from a life-changing about and usually around $10,000. A bestselling book can earn the big bucks, but if, to make it on a bestseller list, you need to sell 20,000 copies, you’ll make around $20,000 on a 10% royalty scheme. The hard truth is that most books sell less than 5,000 copies. —Bethany Cadman

The hard truth is that many authors will build a body of work and only make a modest sum of money on the side.

However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Authors should remember that having a successful writing career isn’t measured in sales, but measured in the audience you build for your work. And as closely as these things seem connected, they aren’t always. What do I mean?

Success is measured by returning readers.

Readers who come back each time you release a book. Readers who want to tell other readers about your work. And readers who will be looking forward to what you have coming in your career.

Even if they only give you one sale at a time, they are a stable audience for your work.

Rushing to publish or hoping there is a shortcut to success and money is only going to derail your career.