I generally do not like making posts that could be seen as bragging, and I hope this one does not come off that way. However, not only do I think this is a huge life milestone, but I believe it is important to prove that you can more than) make a living doing something you enjoy–working for yourself–writing books.
Kayla and I recently passed the four-year anniversary of us self-publishing her first novel. We also recently passed the two-year mark for the company I created using the skills I learned to support our self-publishing careers. The company has already surpassed what I thought it would be. At the time, I expected to only make enough money from this ‘side business’ to pay for some of our editing and other expenses on our novels. To my surprise, we continue to increase in clients and income. We’ve hired over eight contracted beta readers. Our web design service which we launched early this year has had a tremendous takeoff and is already providing over 50% of the business income. It was so popular, in fact, that we had to split it into its own entity. If you haven’t already, you can check both out by following these links: Frostbite Publishing & Frostwolf Design.
I won’t go into full detail on our book writing and publishing process as I have covered it at length on my podcast, The Writing Podcast, but I will take a quick moment to say a few things to other writers and authors reading this.
-You can make a living from your writing.
-You do not have to write in any of the huge genres such as romance or mystery.
-You can write what you love and make money from it almost regardless what it is as long as it can also bridge the gap into some more traditional tropes.
-Covers, editing, blurb, and the first few chapters of your story having a hard ‘hook’ is more important than anything else. If a book you believe hits genre tropes isn’t selling, check those things first in that order and improve them, then promote again.
-It’s not easy.
To elaborate a little on the last point, making a successful self-publishing career (or self-employed career in general) is hard work. Just because I no longer work at my corporate job, I get people who say ‘oh I wish I could stay at home all day’ or ‘it must be nice being able to just write for a living’. Listen, I’ve worked at a factory (shortly), fast food, nursing home, retail, and a manager in a corporation and none of those, including my salaried position, took up as much time or required as much availability. It may not be physically demanding (aside from sitting at a desk destroying my back!), but it is hard work. Mental work over extended amounts of time can, without a doubt, be physically tiring. We work pretty much all day, every day, with breaks when we can. There is always more that needs doing, and there is no one else who will pick up the slack when you clock out. Again, I’m not saying those other jobs are easy, but entrepreneurship and self-publishing aren’t easy either. Not if you want to be succesful, anyway.
It’s a fun job but it’s still a job.
That’s right, I’m using lyrics from the dawn of the millennium! (Rock Superstar)
But enough of that, onto the entire point of this post.
Kayla and I bought our first house! And we did it completely from self-employment! Of course you already knew we bought a house based on the picture up there and the post title, but still, it is exciting to say (type?). We bought a house! We actually started the whole process in February, but due to some possible speed bumps in the road due to being self-employed (trust me, there is a lot of extra pain in the anus stuff to go through if you don’t have W2’s) we didn’t want to announce it to anyone. Up until this post the only people who knew we’d been looking, put in an offer, and were accepted, was our immediate family. Well, aside from the realtors and all that stuff. Our family didn’t even know until a week or two ago, either. But now it is super official–our closing date is May 13th, barely more than two weeks away.
The market here has been INSANE, but I can get more into that in another post if anyone is interested. Just let me know! I will say that houses here are currently selling within hours of them going on market. That’s right, hours. Think you have a few weeks or, heck, even a couple days to decide whether you want to spend 250,000 dollars on a house? Too bad, it was on contract by the time you drove home from the viewing on day one.
But anyway, here’s the good stuff.
The house is almost 3,000 sq ft (a mansion compared to everything we’ve rented in the past).
Enormous wooden playset for Emily
.4 miles to a 10/10 rated elementary school
Virtually 0 crime in the area
Close to parks, reservoirs, eating etc.
Only 15 minutes away from a city of nearly 1 million (Indianapolis)
SUffice to say we are very happy with the house and the location, and we look forward to making it our home. I’ll post more pictures of the house once we officially move in in a few weeks. One thing I will say is that this entire process has been extremely taxing. It’s taken a huge toll on our time, money, and our work production. And, as I mentioned before, making a living from entrepreneurship is very time intensive. Time is money, friend! (lol, goblins) And so, I had best get back to work!