Realities of Being a Full-Time Indie Author

Given that it’s the middle of the year, I’ve taken a little bit of time to ruminate on my goals for this year and how I’m doing on those.

Some are great, some not so much. But it got me thinking about the real goal, the real over-arching goal that drives me to want to write, which is writing full time. I like my day job, I really do, but I’ve been in IT for 20 years now and there really isn’t anywhere for me to go but into management, and I really don’t want to do that. Plus, writing is a career I can see myself doing, fulfilling different creative parts of my life that havne’t been tickled.

Long story short: I want to write full time for the rest of my life. It’s the reason I’m doing all of this. I currently have three kids in high school and one in college, so I have a little less than four years until I’m an empty nester, and my drop-dead date for quitting IT is when my youngest graduates High School.

Still, ideally I would make the transition before than. But the question is what will get me there the fastest?

Focusing on new content creation is probably the best idea. While the one book and handful of short stories I have is awesome, it won’t sustain me for the long-term.

Indie Authors excel at delivering A- content on a frequent basis for the hungry serial-reading audience. One book a year simply won’t cut it unless you’re writing an amazing piece of literature or doing a crazy amount of marketing a-la twilight and the book blows up.

It used to be that you really didn’t “make it” on Amazon till you had 3-4 books out, then it jumped to 5-6 a year or so ago. Now that’s up to 10 or so for full-length novels. I’d even say more if you’re writing romance or serialized fiction.

So getting my author profile to 10 full-length books as fast as I can is probably going to be the best use of my time.

Unfortunately, that means that as much as I want to quit my day-job, I’m still looking at 2-3 years before I have enough books to really “make it.” And that’s assuming the bar doesn’t rise again #inflation yo. My goal was 2-3 books this year, and I’m confident I’ll hit that by year’s end, but still I need to be writing faster if I really want to expedite this career.

Till tomorrow,

Tom

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