Why I Don't Write Fiction For a Living

People ask, can writers make a good income?

My answer is, I think it depends on what you write.

I've been a technical and non-fiction writer for over 25 years, and the income has been great.

As a fiction writer, though, it's a little tricky. I've been writing fiction since I was a little girl, but it was only in 2015 that I actually decided to publish it. So maybe its's a little too soon for me to say it, but writing fiction will not enable you to pay the bills especially if you've just begun, and maybe not for many years to come. And I hate to say this, but it may never even happen.

OK, so I might sound like a Debbie Downer to some, but I'm telling what I feel is the truth. Every year, close to a million books are published just in the United States (google will direct you to a whole bunch of articles on this). Lots of people have stories to tell, and indie publishing makes that easier these days. The question is, will your book stand out enough that readers will buy it? If you're a trade-published author and are lucky enough to have funds allocated for your marketing, your book will likely get the exposure it needs to reach the public. If your publisher leaves most of the marketing to you, then you're probably in the same boat as an indie-published author who has to work hard at promotion and/or spend a pretty penny hiring others to do it.

And let me tell you, it takes money to make money if you're an indie author. Would your book sales cover the costs or even make you a profit? Some will say yes. Most, I'm guessing, based on observation, will say no. Just today, an author on Twitter joked about how far his $0.57 in royalty would go in supporting his family of five. And, what about me, have I covered my costs of publishing SHROUD? The editing, the custom cover design, the book trailer, the book swag, the numerous ads, etc.? The answer is, not yet.

So will I continue to publish my fiction?

I'd like to, for as long as I'm able.

But, I'll do it because I love telling stories and not because I'm expecting to make a living out of it.

I'm not going to stress over something that's meant to bring me joy. Writing fiction for me has always been a beautiful outlet, an escapade, a trip to my magical worlds. And if one person, just one person, discovers one of my stories and loves it, (and PLEASE, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW so that I know you loved it), that's enough to make my day. So to you, I hope you also say hi to me on Twitter @marisamohdi and thank you in advance.

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