I received my first royalty check at the end of last month. That’s a major milestone, right? Oh my god, I’ve been paid! People bought my books! Holy crap! And some of them might not actually be related to me! AMAZING. Thank you all for your support!
When I imagined writing my own books as a teenager, I have to admit that the financial side of it didn’t really enter my head beyond a general expectation of “It’s not going to be very much money.” That came out of an understanding (I don’t know how I knew this when I was young) that publishing a book really, very much does not equal huge amounts of money. What “huge” means varies genre to genre, big publisher to small publisher, but take it this way: your average published writer does not make a living wage from book writing. I somehow knew that as a kid, and I’ve carried that forward to now. Your JK Rowlings and Stephen Kings are major outliers. So I have some general idea of how the numbers will behave over the next year or so, but no idea of what they’ll actually be.
While I’m not going to give hard numbers for this first statement, the amount delighted me – not because of the amount itself (it’s double digits, guys, don’t get excited) – but because of what it represented. I have written and sold books. That’s incredible to me. It’s on the same level as signing the contract, or when I got the final digital files, or when the books were listed online, or when I got my first review, and I’m dead certain I’ll feel the same surge of disbelief and pride when I get the paperback copies.
Anyone reading this and thinking that the Goal, the Thing you want to do so badly is beyond reach? It’s not. Go for it. You never know.