A similar question comes up from time to time among writers and authors: when will I see a return on my hard work and labor? I’ll give you the reality and the truth to it because you need and deserve it.
Writing is a lot like investing money. Your words are your ‘monetary investments’. As any good strategist will advise you if they’re worth their salt, you have to diversify. Put some in short-term growth, and the better chunk of your investments into the stable long-term stuff. The same holds true for your writing. Let’s assume that you are only seeing a 5-10% return on your books right now. Maybe you’ve only got three or four works out at the moment which equates into a handful of sales each month. You’re frustrated because you’re looking for quick results from a long-term growth strategy. If you continue to publish quality works over the next five to ten years then you’ll likely see something exciting happen. First off, your catalog of books will have grown to 15 or 20 by then – probably more. You’ll also have built a platform (fan base) which would push your sales from three or four to thirty to forty a month. Readers excited about your new works will start to venture into your back catalog of books which will further boost your returns. Now let’s look at the other side of your investment portfolio.
In order for you to see some immediate returns on your writing, you’re going to have to spend some time in freelance writing, content writing, or both. In doing this, you will not only start to see money roll into your Paypal account on a regular basis, but you will also expand your brand and reader platform. Another alternative is to get into the short story markets. Several of them also pay, but you may be waiting longer than you’d like to see the payoff.
The key to it all is balance, my fellow wordsmiths. Ray Bradbury did it, Stephen King does it – heck just about every writer has to do it in order to make it. As it is with money, you might want to invest 60-70% of your words and time into the long-term returns with lower yields, and the remainder of it into the short-term aggressive markets that will give you immediate payouts.