12 Nov 2020

You Can Make a Living as a Self-Published Author


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

You can make a Living as a Professional Self-Published AuthorYou can make a living as a self-published author – in fact, with some dedication, it’s completely possible to quit your day job and become a full-time, well-established, respected, moneymaking publisher of your own works.

How do I know this? Because that’s exactly what I did.

My passion for writing started when I was young. At the age of seven, I found Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein in a box of books that my grandmother had stored in our garage. Heinlein’s futuristic world fascinated me with its different viewpoint about morality and the power of man.

Shortly thereafter, my mother introduced me to a public library, and from that point forward I was hopelessly in love with books and the written word. Books became my best friends, and I decided, at that wee age, that I was going to going to be an author when I grew up.

Indeed, I developed a dream to write books that would educate, entertain, and help people early on.

As I grew older, I became discouraged by well-meaning but misguided teachers, and disheartened by the difficulties of breaking into the traditional publishing world (which was the only viable publishing method that existed back in the day). I was then crippled by the need to earn a fast living so that I could move out from my parents’ house and survive on my own, and eventually to support a family. I am sure you can very much relate to this.

Unfortunately, the need to play it safe and comfortable, at least from a fear and conditioning standpoint, got in the way of fulfilling that life-long passion and goal.

I tried to keep my dream of becoming a full-time author alive and had high hopes of writing on my lunch breaks, in the evenings, and generally squeezing out a few minutes of writing here and there. That didn’t work out so well for me. As the years went by, I became more and more frustrated, and even angry, with “working for the man”, however well-paying, safe, or even pleasant it might be.

Don’t get me wrong – I made good coin, a six-figure salary in fact; and the workplace was nice enough most of the time, but it did not inspire higher thoughts or ideas.

I had all by given up on the dream of creating art with words and expected to go to my grave without making a single step in that direction.

Giving up on a lifetime desire is the point at which a person begins to die. I was lucky that I came to this understanding before it was too late.

For a creative person, representing writers universally, I became necessarily and acutely aware of how stifling my environment was, and I realized it was time to unleash my voice, which had been suppressed for over four decades by then.

And so, one day, a short two months before my 53rd birthday, after starkly realizing that up until that point, I had not made one single worthwhile step towards my ultimate desire of becoming a writer, I made the decision – it was time.

On that fateful day, after 20 years in that job, I gave notice, moved to Florida, and pursued my dream and passion with all my energy. Thus, I began my journey to finally become a full-time, professional, self-published author.

At that point, I felt as if I had come back from the edge of a precipice, and this new energy invigorated my spirit.

Luckily, I had worked hard at a well-paying job for many years, and I had enough resources to take the plunge without having to worry about day-to-day survival. Pursuing your dreams is vital to your mental and spiritual health, so make ends meet, work part-time jobs, keep your day job, make money selling on eBay, or do whatever else you need until you’ve achieved success. Just make sure to leave time every day to write and promote your works.

Can you believe that this day dawned just three years before sitting down to write this book of the lifelong writing mission we share?

I Discovered That I Can Make A Living as a Self-Published Author

In the three years since, I have become a professional, self-published author. And not only have I published 56 of my own books, I’ve ghostwritten forty more, ghostblogged hundreds of articles, and helped dozens of businesses with their website copy. And the bonus is that it won’t be long until I break six figures in income each year.

How I achieved this feat is an amazing story, and it is the mission of this book to share the essentials of what I’ve learned on the road to success.

I ambitiously took over a hundred writing courses, mostly online, read dozens of books, poured over hundreds of PDF files, examined case studies by the bucket load, and attended more webinars than I care to think about. And this no doubt helped me build my career.

However, after all of that, I failed to find the information that I needed the most: How to build and maintain a career as a self-published author.

I wasn’t looking for a “Get rich quick” scheme or the “Write a book in 3 minutes and make a million bucks” garbage. Instead, like I said, I wanted to create a new career.

I was fortunate, and met influencers such as Ron Sukenick, Terry Whalin, Mark O’Donnell, Melissa Mabe, and Derek Doepker. Listening to these experts, along with nuggets of information gleaned from other sources, I learned what was needed to turn my dream into a money-making, long-term career.

It’s a fact that the average self-published author will sell only a dozen or so copies of their book to family and friends. Don’t let that discourage you – that’s the way it is in any business. Making money requires effort, time and resources. Writing and publishing is only part of the job; books need to be promoted, authors need to learn their trade, and networking must be done to find people who will help.

Don’t despair – there are many good people who will mentor and coach you to help you gain the skills you need.

What should an author do? If you haven’t written a book yet, then get started today without making any excuses. If you’re working on a book, get it written, proofread, finished, and published. If you have already published one or two, promote them, and then write and publish more.

Do you want to quit your job and make a living as a self-published author?

If you do, then you need to get busy, do the work, treat it as a business, do the networking, and write, write, and write some more.

And, by the way, knock off the self-doubt and anxiety. Learn from your mistakes – you will make them – and in the process, hone your skills with education and targeted training.

You can make a living as a self-published author. The time to get started is now.

You can find out more about how to network in my book Network Your Business to Prosperity.

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

i am 12 yrs old. and i have a manuscript, can i self-publish at this age?

Scott WB Woods

This brings up a lot of good points, does it make sense to start off with maybe a collection of short stories first?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x