PDA

View Full Version : Writing Full-time



KC Sunshine
08-20-2008, 08:57 AM
This is a question for all those published novelists out there. Have any of you made enough money that you are pretty much able to write full time, and if so how long did it take you to achieve this?

I just sold my debut novel for quite a generous sum (higher than the debut novel average I'm told) and I just wanted to know if any of you had been able to quit your day-job as a result of the success of your first novel.

Cassiopeia
08-20-2008, 08:59 AM
Congratulations! What genre is your novel? Where's the link for more info?

Come on, brag a little. :)

KC Sunshine
08-20-2008, 09:01 AM
To be honest, actually selling the book feels almost anti-climactic to the joy I felt when I found an agent. We're still at the contracting stage but I start the editorial process in a week or so. At first my agent thought it was YA, but the publisher thinks it's adult with crossover appeal.

Toothpaste
08-20-2008, 09:09 AM
Well I have, but I live on my own, have no dependents, no pets, no car, no debt, and really don't have a particularly expensive lifestyle (though I do indulge in eating out and movies). So while I can live comfortably off of my income from my debut, I'm not sure who else could unless they had the exact same setup as I did. As ever, it depends. Also, I am very aware how tenuous a situation I am in, so I save a lot of my money knowing I may never earn as much again (heck, I may never sell another book, or if I do it could very well be for a lot less).

Congrats, btw, on the deal!

Mumut
08-20-2008, 09:25 AM
I'm waiting for my second book to come out in a couple of week's time and I'm also waiting for the real money to start coming in. I hope next year, when they are both published in USA/Canada there will be better sales.

Oh, and congratulations on your success!

Moonfish
08-20-2008, 04:48 PM
My second fiction is coming out in 2009 and I also have a non-fic under my belt. This year I am a full-time writer, thanks to a few grants. But I do not expect to ever be able to live off the proceeds of the actual books. However, I do hope to be able to write full time on a combination of grants and royalties, combined with a few minor jobs here and there.

Claudia Gray
08-20-2008, 06:42 PM
I've got grad school debt, and I live in Manhattan. So I'm nowhere near being able to quit the day job just yet. I am considering moving to a less expensive area (i.e., almost anywhere else) in a couple of years to see if I could swing it as a full-time writer at that point.

ishtar'sgate
08-20-2008, 09:46 PM
This is a question for all those published novelists out there. Have any of you made enough money that you are pretty much able to write full time, and if so how long did it take you to achieve this?

I just sold my debut novel for quite a generous sum (higher than the debut novel average I'm told) and I just wanted to know if any of you had been able to quit your day-job as a result of the success of your first novel.
No, my first novel hasn't given me that luxury. But what it has done is open doors to other writing opportunities. Here's hoping my second novel will increase my earnings, more opportunites will come my way, and - voila - full-time writer!
Linnea

Edmontonian
08-21-2008, 12:35 AM
Congratulations on your novel, it's the end of a long road (or so they tell me). I have only read, but published authors here already testified to this, that one needs to be established fairly well in order to allow himself the luxury of writting full time. Sometimes book sell well, sometime they don't and we all know endless cases of even the most famous authors producing rubbish, sometimes even for a few years in a row.

ED

bonobo_jones
08-21-2008, 12:40 AM
Congratulations on a successful debut!
I'm published (nonfiction) and my one book - so far - sells very well. Still, I'd need about 15 more like it to make a decent living. So, no - my writing pays some bills, but not nearly enough to live on. So far.

Karen Duvall
08-21-2008, 01:06 AM
I have some writer friends with a few best selling books who still had a day job for about 4 years after they published. As I understand it, you should have at least 3 published books before quitting your job. That way the royalties on the previously published books from domestic and foreign sales will continue to come in as your career builds momentum. I'm not at that point myself, but I am self-employed so that I have more time to devote to my writing with the goal of full time writer in the future.

Ms Hollands
08-21-2008, 01:51 AM
I've been a writer all my life....apart from two years' grounding on an IT help desk. However, I have not been a CREATIVE writer: I've been getting my writing fix from technical documentation and journalism. I never expected to write fiction actually, but one day, sitting in an airport, a story and a plot just entered my head. I write my novel when I'm not writing news stories now :O)

Strangely, another two stories have since popped into my head (one came in a dream and it's a corker - can't wait to write it!). I think I'm lucky that I get to write for a living and still get to write fiction too.

Now....to find an agent....*runs* *hides* *curls into foetal position*

scope
08-21-2008, 03:22 AM
I've been a full time writer for about 30 years, beginning right after graduating from college. Big However. I got lucky. The first book I wrote became an international bestseller almost from day one. In addition, the advance I received for this book was very large. So, I had a lot of room to play around, so to speak. Didn't really know if I could write other works and get them published, but I had the opportunity to try. Turned out that I could do so on a consistent basis. However, in addition to writing, from time to time I've had to enhance my income by doing visits and talks at a host on venues, tutoring (public and private), teaching continuing ed classes, and other stuff.

Sam Stephens
08-21-2008, 05:16 AM
As I understand it, you should have at least 3 published books before quitting your job. That way the royalties on the previously published books from domestic and foreign sales will continue to come in as your career builds momentum. I'm not at that point myself, but I am self-employed so that I have more time to devote to my writing with the goal of full time writer in the future.

I'm self employed as well, and my business is actually quite demanding. I often wonder if I'd be more productive with my writing if I had a 9 to 5. ;)

cheers
Sam

Memnon624
08-21-2008, 05:22 AM
I did, but like Toothpaste I have a very simple lifestyle that doesn't include kids, family or pets. I had an added advantage of having property in my family that needed a caretaker, so I live gratis. Sometimes, if I need a change of scenery, I house-sit for a friend who travels most of the time.

It's not normal, but it works for me.

Scott

johnrobison
08-21-2008, 03:47 PM
If you want to have a stable decent living as a writer the answer is not a big advance, it's multiple streams of income. Before quitting a day job, I think you should have a combination of passive non-book income (stocks, rentals, etc), revenue from speaking and writer-related activity, royalty from earlier books, and contracts for both current and future books. If all of that adds up to more than your living costs, and it's done so for a year or more, you may have a good shot at it.

Phaeal
08-21-2008, 05:01 PM
I live on a part-time salary now, but living cheap is OK by me. Frugality has gotten me and mine a modest house and a fuel-stingy Civic, which is plenty. If I were to make modest proceeds from writing, I'd keep the day job and still have time to write more. If I were to make a chunk, I'd turn the matter over to my financial advisor and see if I could live on my writing income and investments in a modest house on Cape Cod. If not, I'd keep the day job and the current modest house.

Modest expectations: the key to happiness. Modest, modest, modest, the anti-McMansion platform for America's future! ;)

johnrobison
08-21-2008, 07:01 PM
Modest expectations: the key to happiness. Modest, modest, modest, the anti-McMansion platform for America's future! ;)

I have to take exception to that statement. Surely you don't think all the people with grand expectations are unhappy?

Living within your means may indeed make you happy, but it could just as easily leave you frustrated. It's all a matter of personality and context.

Studies have shown that we are happiest and live longest when we feel we are respected and have substantial control over the direction of our lives.

brainstrains
08-21-2008, 11:07 PM
Congrats on your sale! For me, money from my advance is good supplemental income, but it's not to be counted on. What about next year? And the year after that? This business isn't certain, and who knows, depending on sales, my first novel could be my last. I'd have to get high six-figs in order to feel safe quitting my job, like THAT is ever gonna happen. :)