Right now my only publisher is Dreamspinner, so when that royalty statement arrives that’s pretty much the whole picture of my writerly income. Well, it arrived with good news! Especially since I have not been promoting, writing, or submitting anything while I finished up this final term in graduate school. This check represents three months of me doing diddly-squat for my writing career, in fact.
The check is for $759.81 – color me floored. That’s half a month’s living expenses, for me! Of course that is a quarterly payment so to be realistic I should divide it by three, which comes to about $253/mo. That is a significant chunk of change by my reckoning!
My top sellers were, unsurprisingly, Games (196 copies) and Dawn in the Orchard (286 copies). Dawn in the Orchard even sold 7 copies as a paperback! Woo! My novella Mixed Signals, ye of the rushed ending, still sold 48 copies! My short stories? They only sold a couple of copies each. I mean, they sold, which is great, but clearly they are not the breadwinners.
Authors are always debating the merits of a best seller vs. a strong back list, and of course the ideal is to have both. But I think that my steady rise in income from this indicates that for a mid-lister like me, without a break-out bestselling book to my name, having a strong, steady stock of stories for people to buy is where the money comes from. DitO was released back in October, 2011, and yet is still my biggest seller. Games is a novella but on the whole I think it is a stronger story, yet despite that and despite being a ‘new release’ it failed to outsell DitO.
Now, I don’t have high hopes for my next statement come July for the second quarter, because of my three-month hiatus which meant that nothing got written, much less finished or submitted or promoted, so there are no new releases coming for a while. That said, this royalty check proves to me what I’ve believed all along: I can make a living at this! I can pay my bills, stop worrying about taking stupid soul-sucking jobs, and craft stories I enjoy writing and people enjoy reading.