A few more thoughts:
- All of this is dependant of your being able to write WELL (or at least engagingly.)
If you can’t write well, at least write a lot, reread it, and think about how to get better. Quantity leads to quality.
- All of this is dependant on you being able to finish work. Writing long form is ridiculously hard. We all get miserable in the middle.
Again, write a lot. It’s like going to the gym. You build writing muscles over time.
- Get your writing out there as early as possible. Do you really want to wait until the book is printed and bound before you find out what people like, what they hate and what they find confusing?
Your Beta readers don’t just give you feedback, they demand chapter six. Useful for when you don’t feel like writing chapter six.
- Yes, you can make a living writing by working with a traditional publisher, if you are willing to slog through several books, build an audience, get an agent, negotiate larger advances and more reasonable percentages.
- However, if you self publish, you are a publisher. That means learning how to do a lot of things, or paying someone who does know how. Not everyone wants to do the work of an art director and managing editor and willing to fire someone who sucks.
- No matter how you publish, if you are a new writer you better know how to market yourself. Publishers almost never publicize you. Search on the term “audience building” and start doing it yesterday.
- Beware the “Hey, give this talk for free to sell books” “Hey, write a book for peanuts so you can be paid to speak” cycle of doom. You can die of exposure.
I like everything I do to make money. I have rent too.
If you don’t ask, you won’t get paid.