Don’t Sabotage Your Writing Career Before It Takes Off – Part 2


That Single Title Won’t Make You Rich

Here’s the thing, very few authors make money on their first book. In the writing life, a year is nothing. Writing, writing career, published, books, titles

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You did it. Finally, you’ve published that book. Your sweat, blood and gore went into it. Now it’s time to sit before the fireplace with a glass of wine and rub your palm in anticipation of counting all the dough that will roll in.

This is somewhat embarrassing, but most times our first book and I daresay several titles after hardly causes the Richters scale to shift in our bank balance.

I have to admit that after I published my first poetry book I had high expectations in my bubbly dream world, but soon enough, reality slapped me awake. Quitting one’s hustle and day job was not going to happen quickly.

Anticipating that you’ll be paying bills with your book advance and ROI from your book may not happen by the end of the year or even many years to come.

You might even strike gold and have an agent sign you on, but the challenge of successfully shopping it around and selling it is still a huge probability.

In some cases, when the agent is unsuccessful, they drop you, which is devastating to any writer. As a matter of fact after such unpalatable news, some writers hibernate from writing another word for several years.

Slogging away on a book and revising it for months on end is hard work and the rejections simply make the process discouraging and leaves you with the feeling that you are just wasting your time.

Keep The Slogging Going

Here’s the thing, very few authors make money on their first book. When you read success stories of authors breaking the bank on a first book, keep in mind that there’s a back story. They probably have many years of slogging it out, rejections and many drafts stashed away in their files. If you research the big-earner indies like H.M. Ward, Meredith Wild, C. J. Lyons and co., they have dozens of published books out there.

In the writing life, a year is nothing. Think of several years and write because you absolutely love writing. Write because without writing your life would be incomplete. Don’t write with the thoughts of becoming an overnight success. Even The Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowling of our world had their disappointments before the breakthroughs.

On a serious note, you may need to do something different to earn some income and fill in the gaps while pursuing your writing career.

Whether you are self or traditionally published, till you have several published titles in your kitty, you’re not likely to make enough money to live your dream life.



I am Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha. A freelance writer, author and serial blogger. I am a passionate life enthusiast, a peoples' person who loves to read, write and tell stories. I love the art of photography and how a single image tells many stories. My driving objective is not only to achieve my creative goals and full potentials but to hopefully serve and inspire others who are equally on the same quest as I. Connect with me on social media. I would love to hear from you.


  1. Reply

    Spot on. Two years ago a friend approached me with, “you have, what, a dozen titles on Amazon?” I affirmed the number and he asked if I could coach him through getting self-published. We worked on his project, it was published and is on Amazon and at other booksellers. A week or so ago he noted that his book was available but had only sold one copy (I bought that one) and wanted to know why it wasn’t selling. We then had the “reality check” conversation that no one wants to accept prior to getting their masterpiece out before the public.

  2. Reply

    This is such an honest post Jacky, I think sometimes a writer listens to success stories and assume it comes after the publication of the first book. I think this also applies to blogging, before I delved into blogging or rather shortly after I started blogging, I learnt of bloggers earning millions from blogging. I am still to receive my first cheque:-) So you have to do it for the joy of doing it, then the money can catch up with you

    • Reply

      My dear, the reality is truly the opposite. Sometimes, I wonder why some of these successful bloggers mask the truth. Like you said, do it for the joy of doing it and the money will eventually follow 🙂

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