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Do you want to know the truth? The real truth? I’m talking about the truth behind the myth that creators simply don’t make a decent income from their craft. Well, guess what? Adam Wallace, the one who has done it all, speaks from experience. And he says, IT IS POSSIBLE! Let’s find out how!!!
In Australia, in 2015, the average income for authors, from writing-based activities, was around $12,900. That’s not a lot. But that is the average. That isn’t what all authors got. In fact, some would have quite a few more zeroes added onto that total.
So today, what I would like to do is demystify some of the myths around being a creator, doing what you love, and making a career out of it.
So let’s go!
- You can’t make a living as a children’s author in Australia
This is such a crazy statement, but so many people say it!
What is “making a living” anyway? It’s a random number that maybe these people have in their head, but it is a totally individual thing.
There are single people and married people and people with kids and people without kids and people who live in huge houses and people who live in tiny houses. All of them have a different idea of what a comfortable income for them to live on is.
And most people overestimate that number.
Whatever number you believe you need/want, it is possible as a children’s author. Even if you said a billion dollars as a joke. In 2004, JK Rowling was named as a billionaire. So it’s been done, and so it’s possible.
- You can’t give up your day job
Yes, you can. Should you straight away? I don’t think so, but that’s just a personal opinion. Some people say you should not have a Plan B. For me, I think that if you are doing your creating on the side (to begin with), it takes the pressure off.
You still have your base income, so you can enjoy the creating.
Not relying on your passion project to bring in the income means you can approach it with joy, without needing to make sales all the time. When the income generated builds up and is enough to live comfortably on (for you), well, maybe then is a good time to get rid of that other job.
- It’s a badge of honour to be a struggling artist.
No, it’s not. It’s a badge of dumbness. Why would you be proud to be struggling? Wouldn’t you rather be proud of your book being in the hands of thousands or millions of kids, inspiring them to read, inspiring them to create? And then getting paid for that honour? I believe the badge of honour should be for abundant artists. Abundant in our joy of creating, in the time we have to create, and yes, even in the money we earn from their art.
- Royalties aren’t enough
Not always, but they sure can be. And if they’re not, what a gift that is! It forces you to be creative and find other ways to build up your audience and income, whether that’s through school visits, markets, tours, launches, whatever. Diversifying your streams of income is one of the best ways to build a career. Again, it takes the pressure off one stream being the be all and end all.
- You’re not Andy Griffiths/JK Rowling/Stephen King/Insert top-selling author name here.
No. You’re not. And neither am I. But neither were they to begin with either … no, scratch that. They were totally them! They just weren’t the them we see now, the unicorn, the standout, the impossible dream. They all struggled, like everyone else, at the start of their career, but they made it happen through determination, grit, and a desire to be the best writer they could be.
And anyone can do that. Will you reach the same levels? Maybe not, but do you need to? Not at all! Remember, making a living is different for everyone, and there are LOTS of creators making a very good income from their work. Perhaps you will be the next on that list.
NOTE: If the idea of making a living from your art seems too overwhelming, I have created a course on generating income as a kid’s book creator. It’s at www.thekbcc.com/p/makingmoney101 and it covers all the ways I have generated income from and around my books in the last 15 years. Added together, they have allowed me to enjoy a career doing what I love, and, side-note, I am earning a lot more than I would have if I had stayed in engineering.
Adam Wallace is a New York Times bestselling author who writes every single day, no exceptions. He plans to do that every day for the rest of his life, and he plans on living to 130! From self-publishing through to traditional publishing, Adam now has had over 80 books published, and has had his books read on the White House Lawn and Kim and Kanye’s house!
Follow Adam at these links:
Adam’s Website: www.adam-wallace-books.com/
Kid’s Book Creator Capital Website: www.thekbcc.com
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