I’m living proof that you don’t need an agent to be a full time writer. You also don’t need to be published by the big five.
I went full time back in 2007 when we came here to Newfoundland from Scotland. Up front, I’ll reveal a plus in my favor was always that we arrived with enough cash from the house sale back in the UK to buy a property outright here, so we’ve been mortgage free during my full time writing. Which helps considerably.
But apart from that, we still had to live and eat, and I’ve managed to support both my wife and myself over thirteen years now.
I make my money in a variety of ways.
- I traditionally publish novels and novellas in genre small presses that publish ebooks, paperbacks and audiobooks
- I have had boutique story collections in presses that deal with high end collector limited editions
- I place stories in pro-rate paying magazines and anthologies
- I self-publish out of print material of mine from over the years and the ocassional new piece, mostly novellas
- I have, on ocassion, ghost written books for up front cash
- I’ve recently started making inroads in Germany, with several novels in print there now and a bunch more coming.
So there’s no single massive income stream, but it all adds up, in particular these days from the success of the S-Squad series.
Prior to 2007 I spend most of my time writing for the UK small presses and had a lot of material published there. But the money, and chances to make more, only really started when I lifted my goals higher.
Could I do better? Of course I could. I could get into more foreign markets, I could get the big movie deal I’ve always dreamed of. I could have an agent doing a lot of the grunt work for me.
But if you’d told me almost thirty years ago that I’d make it as a full time writer I’d have laughed and gone back to dreaming about it.
Raise your sights.
I did it.
So can you.
Get to it.