Yeah, I’m making enough money in March between Brad Vance Editorial Services and my book sales to cover my bills! For the first month in a long time, I’m no longer in negative cash flow territory – well, sort of. I still need to buy food and gas and $20-a-bag Blue cat food on credit, but rent, power, phone etc. are covered. And that’s despite the small $ I’ll get at the end of the month from Amazon, for my really terrible sales in January. So, if I can bring in as much work in April (hell, even half as much, since I actually sold some books in February), I’ll be turning the tide into positive territory.
I know that editing income is almost as unpredictable as writing income…but the key word there is almost. At the beginning of the month, I can look at X number of editing projects I have lined up, and know I’m going to get Y $. Whereas I have no clue how many books I’ll sell this month or, even worse, how much Amazon will deign to pay me per page “borrowed.”
It’s such a load off. I’m coming to terms with the truth that awards and bestsellers la la la aren’t in my future, at least not unless there’s some “left field event” (David Sedaris writes humorous piece for The New Yorker about his love affair with Brad Vance stories; Satoshi comes out of hiding to announce Strength in Numbers as best book on Bitcoin ever; any other magical thinking kind of shit you can imagine).
The thing is, I’m not at all tired of writing. But I am sick to death of selling. Of having no rest after a book is done, because I have to turn right around and find even more energy to push it, now, because there’s not enough money in the bank for me to take a rest before I publish, no way I can just pause for weeks, never mind a month, without having something out there generating income the instant it’s ready.
Editing income gives me that opportunity. If it keeps up (as the song says, No Guarantees in the Western World!) then I can get back to really enjoying my writing, without that financial knife point at my back, pushing me forward, go, keep moving.
I’m in “research mode” for On My Honor now. I’ve finished Ghettoside, and most of What Cops Know, but I’ve got a pile of other police books to at least dip into (Police Procedure and Investigation, Policing America, Blue). I’ve got The Defender to read, about an African American newspaper in Chicago (for Greg’s grandpa), I need to review my Adam Vance research on “The Surge” in Iraq for Joe’s backstory, take a look at On Killing… Yeah, there will be no paper dollies in the House of Vance! Officer Joe will be as much a cop as I can make him without, you know, actually talking to cops myself. (“Hi, Police Department, I write erotic gay romance and I was wondering if I could…hello? Hello?”)
The long term goal is three novels a year. That’s four months apiece, factoring in rest periods. In 2015 I published Have a Little Faith in Me, Would I Lie to You?, Werewolves of Brooklyn, Adam Vance’s Artifice, my heteromance A Great Prince, seven Nick and Kyle/Stepbrother stories, a major rewrite and republication of “Orland” books Different People and A Serious Person… No wonder I’m tired!