It’s hard not to get motivated when you read reports of self-published authors making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. You think to yourself, “Wow. These people are making bank doing what they love. I can do that too!”

But you need to be realistic. Not everyone is going to make it. For every successful indie author that’s making six or even seven figures a year, there’s 10x that number who are struggling to sell even one book a week. Too many first-timers get starry eyed and think their first book will catapult them to instant success, when most likely the opposite is going to happen. Think about it; you’re an author no one knows about. Who’s going to buy your book when no knows you even exist? After that initial pop of sales you get from friends and family, how are people going to find you?

If your goal is to make money, then I’d advise you look elsewhere. Just about any other field will provide a more lucrative career path. Hell, you probably have a better shot at making money from creating a YouTube channel than selling books at an online retailer. Writing books is a true passion project. Money is just the cherry on the top. You have to be in this if you truly have a love for it because otherwise, if you’re here to just make a quick buck, you’re going to leave disappointed.

Is real, substantial money a possibility? Of course it is, but realize that this is a marathon, and not a sprint. You have to be in this for the long haul (read: life-time) in order to see some sort of respectable compensation. I know a lot of writers dream about quitting their day job and writing full time, but until that day actually comes, you may want to hold off on that.