Thursday, 23 September 2021

T The Pro-Active Author

When Can You Quit Your Day Job?

The question from a first-time author surprised me, “When can I quit my day job?” I loved the optimism built into this question from a brand new author. She had high expectations about her book in the marketplace. That she asked this question showed me that she wants to do be doing something else other than her day job.

I tried to answer honestly saying that many authors never quit their day job. Throughout history many authors have kept their day job as they write books. Also I told her this decision is different for every author. Since I had this conversation, I've been thinking more about it and believe it will make an interesting article.

1. Make sure your day job is something you love and want to be doing. Some people have a genuine dislike for their day job and that to me spells the necessity to look for something else. It strikes me as a shame to spend lots of time at a job or position you dislike. I've seen the work surveys wich show many people are in this position. If you are one of them, I would begin looking to make a change to find something you love doing for your day job.

2. Take daily action to build your platform and audience for your book. Finding your audience and building a newsletter list and following takes time. The pathis different for every author but over and over, I've seen authors give up too soon in this platform building process. It's one of the things I admire about Morgan James Publishing. While some publishers give up on a book after six months or a year in the market (and move it to the backlist and eventually out of print). Instead Morgan James is more patient and understands that some books take a few years to find their audience and then sell 20,000 to 30,000 copies every year like clockwork. This long-term mentality is one of the reasons most of the books published over the last 16 years are still in print (which is a remarkable and little noticed publishing detail). 

3. It's wonderful that my authors feel like they can ask any question and get an answer for it. I don't know the answer to every question but I know how to find answers to questions I don't know. There is no hidden agenda or holding back in this process. Questions are encouraged and every author needs to be asking questions and continuing to grow and learn about their craft.

4. Begin working on your side gigor plan B or whatever you want to call it. From my experience this side gig has to grow and ultimately replace your day job. It will not happen overnight or instantly but you have to begin working at it. Maybe you will begin selling information products and building an emal list

Maybe you will develop other products related to your book and grow that aspect into your main business. There is no right or wrong way to achieve this dream but you do have to be taking consistent action for it to happen. Check out my free book for some ideas (follow this link). 

.l hope this article has given you some action steps for your writing life. I wish you great things for the new year and if I can help you, reach out to me (follow this link and my work contact information is on the bottom of the second page). In the days ahead, may each of you succeed to your wildest dreams.

When can you quit your day job? An experience editor and author gives insights here. (ClickToTweet)

Columnist: Terry Whalin


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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