Freelance Writers: Ever Thought about Making Money Self-Publishing Romance Novels? It’s Easier Than You Think

Recently, I did an “Author Interview” over at RomanceJunkies.com. It’s an award-winning blog for romance readers by the way, getting over 1,000,000 hits per month. And, it was named one of the 101 best sites for writers in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In my interview, I answered the following question (among quite a few others), that I want to expand upon a bit here …

What advice would you give to aspiring romance writers to help them earn a full-time living publishing their own works?

Be prolific – and choose your genre(s) well. Note: Click cover to read a free preview of my latest multicultural romance novel.

I’ve written fiction and non-fiction, and had success in both genres. What I can say without a doubt is this – do your research and carve out a PROFITABLE niche for yourself. Then, write like there’s no tomorrow.ALoverforBeth2-cover-sm

In 2011, I self-published 50 ebooks. Yes, 50! Thirty-five to thirty-eight of them (I can’t remember the exact number) were brand new titles.

I was able to publish so many because I: (i) wrote what I knew (ie, had experience in); (ii) stuck to defined, complementary niches (ie, freelance writing, SEO writing, self-publishing and internet market); and (iii) stuck to a defined scheduled.

You must be disciplined as a writer. There’s just no way around it. Most self-publishers are not going to hit it big with a 50 Shades of Grey, for example. The money comes in the output. The more you publish, the more you give yourself a chance to find an audience.

And, when they do find you and you have a catalog of 8, 10, 20 or 30 books – well let me tell you, you don’t have to sell very many per day to make a really good living.

Why Having a Catalog of Work Is So Important as a Self-Published Romance Writer

As I said above, most of us are not going to hit it big with one romance novel. The money comes in having more to offer readers when they do find you. And if you keep writing, you will find an audience, especially as a romance writer.

Why You’re Practically Guaranteed Sales as a Romance Writer

Romance readers are voracious readers; 64% read romance more than once a month and 35% buy romance more than once a month, according to the 2014 Romance Writers of America Nielsen Survey.

And, consider this, romance is the highest-earning genre in the book business. It pulled in an astounding $1.438 billion in 2013, out-earning the second most popular genre, Crime/Mystery, by almost 50% (this genre earned ($728.2 million)! Amazing, huh?

The simple fact is, romance sells. And if you can write a good story, readers don’t care if you’re a new and/or famous author. All they want is something to excite their soul/spirit/body/mind.

How Many Copies Do I Have to Sell to Make  a Full-time Living as a Romance Writer?

Let’s Run Some Numbers

This is my favorite part of any business … because that’s the way I treat my romance writing and self-publishing career. It’s a numbers game. Let’s say you write three romance novels and you sell — on average — 3 copies per day of each one. You decide to sell them only through Amazon and Barnes & Noble — two of the biggest and most popular outlets.

If you price each book at 2.99, you’ll earn on average of $2.00 each. Actually, at Amazon, you’ll earn roughly $2.09 because you’ll get 70%. At Barnes & Noble, you’ll earn 1.94, because you earn 65% of each sale at this price point. So that’s why I say, let’s just say you earn roughly $2 for each book sold.

So you sell on average of 3 of each title daily. 3 titles x 3 book per day = 9 books sold per day.

Earnings: $18 per day (9 books sold x $2 earned for each book).

Monthly Earnings: $18 per day x 30 days/month = $540 per month. And that’s just with three titles.

Imagine if you had 20 or 30 or 40 titles under your belt.

You can see how this can add up to big money pretty quickly — and you’re not even selling very many copies of each book. And remember, ebooks are forever. Once a romance novel is written, you can make money from it into perpetuity.


I’m always trying to give freelance writers many ways to make money writing. This is just another way thanks to the advances in self-publishing. You don’t have to always write for clients. You can write for yourself and do just fine. Or, you could have a hybrid career — writing for clients and writing for yourself. It’s what I do these days. Just something to think about.

Full Interview on RomanceJunkies.com

Here’s the link to my full Author Interview on Romance Junkies, and good luck if you decide to put your writing skills to work in this manner.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever thought about giving romance writing a try? Do you read romance? What makes you think you can/can’t? Please share in the comments section below.

P.S.: Learn How to Make Money Writing Romance

How to Make Money Writing RomanceI’ve written and self-published over 40 romance novellas. The title for this ebook was derived from my sales numbers when I published the first version of this ebook in September 2014.

I earned almost $2,000 within the first couple of months that I started writing romance regularly.

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    1. Yuwanda – fortunate for me, when I stop by your site to see if you have written anything about your latest fiction endeavors, this post is the first up 🙂

      As you know, I experimented with romance but it was never quite right.

      I figured out that I was looking in the wrong genre. Now that I’ve found my place in erotica, I’m very, very happy. This is a genre a lot of people have jumped into to make money, but after the Amazon dungeon issues, everyone that’s left over has the oomph and desire (lol) to stick through it all.

      Glad your indie efforts in fiction are treating you well.

      • Thanks Jessie. I’m glad your erotica writing is going well. I think I do well with romance because I truly enjoy writing it. As I said, I’ve been a reader of romance novels for years, so writing them comes kinda naturally to me. Now, do I struggle sometimes. Yes. That’s the plight of every writer. But I think if you enjoy reading in your genre, then the writing comes easier.

        Continued success, and thanks for dropping by and sharing your insights.

    2. Hi again Yuwanda,

      You talk here about choosing a niche- can you give some details about how you chose yours, or how we can determine a good fit for the romance genre?

      • Laura:

        I’ll examine this more in-depth in a future post, but to be honest, I just treat romance writing as I have any other business venture in that I did my research to determine what sells. Then, I wrote in that genre. It really was that simple.

        Also, as I said in the piece, I’ve been a long-time reader of romance novels — been reading them since I was about 12 (started with Harlequins; I’ve read hundreds of them). So I enjoy the subject matter. To my surprise, the writing has come pretty easy for me (in part I think due to the fact that I do enjoy this type of reading). That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle to write. I know I’m not the best romance writer; I’m constantly improving though. To date, I’ve written 13, and I feel myself getting better with each one. It’s like any type of writing, the more you do it the better you get.

        Hope this insight helps, and stay tuned for a future post.

    3. Yuwanda,

      I’ve been silently following your blog for some time and you’re always giving good information! I’ve strongly considered writing romance because I love the genre and I’ve been reading it since I was 12.I think I can because I know what I love as a reader. The romance market can never be too saturated because people love romance! Great post!!

      • Glad you’ve found my advice inspiring over the years Lizzy. And as for writing romance, by all means give it a shot. It’s amazingly fun — I’m having the time of my life. Now, does it get frustrating at times? Yes. But for the most part, I’ve never enjoyed writing so much (but then, I am a romantic at heart; always have been). If you decide to give it a go, good luck, and write in to let me know how it’s going.