It's tax season in the U.S., and as a self-employed author I complete several forms and schedules to file with our 1040.
Here's my confession: In 2022, I made more than I've ever earned from sales of my books and the tiny commissions I receive as an Amazon Associate. Yay, me! Here's the kicker: I figure that after expenses (paying for my blog domain, my business email, and the service that maintains my subscriber list), I'm earning less than $2.00 per hour.
You read that right – less than $2.00 per hour.
Now maybe you don't think my work is worth more than that, but honestly and without bragging, I believe it is.
I have another option.
There's one easy way I could dramatically increase my income right now. Google is begging me to let them put ads on this site, but I'm sorry, ads on a site about minimalism doesn't make sense to me (although I've seen many minimalist sites with plenty of ads). I link to a few products that I like and find useful. Most posts don't have more than one or two links to Amazon; a very few have more than that; many posts have no links at all.
But ads? The ads that Google chooses based on your individual browsing history? No. I want you to turn off ads and notifications. I want you to buy mindfully and from necessity, not because you're falling prey to some well-thought-out, highly lucrative, targeted ad program.
I have a dilemma. I love what I'm doing. I flirted with the idea of being a writer for many years, and my boring, stodgy, "Of course I couldn't do that" side always let the idea go. Yes, I know that might sound funny coming from a woman who homeschooled her children until they went to college and earned degrees with honors, and who began a career as an opera singer after the age of 35. Those accomplishments don't sound like they belong to a person who doubts and second- and third-guesses herself.
But I do, and I did, so I didn't publish my first book until I was 59 years old.
Here's what I've decided.
I'd love to sell more books,* and those sales are slowly increasing.
* This blog is reader-supported. If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.
I've decided to join Buy Me a Coffee, a San Francisco-based company that allows creators like me to receive direct support from those who use and appreciate their products. You can support me without signing up for anything. Buy Me a Coffee will never contact you or even store your information. They never show ads, and they have multiple layers of security. You can read more about them here.
Of course you can still subscribe to this blog and read all of the content for free. I hope you will. You don't have to take any action at all to keep using and enjoying what I publish here.
There, I've confessed. Would you like to contribute to my work and buy me a coffee?