I often wonder, as I'm sure a lot of people do, whether authors write because of the lure of potential wealth, or simply for the pure pleasure of putting a good story down on paper. I expect that putting the book up for sale via Amazon or another e-book venture would sway people towards the opinion that it is the former rather than the latter.
For me, it is definitely all about the joy of writing, and the excitement of seeing my work coming together. Don't get me wrong, if I can earn a little bit of money from writing, I'm not going to complain, but it certainly isn't the primary motivator. Certainly not when I sell via an online marketplace as big as Amazon. After all, I am competing against almost three million other books in the kindle store, so the chances of me getting fat and rich from it are slim to nothing.
Not to say that I don't get a thrill every time someone buys a copy of my book. I can be a little obsessive in checking the sales reports almost constantly, but even that is not about the money. It's about seeing whether people find the book interesting enough to want to pay for it.
On the other hand, I expect there are people out there who write for the potential pay cheque rather than because they enjoy it. Like any other profession, writing can attract people who feel it would be a quick way to get rich. From my limited experience, however, I would say that's a misguided assumption. There's the already mention competition, which in itself is a huge hurdle to overcome, but there are numerous others. The contents of the book have to be well written, entertaining, and have the ability to grab a reader right from the start, then never let go. When self publishing, there is also the issue of getting a great, eye-catching cover; marketing (there's a real nightmare if you ever want one!); attracting a following; and just getting noticed. Unless you are really, really lucky, or just fantastic at all of those things, the sales are not going to come fast.
Which brings me right back to writing for pleasure.
I firmly believe that if you write, not with the intent of making a fortune, but because you love it, then eventually, the sales, and success will come anyway. In all honesty, and speaking strictly for myself here, I would not write if I didn't enjoy it. It's an effort, and it takes longer than you would imagine to write a novel sized book. It is hard enough motivating myself to sit down and write as it is, but if I didn't enjoy it? Not a chance I'd be able to get my rear-end in a chair and my fingers on the keyboard.
So, I'll continue to write so long as I'm having fun. That's what it is all about for me!
Get a copy of my first book, and the opening volume in the Iron City Trilogy at Amazon: Iron City Rebels