A lot of people might not like thinking about it this way, but I often consider things in finite terms in order to help with decision making. For example, I'd better not buy x because it's about 1% of projected earnings prior to my death, which would be better spent on a more responsible priority. It's a little morbid, but perspective is invaluable. Here are 4 questions I pose to you fellow authors that can only really be answered with vague ball-parks: 1: How much money do you expect to earn on average from each novel, novella, short/flash, and poem? 2: How much money do you expect to spend on publishing and writing of each piece? In other words, besides time, what will be the averaged cost of each? I understand that there's an inherent cost in not doing something, such as using the time/energy to build a more profitable career, but let's leave that out. 3: How many novels, novellas, shorts/flash, and poems will you likely write before you retire (voluntarily or otherwise)? 4: What will be your profit over your life time? Before taxes. The act of the craft is its own reward. Many will write no matter how much they make, and/or don't even consider profit. That said, I'm super curious to see if anyone else has considered this in such definitive terms. Lastly, feel free to be a dreamer (I certainly am): if you're aiming for millions in earnings and a prestigious publisher is footing the bill, god damn it aim for that. If you only feel like giving a coy answer, then heck bring it on. I'll go first: 1: I will probably only make money on novels. I expect to make $6,000 average for the duration that each one is published. 2: Roughly $500 per novel. Some software cost spread over each one, book cover, ID, minor advertisement, etc... About $100 per novella and $10 per short. Probably won't even publish the poems. 3: 20 novels, 5 novellas, 60 shorts, 80 poems. 4: In loonies, $120,000 - $11,100 = $108,900 in today's currency.