My Retirement Income Plan – Going from a Corporate Career in the IT World, to Being a Full-time Author.
Early in my life, I used to write – I had an article published in a national magazine when I was 15 – and I used to write stories, just for fun. Then, somewhere along the way, I became convinced that I wasn’t any good at that. My career went in all sorts of directions, but finally (after retail, sales rep, professional photographer, data clerk, and a few other tries) I settled into working with computers in large organisations, both corporate and government. I still wrote a lot, but what I wrote is what can best be described as ‘beauracratic fiction’ – the stuff you write, as a manager, to explain things, to report on things, to get new projects approved, etc.
As time went by, I became more and more bored with my work – I didn’t hate it, I just wasn’t really enthused by it any more. So I began to look for a way out of that life – a way that would fund my retirement at a better rate than the pension, if possible (I like to travel….). About that time, the digital publishing revolution happened – Amazon invented the Kindle and digital books moved from a small-time thing delivered as PDF files to a whole new world of books accessible to everyone, anywhere. I’d had a bit to do with publishing, in the early 90s, when everything was still remarkably difficult, but it gave me enough knowledge to start.
I decided to create and publish books – I started with nonfiction – cook books and the like, to learn how it all worked. I was hopeful, but I wasn’t making much. Then, one day, as I sat reading (a historical fiction story), it occurred to me that I could write something just as good, that I had a head full of stories to tell. It had been bugging me for a while, just how poor the quality of writing and editing was, in some of the books I was reading – and they were in the top 5000 selling on Amazon!
So I decided that I would write Regency Historical romances, because I enjoyed them, I knew the history well enough to do it, and there was definitely a market. I planned and wrote for 6 months, I decided to publish under a pen name, and I created a website, and the social media pages etc necessary, then launched my first few books using Amazon’s self-publishing tools. They took off – I was a little shocked as I hadn’t expected that to happen so fast, but happy, so I kept writing. Now, three years later, I have over 20 books out there, an email list of more than 11,000 people who love my work, and who email me, asking ‘when will the next book be out’ and who leave great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Now, at nearly 63, I earn my income from my writing, and from helping others get their books written too. In this financial year, my writing business is on track to return me the same gross income, maybe more, than I was earning when I left the corporate world 4 years ago (and that’s a lot more than the pension!).
It might seem a long way from corporate IT – but for me, it’s by far the most fun way that I have ever earnt money in my life. So – if you tell your kids and grandkids stories, if you have ahead full of ideas – write them down! They could be making you money – and if you never try, all of those fantastic story ideas will never be seen by anyone. I love helping other over 55 people to get books written, and to learn how to publish those books. Why? Because its very satisfying to help someone succeed, and I find that most older people have very different learning needs from younger people – if you weren’t born into ‘the digital age’ some things are not as obvious to you. When I work with someone, I come to it with no expectations of their technical knowledge, and I teach them what they need to know, to create and publish their books. I don’t rush them, and I don’t judge them if they have no clue about computers – anything can be learnt, at any age, with the right support! And older people have a life’s worth of experience and thinking to feed their creativity with story ideas. (Did you know that around 60% of romance authors are over 50?)
I write as Arietta Richmond. I have two series of Regency historical romance books, one series is ‘steamy’ (the Derbyshire Set) and the other is ‘clean’ (His Majesty’s Hounds) so there is something for everyone, no matter how you like your books. I have at least another 20 books planned, so they’ll be coming for a while, and I have more ideas percolating!
As Arietta Richmond:
His Majesty’s Hounds
Claiming the Heart of a Duke
Intriguing the Viscount
Giving a Heart of Lace
Being Lady Harriet’s Hero
Enchanting the Duke
Redeeming the Marquess
Finding the Duke’s Heir
Winning the Merchant Earl
Healing Lord Barton
Kissing the Duke of Hearts
Loving the Bitter Baron
Falling for the Earl
Rescuing the Countess
Betting on a Lady’s Heart (coming soon)
Attracting the Spymaster (coming soon)
Restoring the Earl’s Honour (coming soon)
A Duke’s Daughters – The Elbury Bouquet
A Spinster for a Spy (Lily) (coming soon)
A Vixen for a Viscount (Hyacinth) (coming soon)
A Bluestocking for a Baron (Rose) (coming soon)
A Diamond for a Duke (Camellia) (coming soon)
A Minx for a Merchant (Primrose) (coming soon)
An Enchantress for an Earl (Violet) (coming soon)
A Maiden for a Marquess (Iris) (coming soon)
A Heart for an Heir (Thorne) (coming soon)
The Derbyshire Set
A Gift of Love (Prequel short story)
A Devil’s Bargain (Prequel short story – coming soon)
The Earl’s Unexpected Bride
The Captain’s Compromised Heiress
The Viscount’s Unsuitable Affair
The Derbyshire Set, Omnibus Edition, Volume 1
(contains the first three books in a single volume.)
The Count’s Impetuous Seduction
The Rake’s Unlikely Redemption
The Marquess’ Scandalous Mistress
The Derbyshire Set, Omnibus Edition, Volume 2
(contains the second three books in a single volume.)
A Remembered Face (Bonus short story – coming soon)
The Marchioness’ Second Chance (coming soon)
A Viscount’s Reluctant Passion (coming soon)
Lady Theodora’s Christmas Wish
The Duke’s Improper Love (coming soon)
The Scottish Governess (coming soon)
The Earl’s Reluctant Fiancée (coming soon)
The Crew of the Seadragon’s Soul Series, (coming soon – a set of 10 linked novels)
As Kim Lambert:
Writing Tips and Tricks: More than 40 ways to Improve YOUR Writing Today!
(this book has won four awards!)
The Photographer’s Quick Guide to Earning Money from Your Photos
Business Strategy: 12 Steps to Business Sanity
Tasmanian Summer – A Photographer’s Travels Book 1
The ‘How to Bake the Best’ Series
How to Bake the Best Delicious Valentine’s Day Cupcakes in Your Kitchen
How to Bake the Best Delicious Easter Cupcakes and Sweet treats in Your Kitchen
(also available in Spanish)
How to Bake the Best Delicious Christmas Cupcakes and Muffins in Your Kitchen
How to Bake the Best Delicious Fudge for all Seasons in Your Kitchen
Plus some children’s books and some murder mystery books under other pen names.
You can find more about me, and sign up for my newsletter, at https://www.ariettarichmond.com or at https://www.facebook.com/AriettaRichmondAuthor.
All of my books are available to buy in digital or paperback, and on all Amazon sites – just search for Arietta Richmond and you’ll find me! You can see my Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Arietta-Richmond/e/B016GG1KJ6/ just click on the book on that page, and you’ll be taken to that books sales page.
You’ll also find paperbacks of most of my books on sites like www.Booktopia.com.au, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository and more.
On Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/AriettaRichmond
on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AriettaRichmond/
On Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/arietta-richmond
Sign up for my business newsletter at https://www.dreamstonepublishing.com
On facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Kim-Lambert-Author-and-Photographer-357336581304947/
(note – this is a new page, so there is not much on there.)
On twitter: https://www.twitter.com/DreamstoneBooks