My #Publishing Dilemma

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I love writing stories and poetry, and one of my dreams is to be a published author.


I retired from the workforce in January 2015 (five days before my 44th birthday) due to my worsening eyesight (coupled with moderate hearing loss), and now live on Social Security benefits as well as my husband’s salary.

Although I consider myself as a writer, I feel like I’m a faceless woman with no true status or identity of any kind.

Why is that?

I desire to write books and have them traditionally published; but, since I’m on Social Security, I’m not allowed to make any money. So, this puts me in a frustrating dilemma.  How do I go about realizing my dream now?

Writing is NOT a hobby for me.  It’s my passion and my life.  Would not making money off my writing put me in the “hobbyist” realm?  Gosh,  I hope not.

What to do?

I could self-publish but if I put my books on “permafree” would people want to “buy” and read them?  Would my books be considered as “inferior” just because they’re for “free”?

On the other hand, being in this predicament is somewhat liberating as I find I have more range to do things differently than many authors.  So perhaps this really isn’t such a terrible thing after all.



  1. You may be able to make a certain amount of money without losing your Social Security disability income. Call the Social Security office and ask. If you don’t like the answer you get there, you probably should talk to an attorney to find out what your rights are. You might be able to channel your writing income to a trust or something. Most lawyers offer a free first consultation visit. Besides if you’re wildly successful and make a ton of money, you probably wouldn’t miss your disability checks. That would be a pretty happy ending, wouldn’t it?


  2. Carrie,

    On SS Disability, you are allowed to earn a certain amount of money per month. Call SS they will tell you how much you can earn.

    If you can publish traditionally, do it. If you can find a publisher, you would probably make more then you are on SS Disability. If the traditional route is not possible, I can help you self publish. I can format, design a professional cover, and upload your manuscript for publication. For this service I charge absolutely nothing. I have helped over 20 authors realize their dream of becoming published. I can do the same for you. Check out the books I have self-published by going to Amazon and typing my name Mac McGovern.

    I write for legacy not profit, therefore, I do not market my books. If someone wants to by the they can, but I do not promote them. You can market your book and I can provide you ideas on how to do that to sell your book.

    Self-publishing today is well accepted…as long as the book is well written and professionally produced. Many self-published books have made a lot of money and have been offered contracts by traditional publishers.

    Regardless of which way you decide to go. if you need help. I am available.

    My very best to you and yours always.



  3. These are questions we all ask ourselves. Considering the thousands of books published each year – traditional and indie – it’s a wonder anyone gets a foothold. When writing is one’s passion, the reward is in the doing. Selling is icing, pure and simple.


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