Last November, I received my first royalty check from Smashwords. Strangers were actually paying to read my stories! I was so blown away, I made a copy of the check and framed it. Each quarter since then I have received a royalty check that was larger than the previous one.
I haven't earned enough money to quit my day job (and I probably never will), but I have earned enough money to upgrade my computer software, buy a Kindle and a whole bunch of eBooks to read on it, along with some cool computer accessories. I also bought a treadmill, so I don't get fat from all that sitting around writing and reading.
My regular budget does not allow for the purchase of books, electronic gadgets and other techie stuff that I adore. I consider my royalty payments "free money" that I can blow on whatever I want. I keep such a tight reign on the rest of my money, it is wonderful to have a couple of hundred dollars here and there to spend on things I don't really need but will enjoy. I think I will enjoy them more than I would if I paid for them out of my regular budget, because I consider the things I buy using my royalties to be gifts from my readers.
I am so very grateful to every person who has bought one of my novels. I am overwhelmed by the knowledge that some people have purchased several of my stories. That makes all the solitary time I spend writing worthwhile, both financially and emotionally.
On this Thanksgiving I will spend some time being grateful for you, Dear Readers. Thank you.