the ecomonics of writing
Hi Jo Jo -- well, it is hard to make money as a writer whether you find an official publisher or not. Let's say you get a first-time novel deal with Doubleday or Simon & Schuster -- you are really lucky to get a $7500 advance. If you have an agent, there goes 15% of your advance. Then it's time to pay taxes, say 30%. So you worked 18 months for about $5000. You can make more money in almost any menial job.
Yeah, a few published writers make a lot of money. And a lot of the ones that do got their start by self-publishing. It's a way to get your career started. Chapbooks won't earn you a living but, if your writing is good, they will help people discover you, and maybe that will lead to a situation where you can earn a living as a writer.