I Wrote A Book. I'm Gonna Get Rich, Right?
Making a lot of money was never my goal when I began the publisher search (and that's a good thing). I always wanted to publish traditionally. If I had chosen to self publish, I would have had 1) more control over the process and 2) keep more of the profits. I can see why people do this. That was not important to me. Let's be real, hardly anyone in the author sea is going to make a fortune. I didn't have time to learn how to self publish, and I knew I was keeping my day job. Plus, we are at the point where anyone can self publish, and often those books are....well, awful. They contain editorial errors, or are formatted weirdly, or are just....awful. (There are notable exceptions to this but you need to hunt them down.)
Basically as a writer you will almost always be working for less than minimum wage, unless you are able to sign with a huge publisher or the book captures people's imagination at the right time and place (cough, Wild, cough). I don't have a goal for books sold, and I think so far it's been less than a thousand copies, although it has only been out two months and I really haven't done much marketing. (Still, a thousand people reading my book, I think that is pretty cool! That's almost as many people living in my town.) At about $1 a book, I'm not going to be living large any time soon.
But you know what is almost better? The things people have said about it. "This is the best book I've read all year." "This has all the elements of a best seller." "Thanks for taking me to Alaska, because I know I won't ever be able to go there." "I grew up in the bush in Alaska and this took me back."