Over on Grognardia there have been some interesting discussion on professional versus hobbyists. Along with I talked with a OSR gamer on Google chat about his ideas for publishing. My advice to him was that If you think that you can sell a 100 copies then the hobby time you spend on making your idea publishable will be well spent.
A perfect storm combining the Internet, Print on Demand, and Desktop Publishing has driven the cost of publishing to all time low. The cost of doing a project is pretty much down to the time you are willing to spend.
The 2,748 in the title of this post is the total I earned from my self-published works. All but $200 of that from Majestic Wilderlands. This is over two years since December of 2009.
For Blackmarsh, I only earned around $200, but I have had over 1,724 downloads. Which is pretty much what I intended when I decided to release the whole thing under the OGL. With Delving Deeper coming out soon even more people will have Blackmarsh in their hands.
The only reason I didn't earn more was I haven't completed the projects I been working on. Partly due to my procrastination and partly due a busier schedule due to my family's activities. I make progress, just not very fast.
The only caveat in all this is that it is still takes work and patience. You need to advertise yourself either by blogging or maintaining a steady output. While straightforward publishing is not easy, but it is not particularly hard. The nice thing is that if you get a good reputation then it easily becomes a hobby that pays for itself. You may not get to go to Tahati as Zak mentioned but you will some extra bucks to