My first book is out next fall (2021). What do I say to relatives who think it is destined for the bestseller list and we're going to be on Easy Street? (not even kidding). I told them that a modest return of $3000 or $4000 for a first book is good, but they don't believe me.
The only way out of this kind of very uncomfortable conversation is not to engage.
Any kind of question about money or finances; any kind of statement of how you'll now be on Easy Street (and thank goodness you have your head screwed on straight here), should be met with some form of "we're hoping for the best."
Think about who is saying this to you.
Is it someone who is taking delight in your success and hoping the book is going to do well?
Those folks need to be handled gently; they're your loving fans.
Or is it someone who has more mean spirited intentions?
Those folks you just shut down.
If they're hoping you fail, they're not buying your book.
I'm sure the readers here have had experience with this.
Let's get some ideas in the comment column too.