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How to Make Money from Your Writing

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It’s very tempting when you’re excited by a new writing project to believe that surely the world will rush to your door with wealth overflowing. After all, you have a bestseller in the making! You’ll have an urge to put all your hopes on your new project and be tempted to quit your job that is taking time away from your writing.

All successes are preceded by failures, setbacks, twists and turns. So, unless you have prepared for this early period with sufficient savings, keeping your job is strongly advised. I speak from experience.

Back in the 1960’s, one of my brother-in-laws asked me, my two sisters and his sister to sing the demo for a song he had written. We were invited to Motown Studios in Hollywood, CA and were first asked to sing one of their current hits a cappella in front of one of the executives. We were all so excited and sure we were on our way to superstardom!

When we finished, the executive said, as kindly as he could muster, “Keep your day jobs.” I think that was the first time I heard that advice directed at me.

When starting on a new venture, it’s helpful to be able to eat and have a place to sleep while your idea goes through its developmental stages. It’s so much easier to create and survive setbacks when you’re not hungry. Besides, writing your book may turn out to be something you enjoy as a sideline or hobby, but not necessarily as a career and the primary source of your income.

If you decide to self-publish you are committing to shoulder all the publishing costs. That certainly requires ready capital, often provided by a steady job or savings or willingness to use your credit cards.

If your book is accepted by a traditional publisher, you may receive an advance, but you will likely want to eat again before your first royalty check arrives possibly a year or more later.

But what if you don’t have a job or just lost a job and writing a book is part of your plan to support yourself? Then you will have to treat writing your book like a job and speed up getting your manuscript published.

Essentials for Making Money from Your Writing

  1. You may find a sponsor to invest in you, but you will definitely need to create set hours for yourself, and commit to aggressively marketing your book even before it is published.
  2. Many savvy authors publish chapters of their book in a blog or as ebooks on Kindle and other digital stores. Digital versions can begin to bring income fast if you create topic that grabs readers’ interests. Announcing your ebooks availability to your mailing list and social media followers will help speed this up.
  3. You will need to dig deep into learning about writing and marketing your book, mining the Internet for all the free help you can find and investing in the best paid help you can afford. Then you will need to implement what you learn.
  4. You will also need to build a following of people who enjoy the type of writing you are doing and eventually will be willing to pay for it. The Internet has made it easy to find these folks through the groups within Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites.
  5. For very little cost you can even make short videos with content about your subject and post them on YouTube or other such sites so you can attract subscribers who will again be interested in buying your book when it’s published.

Social media has opened up so many avenues for writers today that enable you to make money from your writing faster than ever before. Do the writing, do your homework and market your work in places where buying readers will find it, and you are well on your way to becoming a paid writer.

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