Yesterday, a friend contacted me on Facebook Messenger with a question.
My daughter is interested in trying to publish a book she’s working on. Short stories and poems. She asked if i knew anyone that did that and of course you popped in my head. If it’s not too personal, can you tell me if you make money doing that? And what the process to do so is?
The thing of it is, there’s no simple answer.
Can you make money writing? Yes and no, because it depends on what you want to write and how much you market yourself. As a preliminary, I told her this:
The short answer is that some types of writing can and do make money. I haven’t made much because marketing intimidates the hell out of me. Even the big names have to do self-promotion. As for how to do it, take a look at CreateSpace.com. They’re pretty easy to use. The way I do it with their self-guided process doesn’t cost anything unless I order books.
Yes, I know marketing shouldn’t intimidate me. That’s really not the point here. (Plus I’m working on that and getting better at it.)
One of the biggest things to remember is that writing is just the beginning of the work. How many revisions and edits you go through will vary from project to project. And then there’s the whole publishing process.
Now, like I said in my original answer to my friend, most of my stuff is published using CreateSpace, so I follow the process laid out in their self-guided system. I don’t talk to anyone in customer support, so it doesn’t cost me anything until I order books.
I almost said the work of marketing/self-promotion starts then, but, really, you need to be doing that all along. Be talking about it on your social media platform(s). I mainly use Twitter and Facebook, but I do occasionally post writing-related stuff, especially when I have a new book out, on LinkedIn. The more you talk about it, the more interest you generate, which will (hopefully) translate into sales down the road.
Take a lesson from me: Don’t be shy about marketing and self-promotion. Most of the big names even have to promote themselves. Except maybe Stephen King.
The funny thing (to me) about the timing of this question is that I’ve been thinking about that. Making money writing.
A few years ago, I taught a class through the community education program at the local college. The name of it? “Make Money Writing.” In it, I talked mostly about writing for magazines, the query process, researching articles, finding other resources, etc. I’ve been thinking about moving that online, either as a video course or an email series.
Let me know if there’s any interest in that and which format would be best.
I promised my friend a list of resources. I’ve been thinking about how to narrow that down because I have enough that I could probably fill a book with just links. I’ve decided to just list the top 5. Links will open in a new window. If you have a pop-up blocker, hold the Ctrl key down when you click it so it will open.
I’m doing this a little bit different today. First I’ll tell you why. I am going to reach my word count goal (60,000 words) on RealmWalker tonight. I might even finish the story. I’m excited to get to it. Second, I want to see what you all think about this. I’m always posting pictures and telling you what it is. Now it’s your turn to tell ME what it is.
P.S. Please don’t look at the file properties and get the name of the photo because that’s cheating. lol
That sounds too much like the title of a song by Rihanna. I’m not stealing from her, I promise.
I was given orders to take it easy to let my back get well. So that’s what I’ve been doing. For most of the day, I’ve read, crocheted, watched videos, and rested. My mind kept working in the background.
I decided writing could be included in taking it easy, so I started working on RealmWalker earlier in the day than usual. I got to a pivotal scene, one the whole book has been building toward.
And I had to take a break.
I had to tell someone about that scene. My aunt who is reading what I have so far didn’t want such a big spoiler. (Honestly, I can’t blame her. I wouldn’t either.) So I told my mom.
Mom: No! You can’t do that!
Me: I have to! It’s the only way she gets what she needs.
And, yes, it worked. But it was a doozy. Then after dinner, I started on it again. She’s pulled through (as I knew would happen) and all is (almost) well and good.
I’m currently sitting at 58,302 words. My goal is 60,000. I’ll hit that tomorrow. (Or sooner if I work on it again tonight.) It will take a little more to finish telling the story, but I expect even that will be done by Monday.
Then the editing begins.
I don’t dread editing. I consider it to be part of the creative process. It’s necessary. It’s not always fun like the writing. (Let’s face it; even that’s not always fun.) But it is necessary.
Do you find yourself working/creating even on rest days?
Do you belong to a group? Groups online, like on Facebook, are OK, but I mean in person. Are you a member of a group that meets regularly? Once a month? Every two weeks?
It doesn’t matter if the group is small or large, I think it’s important for creatives to belong to a group of like-minded people who engage in a similar or related pursuit.
For example, I belong to a knit/crochet group, a writers’ group, and a stamping group. Two meet once a month and the other meets twice a month. They’re all important for me.
A lot of creative work is done in solitude. Sometimes you need someone to talk to about similar issues. Other times you need someone you can brainstorm with to get out of the rut you’ve found yourself in. And even other times, you just need — or want — a friend who understands what you’re going through as a creative at the end of the day.
Groups can provide education, resources, and camaraderie, among other things. What groups do you belong to?
I have six keys to creativity.
1. Everyone is creative.
2. Creativity does not discriminate.
3. People don’t know how to tap into their creativity.
4. People use their creativity without knowing they are.
5. The only person who says you can’t is you.
6. Have more than one creative outlet.
Let’s take a quick look at each one. In later posts, we’ll look at them in-depth.
Key #1: Everyone Is Creative
This is the first key because it is the most important. It cannot be emphasized enough.
Everyone is creative!
The problem arises when people think they are not creative. They assign it to that mysterious something that only “real” artists or “real” writers can access.
They don’t realize they access their own creativity stores every time they:
Play a spontaneous game with their children.
Come up with a meal that everyone likes some part of.