Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been reading books about how to “make a living as a writer.” What I have come to realize is that I don’t do most of the things in the books and yet, I make a living as a writer. Although, success isn’t going to happen to every author, it is definitely not guaranteed to happen using these books as guides. Most of them miss the big picture.
Here’s why I make money, enough money to call this a full-time job:
- I provide books people want to read. I don’t pad my reviews. If you look at Tortured Dreams it currently has like 145 reviews on Amazon. Not all of them are good, some I am not even apply to my book (what love interest?!?), however, the majority of them are and a majority moves on to the next book in the series. If I could re-write Tortured Dreams, I would in a heartbeat, unfortunately, I can’t… But it still attracts interest. Being free helps a great deal, I assure you, but we’ll get to that.
- Have your books professionally edited. It’s going to cost a little or a lot, depending on the editor and how long your book is, but in the end, you will be grateful you did. Also, if you can afford to have them proofed after editing, that’s even better.
- Unless you are an expert with photoshop and have access to a vast array of stock images, pay someone to make your book cover. I know it’s tempting to pay the small fee for images via CreateSpace and Amazon, but the professional designed ones look better.
- Advertise, advertise, advertise! Every month set aside a portion of your budget for advertising.
- Don’t be afraid to offer your book for free if using the Select program or using perma-free if you are writing a series. Free books = downloads = reads = paid downloads as you release your next book. From my own reading habits, I’d say about 1/3 of all free downloaded books get read. So if you give away a hundred in one day, 33 of them will probably be read. However, that’s potentially 33 new readers and you really haven’t lost any money in the long run. Every once in awhile, I will discount a every book in the series, just to watch the downloads of that series go up. Because I have learned that in the long run, they are going to pay full price for the next book.
- WRITE!!! This is perhaps the most overlooked way to sell books on the planet. I have 20 books available. I sell a variety of books every day. When I advertise one book, it reminds readers they’ve read it, liked it, and they should see what else I have available. The more I write, the more I sell, the more I sell, the more money I make, so I can spend time in my pajamas, sitting on my couch, writing more books. Somedays, one series sells better than another and I’m just fine with that. It doesn’t matter whether I make $100 on $0.99 books or $100 on $3.99 books, I’m just happy to have made that $100 (for the record, this has happened – I advertised The Dysfunctional Affair one day and ending up earning a little over $100 on the other 4 books in the series that day… at about $0.38 per book).
Can I guarantee you will now get rich writing? No. I can’t even guarantee you’ll be able to quit your day job. I can tell you that you can spend $50 on books telling you how you’re going to make a ton of money writing books and at the end of the day, all you’ve really done is spent $50. That money would have been just as well spent on an advert or two.