In the last two weeks we’ve discussed improving your author revenue-producing with audiobooks and crowdfunding. This week, a look at spreading your wings to discover other potential author revenue streams. These can augment your income either while you’re writing your book(s) and continue to build your income and your audience post-publication.
1. Freelance Isn’t Free: Markets Who Pay for Words
One of the most common ways to augment your author income is through freelance writing, and one of our favorite resources for freelance markets is Funds for Writers. For a sample of over 225 freelance markets and contract jobs paying at least 10 cents a word or minimum $200 contract fee, visit fundsforwriters.com/markets. Bonus: Getting your name out there and links back to your author website on those bios will also help build your audience!
2. Selling Slices: Ebook Installments
Just as your favorite bakery will sell you a single slice of cake or the entire 8-layer death-by-chocolate ten pound round, you too may consider selling slices of your book.
Our favorite example of an author selling book installments is Hugh Howey. Note from the KindleSpy snapshot below how bits of Howey’s books alone are generating average Kindle revenue of over $1,000 a month. And, in case you’re afraid selling the book in parts will hurt full book sales, just take a look at the snapshot and how Beacon (at #9) is selling as an entire work with projected monthly revenue of over $16,000, despite sales of its parts shown at #3 and #7.
Selling a “Part One” of your novel as a mini ebook can also help you test your market, build interest and an audience, and underpin your budget for the print edition and subsequent marketing.
3. Grants: Granting Writers Wishes
Grants: the free money everyone wants. Again, our friends at FundsforWriters.com offer a great list of grants that cover anything from conference fees to that six-month retreat to write and get away from it all.
The grants (over 100 we saw here) are vetted and legit. But like any market or contest, read the guidelines to make sure you fit the mold, lest you waste valuable marketing and writing time applying for grants that aren’t your best fit.
4. Writing Contests: A Competitive Edge
Writing competitions are a big part of our Winner Circle (with over 300 contests in our competitions calendar) because they offer dual advantages to authors. First of course is the monetary prize. Second of course is the prestige and marketing value you can get out of being a contest winner.
That said, most competitions come with an entry fee. If you’re on a tight budget, choose carefully and target entering a competition each month or quarter.
5. Speaking Of: Speaking Opportunities
Also important to our Winner Circle is our festival and conference calendar, because these are typically events seeking authors. The fees aren’t always great; some will provide only travel and a modest honorarium. Nevertheless, a small fee can be a big bonus when paired with the opportunity to talk about (and sell) your book to a new reading audience.
Other speaking opportunities you’ll want to explore include:
- Reaching your own market via any number of professional organizations relating to the subject matter of your book(s). This may include men’s or women’s organizations, charity groups, even museums or other public venues that host speakers.
- LinkedIn is one great way to connect with speaking opportunities. Look to speaker groups there to learn how others identify potential gigs.
- Reach out to your local convention and visitors bureau for events coming to your town.
- Civic organizations such as Rotary clubs regularly feature speakers. Many don’t offer fees, but they do offer the chance to make new connections and sell books. We have several clients who have gone on to make other speaker arrangements via the connections they made at a free event.
- Networking groups also sometimes seek speakers to “break the ice” or keynote events. Again, look to the greater connections you can build.
Next week: We’ll complete our series of revenue producing methods for authors with a look at ancillary products and affiliate marketing – the myriad of opportunities here may surprise you! Have a money-making idea you want to share with us? Please include it in your comment below!