Sustaining Your Author Career

It is the oddest fact that as an author, you cannot count on your book earnings for your livelihood. Most authors (me included) don’t earn enough on their book sales to pay the rent, let alone, utilities, groceries, and all the other expenses of every day life. We all need to do something else to earn money, in order to support our passion to write.

Many people talk about other ways for authors to earn money. Joanna Penn has written an entire book on the subject.  Thomas Umstattd Jr. has talked about it extensively on his podcast, Novel Marketing. Everyone agrees that authors must do something to supplement their income.

Working on that is what I’ve been busy with all week long when what I really wanted to do was get started writing my next book. To say that I’m frustrated would be an understatement. However, if I don’t work on my alternate streams of income, I won’t be able to write my next book because I would need to be out looking for another job. I wouldn’t be able to pay my narrator who is, even now, recording my next audiobook. I wouldn’t be able to pay my cover designer who just created four beautiful new covers for my Falling series, and the box set of it. I wouldn’t be able to pay for the marketing I will need to do to republish my Falling series and my new audiobook.

In essence, without multiple streams of income, I wouldn’t be able to be a professional author.

Of course, you all know that I’m a book coach and formatter, but those are not jobs that supply themselves with clients. I need to go out and seek them on my own. One way I’m going to attempt to do this is by creating videos for authors. Yes, you all will soon not only get the “wisdom” of my words, but get to see and hear me speak it as well. I’m in the process of recording my videos and as soon as I’ve got 5-7 in the bag (so to speak), I’ll begin publishing them once every other week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up the pace of creating new videos twice a month along with all of my other projects (editing, coaching, formatting, and writing).

Another sure form of income for any author is, hopefully, their book sales. In order to sell books, our readers must be fed a steady stream of content to keep them engaged and a once a month newsletter may not be enough. I hear of other authors who have actively engaged readers. They do this through social media, but sadly, that’s not one of my strengths. I’ve tried it and failed. I think I just don’t have the persistence to post enough or perhaps my readers aren’t, somehow, motivated enough to engage with me. I don’t know, but I do know that I needed to try something else.

I ended up taking an idea from a friend of mine and then expanded on it. I think I might have to you all about this before – my You Decide Story. Well, I’m up to chapter six with my readers, but there just aren’t very many people engaged and signed up for the story newsletter. So, I’ve created a podcast of it. I’m hoping to get more people involved in listening to the podcast and, hopefully, some of them will pop over to my website afterward and vote for what they want to happen next. We’ll see if it works!

The main idea here is to do what you know you can do. I can make videos to engage potential author clients. I can write and read a story for my readers. I am attempting to engage with my audience in every form of media: written, audio, and video, in order to build on my other streams of income.

So, what are you doing to diversify your income?

Merry
 

Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith’s heart belongs to her husband and two children. Meredith’s second favorite pastime is teaching others to write.

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