In my previous post I mentioned doing a Zoom Novel Writing course in the hope of reigniting my enthusiasm for writing. The course did make me write a chapter of a brand new story (hurray!) and I got to know Jacci Turner, the lovely course tutor from Northern Nevada. She has some wise advice to share with us plus an exciting giveaway, over to Jacci:
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Sally through an online writing class and she is delightful, plus a very strong writer. We decided to collaborate on a fun project. My latest book, Tree Singer, which is a Young Adult Fantasy, is now out on Audible and I’ve been given fifty free coupons to give to people to listen and hopefully write reviews.
The thing is half of these people need to live in the UK. So, we decided to offer 20 free copies of the audio to the first 20 people to write a comment on this post on Sally’s blog. Sally also invited me to share a bit about writing with you, so here goes:
How to Make Money as a Writer
- Don’t quit your day job. I say this in the kindest possible way. To put financial pressure on your creativity is a creativity killer. I’ve worked an extra job just to afford my writing habit. It takes time, energy, and a great deal of hard work to become a successful writer but adding the pressure of paying the bills could stop you cold. So, allow yourself the luxury of working until you’re bringing in a livable wage from your writing. Full disclosure, this has not happened for me yet.
- Network with other writers. Belonging to a writing group is a huge support for writers emotionally and a way to better your craft. But a bonus is the marketing. As you build relationships you can share activities like tabling (i.e. sharing a table to sell books at fairs and other events), book launches, conferences, and speaking engagements with your friends. You support them and they will support you. It’s synergy to move your writing to the next level.
- Diversify your craft. Look into places you can teach what you know. Local community colleges are a great place to start. Libraries often host writers and sometimes allow them to sell books. Local bookstores might also allow you in for a book signing, or to read to children, or teach a writing class. All of this builds your author brand and gets your name out.
- Use social media to your advantage. You don’t have to use all of it, just find one that works for you and stick with it. Each one is different, Facebook is for older people, LinkedIn for business, Twitter uses hashtags to find likeminded topics, Instagram is for pictures and short videos, TikTok is all video and you can use #booktok and #authortok to connect. These are extended networks to help you find others who might invite you to write on their blogs or do an author interview with you. I’ve been invited to do several of these through social media.
- Don’t forget to look for grants or enter contests. Where I live, we have the Nevada Arts Council and the Sierra Nevada Arts foundation. I’ve applied for grants with both of them and have received several. Contests are fun and give you bragging rights you can use in your marketing.
In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, keep writing, exploring, connecting, and doing what you love. Hopefully the income will follow.
Many thanks, Jacci! I particularly agree with the networking advice – it helps so much to know that you are not alone!
If you would like a coupon for an Audible audiobook of Tree Singer and are based in the UK, please leave a comment below. The first 20 people to comment will receive the coupons.
This opportunity closes at midnight BST on Saturday 30th July 2022. Comments left after this date will not be eligible for a coupon. Leaving a comment on this post means that you are happy for your email address to be passed to Jacci for the purpose of sending out the Audible coupon. It will not be used for anything else.
#1 by Sue Cook on July 23, 2022 - 11:25 am
I don’t need a coupon, Sally, give that to someone else, I just want to reiterate the advice to network. I avoided that at the start of my career as I’m not a networker – big mistake. Summon up your courage and meet other writers – they’ll help and support you in more ways than you can imagine.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on July 23, 2022 - 12:20 pm
I second that, Sue.
#3 by Mairibeth on July 28, 2022 - 10:18 am
Really great advice! I’d love to listen to and review the book!
#4 by Sally Jenkins on July 28, 2022 - 12:33 pm
Wonderful, Mairibeth! Look out for an email from Jacci in the next few days.
#5 by Mairibeth on July 28, 2022 - 9:05 pm
#6 by JustMe on July 30, 2022 - 10:46 am
Would love to have a listen to her book!
#7 by Marie Sinadjan on July 30, 2022 - 11:03 am
Thank you, Sally, for these tips! I agree with you, though my indie author career has still been short ❤️ I’m a UK bookstagrammer too and I’d love a coupon and help Jacci out. I’d also love to feature her in an interview 😊 My IG: https://www.instagram.com/sinadjanmarie
#8 by Eliday Juma on August 30, 2022 - 9:20 am
Hi Sally, I like the point where you mention joining a group of writers community. Do you have any in mind that you would recommend?
#9 by Sally Jenkins on September 2, 2022 - 5:16 pm
Hi Eliday – I suggest using a search engine to find a group near to where you live. Or an online group focusing on your genre. Or try Facebook for groups where writers chat.
Try and few and see which you prefer. Good Luck!
#10 by Eliday Juma on September 6, 2022 - 10:18 am
#11 by Caroline Ashley on September 6, 2022 - 10:43 pm
Too late for a coupon sadly! I find networking difficult as I’m generally quite introverted but have recently joined a writing group and trying to build my social media presence 🙂
#12 by Sally Jenkins on September 7, 2022 - 6:47 am
Real life networking does require a certain amount of confidence, Caroline. I’m no extrovert but find it helps if I try to pretend that I’m an actor playing the part of an author – it can help in reducing some of the nerves. Best wishes.
#13 by Temitope Oshadogan on October 14, 2022 - 6:26 am
Thanks for the information.This is one good advise to look into as a writer