Making Money Ain’t Easy

Look, we’re all struggling to make money, authors as much as anyone else.

“Buy My Book! But My Book!” Ad Nauseum

As a writer, you can focus all your energy on getting people to read your books, but there’s a number of drawbacks. You pimp and pimp your books on social media, watching as you lose more followers than you get.

First, you need to have enough material out there that when people read one, they will have more to consume. If you’re new, or a slow writer like me, this isn’t easy to achieve.

So many writers look to alternative strategies to make money.

A simple one is to get more revenue from your existing work. This can mean submitting your shorter works to foreign markets for translations – which is time-consuming and doesn’t earn much, but might build an audience for later material. Or, it can mean making a Patreon-type program, where people are encouraged to pay money to get early access to your writing.

Again, this doesn’t work well with slow writers, and can also be difficult for writers who simply don’t have enough material to entice a recurring payment. Also, if you haven’t found your fans on social media, how will you find them on Patreon?

Then there’s the tip jars like Kofi. Without giving anything away, you simply ask people to tip you some money. I don’t know anyone who’s having success with that.

A couple of my designs

A different strategy strategy is to try to create multiple revenue streams from different products completely. That’s what I’m trying to do, by edging into Print-on-Demand t-shirt and all-over-print clothing.

This is your RedBubble, Etsy, Printful type work. Depending upon how you want to structure it, and how much control you want, you can find a solution that lets you design using their tools (great for silly slogan stye t-shirts) or go full-on photoshop CMYK designs on all-over prints.

Again, you have a problem of how to find an audience, but in theory Etsy or RedBubble are also trying to sell your work, so you have a very little bit of support from a very large player.

There are no easy answers.