Monica Baker is an independent author and stay at home mom. She has a certificate in Animal Care from a local community college. When she isn’t writing her own works, she is freelancing through various work at home sites such as Upwork.com
She lives in a small military community in Nova Scotia, Canada and is married to a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. She also has two special needs children, and two guinea pigs that keep her occupied while she isn’t writing.
She has two upcoming novels, “A Tangled Web” and the sequel to Wild Hunt, which she is hoping to release by the end of 2016. She also publishes under another pen-name, Emanuelle Lovecraft.
You can find her blog at http://monicabaker.gaMonica Baker
Now, we all know that being an independent author is rewarding. We don’t have deadlines to meet, we don’t have editors hacking our work to pieces while we sit there and cry while not being able to do anything about it, nor are we locked into a contract that takes a good chunk of our sales either.
Yet, it’s also pretty challenging, especially on the financial side. We need to pay for editors, cover artists, and advertising, all out of our own pockets, and those things can add up quickly. So you’re just sitting there looking at your manuscript wondering how you can afford all this while still doing what you love. Well, I have a few realistic ideas for you.
First of all, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Many authors ghostwrite in between publishing their own work, yours truly included. Ghostwriting is when somebody commissions an author to write a book for them, pays the author a lump sum with the agreement that the author won’t take credit for the work in any way and waving the royalties.
“But Monica! Why would I do that!” you ask. Well that $500 novel you wrote for a client on Upwork.com can go towards paying an editor or a cover artist for your next novel. You get to practice and hone your craft in a relatively risk free environment. See, all those reviews your client gets on your work, they aren’t yours! Well they are, but they aren’t, your name isn’t attached to them so if it bombs, well, you learned what not to do, and your reputation as an author is intact. It’s a win-win all around.
Now this one isn’t for me, but it might be up your alley. If you’re a wizard at grammar, proofreading and all the other things that go along with it, you can hire yourself out as a freelance editor. There are other sites out there such as Fiverr and PeoplePerHour, as well as Upwork that you can contract yourself out to in order to gather editing clients.
Granted if you’re good at editing you might not need the extra money to pay one to look at your work, right? Wrong. Everybody needs an editor, yes, even you. It pays to have a second set of impartial eyes read over your manuscript, so it’s best to pay up for someone else to take a good long hard look at your book before taking that self-publishing leap, you’ll thank me for it later.
Look for other paid publishing opportunities
If you know where to look, you can find E-zines and anthologies out there that are begging for contributors and are willing to pay a pretty penny as well. A great resource for this kind of work is a site called Freedom With Writing ( http://www.freedomwithwriting.com ). Once a week they email you a list of paid writing opportunities that you can do up in your spare time. There are offers of a few hundred bucks to even a thousand or more, so it’s definitely worth it to subscribe to their newsletter.
You get to bring in a bit of extra income while working on your next big release, what’s not to like about that? Not only that, this is work you can take credit for and add it to your bibliography for publicity purposes. You get paid, *and* you get exposure, it’s a total win-win situation.
Become a Book Review Youtuber
You read, therefore you write, correct, or is it you write therefore you read…I don’t know? Well, how about you start up your own YouTube channel and do reviews for your favorite books? Or better yet, do reviews for other indie authors on your channel.
Through YouTube’s monetization you can earn an income while reading and reviewing books, without having to charge the authors. They get their book reviewed, you get an awesome book for free, and you get to make some money via Youtube’s native advertising. The bigger your channel becomes, the more money you make, so the authors you review for will direct traffic to your videos to drive up their sales, and it’ll give you more advertising revenue. It is a very good way to generate extra money that doesn’t take up too much of your own writing time.
Start A Patreon
Yep. That old crowdfunding idea. I know, it’s not the most ideal way, but once your fan base is solid enough you can start a patreon to help bankroll your writing endeavors. See, people put money into your patreon and in return you give them goodies, such as ARC access or free copies of your past book, anything to reward your donors for their generosity. You can figure out what rewards you want to give to your patrons, those are just some suggestions, but it is a solid way to bring in some money to help finance your writing career. You don’t have a publisher to pay for all the costs, you aren’t getting a hefty advance, so it’s a legitimate way to garner some cash to help pay for all those.
Just make sure you are doing it to benefit your readers, and let them know that. Don’t go blowing all your patreon funds on video games and junk food, as tempting as that may be. A more polished book for them means a better reading experience. Nobody wants to read a first draft, well unless you’re an editor, then you’re getting paid to do it. This one is the most difficult one to pull off because it means convincing people to crowdfund you, but if you’ve got the fan base and the charisma to pull it off, it is a legitimate way to bring in some extra money.
In conclusion, there are quite a few ways to bring in some money while keeping your writing career alive. The best advice I’ve ever received was this: “If you make money doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
I just wanted to share all the ways I’ve been able to make ends meet without sacrificing what I love most, and that is creating wonderful people, worlds and stories for my readers to enjoy. I hope you found this list informative and with it you can also make a living doing what you love most.