Last week (or was it the week before?) I wrote a post around a brooch that I’d won titled New Growth. At the end of said post, I said I’d write more about my writing / art lifestyle plans later. There are a few things that are covered in the word ‘lifestyle’ so I’m writing a series of four posts instead of cramming it all higgeldy-piggeldy into one.
- Part One: Multiple Streams of Income
- Part Two: Marketing & Publicity
- Part Three: Contribution
- Part Four: The Secret Ingredients
As I opened up my website to write this post, I realised that the ‘new’ plan isn’t actually that new. It’s been brewing in the background for a while – it’s just ready to take off the stove now.
I’ve been published now for eight months. I’ve done well, all things considered, but I know I can be more strategic and make a bigger dent in the book world. My main goal is to reach a position where I have creative freedom and an income I can live on from my creative work. As Joanna Penn has drilled into me, this relies on having multiple streams of income. Here are my multiple streams:
I’ve done book launch events and school visits. All of them have been successful in their own way. At events where I am a guest speaker / visitor, the hosts have been happy to make by books available for sale (and they have sold!). Events are also a great marketing tool – I’ll be blogging more about this on Inger Kenobi’s website.
Print Sales – Markets & Fairs
Just last month, I began attending local markets and fairs to peddle my wares. I’m not sure if this is seen as being ‘below’ the author status, but I don’t really care. Crafters and wonderful people to be around and their energy is contagious. I’ve made some new friends and sold a reasonable number of books (considering that I’m a complete unknown and it’s WINTER).
This is the hardest one to get into. As an indie author with print books at a fair, I have far less competition than on Amazon (apparently there are 3.4 million books in the Kindle store* – good luck, right??). With those kind of numbers, this has got to be a long-term game, because it’s going to take me more than eight months to get any sort of visibility on there!
I’ve had pens, bookmarks and postcards made with illustrations and quotes from my work. I also have limited editions of my chapter books. The pens have gone down a treat, and are a good seller at craft markets (you can buy one here, or at an event near you). The bookmarks and postcards have worked better as giveaways. I’m working towards audiobooks for my two chapter books, The Caretaker of Imagination and Lucy’s Story: The End of the World. I am also looking at making some colouring pages inspired by the characters and places in my books – watch this space!
Currently, I teach school students part-time at Kip McGrath. I enjoy my work and I love the people I work with – both students and staff. I do have a degree in teaching, and I am working towards running writing workshops for children either in schools or in libraries as another source of income over the next few years.
I’ve met with several writers to share my experience in publishing, to help them in the wonderful world of social marketing, or to create visually appealing graphics. A few of these people have said I should charge for consultation, but I’ve received so much help from others free of charge that I don’t really want to charge a fee. Instead, I’m intending on writing a book about what I’ve done that’s worked, and perhaps holding some marketing workshops for writers. This is one that I’m only going to do when I can say (with pride), “I am a full-time author. If I can do it – so can you.”
What streams of income do you have, or are planning to create? Better yet – do you have any ideas for me?
Part two of this series will be published around the same time tomorrow, and look at ways to get your name out in the world – offline and online.
*As at July 17, 2015. Source: http://ebookfriendly.com/kindle-unlimited-ebook-subscription/