How to Make $1 a Month Selling Your Books

That’s not a typo. Yes, just $1.

On Jeff Goin’s website there’s a blog post about how the average writer makes less than a $1 a month. Since there are so many blog posts out there dedicated to making much more than that, this blog post is for those who only want to break that one dollar glass ceiling.

First off, are you writing? If you’re making anything at all, obviously something’s out there. If you’re not actually in the process of writing, you’re best probably calling yourself an author. It has all the hype of telling people that you’re a writer, but is probably more honest.

Do you have more than one book? Because multiple books really helps. Each new book should get you at least a couple sales. Maybe even three! And if you are using bargain basement pricing, you’re going to need all of them to get that dollar.

Are you self-publishing? If so, that gives you more tools than the trad publisher, and more of the royalty goes in your pockets. TBH, if you are making less than a dollar month through a traditional publisher, there’s a problem with the relationship.

Btw… I’m not going into marketing here. That cuts into that $1 goal.

So before we start, you need at least one book, and hopefully indie published. $1 a month, here we come!

Kindle Unlimited

Oaky, so putting all of your eggs in one basket has always been lousy advice. But if you aren’t making that $1 a month, there’s no reason not to. Nobody’s looking for your eggs, apparently, wherever they’re shopping. You want to make a dollar a month? Go exclusive with KDP Select and get your book(s) in Kindle Unlimited.

Why? Because of page reads. Let’s say Amazon pays you an average of .0045 cents a page reads. Each page is roughly the equivalent of 250 words. A 10k book is about 40 pages, which is worth .18 a read by a single person. If you’re writing this short, you need an audience of 6 people to get that dollar.

But you probably have your NaNoWriMo book up, at least, right? And that’s a nice size book sitting at 50k words! That’s .90 cents, right there! You only need one reader and a second somebody to read the first few chapters to get your dollar! Woohoo! Per month! Now you’re living, right?

Exclusivity gives you two other tools. One is Free Days! You’re an artist. You shouldn’t have to give your art away for free. You should expect people to pay you for your work. However! Free is still a good draw, and though most people will take your free book and run, you might get a few readers who’ll read it through Kindle Unlimited. Also, occasionally a free book run sparks interest and gets you some sales afterward. Also, if this is book 1 in a series, if people actually like what they read, they’ll read the rest of your series afterward. You can go free every three months.

Instead of going free, you can do a Kindle Countdown Deal and mark your book down to $0.99. This gets you $.70 per sale, so all you need is to direct two people and you’re good.

Anyhoo…

Paperbacks

I have to throw this one out there. You’ve got a book, make it a paperback, charge $12 for it. Why twelve? Because your goal is to sell one copy (maybe two, since you had to pay for shipping, right?). Take that book to a library! Use your sexy writing charisma (or hutzpah!!!) to sell that book. Librarians are awesome. If you have a decent relationship with them, they’ll likely buy your book. At $12? You’re done for the year! There’s your dollar a month! Sometimes parents and friends can also be this sale, but we’re not shooting for the moon here, any one sale will do. That was almost too easy, right?

Covers and Blurbs

Are people ignoring your ebook? Have you compared your cover to those in the top 20 of your chosen genre? If you want to run with the cool kids you probably need to start by trying to dress (cover) and act (blurb) like them. While this doesn’t necessarily become a sale, it might!!!

Writing

The more you have out there, the more likely you’ll sell a book. Any book. It doesn’t matter what they are, or even if you have crappy covers and blurbs. You very well might sell that book! Which brings me to…

Pricing

Price your book at $2.99 or higher. This price point, through Amazon, gets you the 70% royalty. Anything less? 30%. If you’re desperate and sell you book at the $.99 price point you need to sell three books. At $2.99? Only one.

In Conclusion…

Beat the average! Make a dollar per month! It’s possible! Maybe in the future I’ll talk about doubling this… or more!!! And don’t worry, if you are keen on keeping up the image of the starving artists, the above plan won’t derail your life. You wrote that book out of love anyway, right? Not fame and fortune. The masses will discover your book after your dead, surely, and then everyone will appreciate your greatness. Until then? Get that dollar! Get going and sell that book!

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A Day in the Life of a Writer….

The day starts at 6:00 am. The alarms actually began at 4 am, and there are many of them, but they were all ignored. 6 am wins, because that’s when the rest of the family needs coffee, and though they could make it themselves, there’s a sense of disappointment, a let down, because at 6 am, I have that one job…

At this point, there is NO point to writing until the kids are off to school. This is actually ironic, because if I could have gotten up at 4 am, I would have had two solid hours of writing actually completed. Maybe even this blog post. I really don’t know, because I was unconscious.

Is everyone out of the house? Great! NOW the day officially begins. BUT NOT WITH WRITING!!! <- Caps for emphasis. It’s Yoga time, babee!!! All writer’s do yoga, right? I guess I’ve never asked other writers, but I’m going to assume so. I used to hit the gym… a couple times a week. People are impressed by writers who lift, because frankly they expect you to die any day of a heart attack from sitting at a desk all day eating donuts. Statistically… yeah its true. We’re ticking time bombs of death. My gym is currently torn apart and split between two houses, so yoga it is. Yoga is great, because it’s also a form of meditation, gets the brain ready for all that output I’ve got planned. Bonus: You can say you exercised.

Almost ready to write… but not quite. It’s a writing day, not an editing one, so it’s time to get my Hemingway on. That means “Write Drunk”. I am sure the great writers of the past had their reasons for creating this rule. I won’t argue.

Am I drunk yet? I’ve never been a good judge. But let’s say I am. That means it’s time to write!!! Ideally, this becomes a storm of thouands of words pouring from the brain onto the screen, hour after hour, as I create nothing less than another literary masterpiece.

Unideally (IT”S A WORD, DAMMIT!!!) but still okay, maybe I end up with an updated list of great book ideas that I’ll someday write. At the very least maybe I cleaned off my desk or threw the frisbee for the dog.

After all the writing is done, after the books are published, after the liquor runs dry, it’s time for becoming the bohemian socialite. There are options here, of course. I could do a book reading! This involves walking up to random people on the street and following them through stores reading passages from your favorite work until the kind store clerk politely asks you to leave. (Hint: Security is less friendly). I am 99% sure this leads to book sales, and I would encourage all writers NOT to skip this step.

I might also drink with celebrities, late into the night. This is a neat option, that will more than likely get my books turned into scripts and finally movies. You would be surprised how many celebrities hang out in a town like Buhl, Idaho. You might think the quantity rhymes with ‘Hero’. And (shrug), maybe it does. But remember, alcohol is a factor. And maybe that guy on the bar stool is a second cousin of some director guy.

Is it late into the night yet? This is where a guy starts ignoring those 4 am alarms. And this is important… learn to judge who wants to hear about your writing, and who is just humoring you so they can lure you to a cheap hotel with promises of buying a signed copy of your book when they actually just want to cut out a kidney and sell it on the black market. Fortunately, you can only mke that mistake twice, then the joke’s on them. HA!!!

Yes, the lifestyle of a writer is glamorous. And this was just a glimpse of ONE DAY! And remember… every scar tells a story.


Rough Year So Far

January Through March

As the title implies, it’s been a rough year. I had a busy January and February, working 6 days a week for the post office. Also got incredibly sick first part of January (last time I blogged), and still had to get up and go to work because there was no one able to cover. Try carrying the mail with a stomach flu for 8 hours a day. Oh. My. Gosh. And THEN!!!! I ended up wiping out my stomache with two hernias (really rough January and February…), had surgery on said hernias in March, spent March recovering, and jury duty in April.

May’s gonna be great.

One thing that’s changed in my life is my inability to get up early anymore. I used to get up around 4 am to get extra word count in, but lately it’s been impossible. maybe it has something to do with recovery, or the exhaustion. I’m not in the great shape I’ve been in, in the past, or maybe I’m just more exhausted. I dunno. Still trying to get back on my writing schedule regardless.

The Positive

I did manage to finish a project I started clear back when I first finished Broken Things, I think like in 2013. That’s my horror novel Crawl. To help spur me to write it, I broke the book into three chunks and released it as a serial. Maybe not the best way to release a book, but it worked. I even tied it in with The Unresting and Sharkbait, though only with little Easter Egg references. If nothing else, I have that to show for 2019 (now to work on the paperback). I also released a 5 part serial under a romance pen name during my recovery downtime, so that’s a win.

Also had a short horror story published by Z Publishing House.

Wakapa Academy, a High School here in Buhl, did a G.S. Wright quarter, which was awesome. They read Broken Things, Soul Sister, and Sharkbait, depending on the grade level. Some students read all three, and a few read almost everything I’ve written . O.o

I’ll also be the Key Note Speaker at their graduation next month.

New Challenges

No, not planning on anything horrific, I just need to get myself back into competitive writing shape and get back some of my old habits that have slipped.

  1. Let’s blog daily for a week. Because why the hell not? Let’s make this through May 7th (an extra two days).
  2. Minimum word count progress: 2k a day through May 7. Should be higher. I’m going to be gentle to start. That’s 18k by the end of a week from Tuesday.
  3. Daily yoga. Or calisthenics. Or 10+ miles of walking. Something.
  4. Music. An hour or so a day on the guitar or at the keyboard.
  5. Social Media? I’ve been away.

Today’s Writing Projects

  1. Work on a pen name romance. Complete: 12332/20000
  2. Work on my current novel project. Complete: 2750/50000

Happy 2019!!!

Here we are, at the start of a new year on my blog.

Last year’s goals were once more unachieved, though I wrote a record number of words (for me), just short of 300k. I don’t remember what all I set, and I’m not going to look it up. Let’s just let 2018 die, shall we?

I’ll talk more about my goals for this year later, this week, maybe. The main goal is to hit 1 million words and publish a lot (as I announce every year). 🙂

Maybe I’ll blog everyday.

I’m starting this year recovering from a stomach flu and chest cold, so it’s not a great start. That and working 6 days a week for the Post Office since the mid-November. I’ve been sacrificing my writing time for sleep recovery, which makes me sad. Still, I’m going to attempt to show up every day to get a word count in. Because that’s how I see January 1st, as a new beginning.

Sharkbait – It’s Here!

It’s New Novel Day!

You can now download my newest novel, Sharkbait: A Mermaid Tale, on Amazon! And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited person, you can read it for free!

FB-Sharkbait-Banner

There are few reasons for a mermaid to leave the sea. The murder of my sister tops my list.

Shifting from mermaid to human is easy for some, but not for me. Legs are clumsy things, lacking the grace of my fishtail. The gift of the merfolk, our songs, has been taken from me.

And the human world? I’m looking for a killer in a strange city of plastic and metal, composed of nearly 900,000 individuals – a city where I don’t belong – a city with inhabitants that have other uses for my kind… some worse than death.

Sharkbait is a mermaid tale that will take you both over the land and under the sea, a captivating and colorful thriller where both allies and enemies may not be what they seem.

Available on Amazon.

Sunday Escape

Yesterday didn’t turn into a great writing day, maybe got in an hour of editing and weaving new story ideas into the draft. All in all, I added another 778 words. Deleted other stuff.

For the rest of the day, we got out of the house, a little later than planned, and went to Malad Gorge for a few hours. We had initially planned to head into the Sawtooth Forest, but didn’t have the time, what with the kids needing to get to work and all.

The Devil’s Wash Basin at Malad Gorge

On a positive note, I think all the necessary details and fun stuff have been plugged into the first draft. I’ve got about 10k to go through and make sure the story is clear before it’s off to editing.

I’m not entirely on schedule for the month, but I’m surprisingly close. Depending on what I get through today, I may well have only to drop one project. Two finished WIP’s in one week is pretty damn impressive anyway. I’m setting the bar high for next week. 😛

Sleep! The Great Interrupter of Progress

I was hoping to have the first draft of my novel finished today, and I’ve almost got all of my new ideas patched into it. I did not, however, spend much time on it yesterday. I edited a bit, and added 288 new words.

Even having a day off, if I fail to get up early, I run out of time.

Early for me is getting up around 4 or 5 am. Sometimes earlier. Getting up so early gives me time to myself, and I spent all of yesterday hanging out and playing with the family. I did need the sleep. I’m physically active enough that my body needs time to recover. I realize that sleep is good for me both mentally and physically, but I still resent the need for it. I would drop my sleep down to a few hours if I could.

Anyway, tomorrow. I’m going to try and wrap this novel up by tomorrow night.

 

Who Are Your Top 5 Friends?

I recently read an article (on Medium, I think) that said that you are the average of your type five friends. If you surround yourself with positive and successful people, well, that’s a good place to be. If your friends are negative and lazy… well…

When you take a look at your friends, do you find this applies? Do you surround yourself with the kind of people that you look up to and that inspire you?

Over the years, my circle of friends has shrunk, at least, as far as those I interact with and see often. Social media has kept the world smaller, and my circle of friends exists more heavily online than face to face. Best friends have moved away, and I either stayed in contact with them or let them fade away. And that’s a two-way street. It’s life, really.

It makes me think of the friendship and relationship dynamics of the Sims games. You don’t call or interact, friendships die.

So the ones you do stay in contact with, well, those are the ones who obviously matter. If you’re a writer, are your friends published? Do they actively market themselves? And I think more importantly, do you share within this circle your successes, so that you pull each other up?

It might seem weird to require your friends to meet a certain standard. But if you have a weird diet (like being a vegan), do your friends respect that, or attempt to sabotage you? If you need support (emotionally, spiritually, whatever), are they there for you?

Are you there for them?

Anyway, just thoughts.

I started August working on my novel I’m planning on finishing this week, and ended up coming up with a ton more stuff to add. I slept my morning away today (I’m physically exhausted) which is not good for my goals. I’m going to try to make it up, but we’ll see.

So yesterday amounted to only 786 new words and a bunch of brainstorming that I need to implement. It’s good stuff, so no regrets, and it only makes the book stronger (and more fun (IMHO).

September 1st Quick Update

Here we are, a month later after my last update. I obviously didn’t engage myself as I had planned. Yet though I’ve been silent, I’m really close to the release of another novel. I’m hoping it’ll be live within the next few weeks.

There are certain world events in my new novels I would like to tie together. Part of that depends on getting future stories out. So the events in The Unresting will be felt in my upcoming novels, as well as potentially bringing back some of the characters (though likely not right away). Anyway, it’s part of the brainstorming.

Finally, the other thing you’re going to see is a semi-shared world between myself and romance authors Gabbi Wright and W.G. Spencer. They introduced a shifter mythos in their Girl of Flames series, one that I helped create. You’ll see the tie-in with my next release, and maybe I’ll share some details at that point as well.

 

August 1 Quick Update

Things are just as difficult as I expected. Getting up and actually writing at 4 am is still a challenge. I really like sleeping until 6, so there’s that. For day 1 of the impossible challenge, I still got through 1900 words on the current novel work-in-progress (goal was 8k, or 4 hours of writing. The day didn’t provide that kind of time).

I’ve got 12,500 words polished in said novel, so I’ve got a head start, at least, considering my lack of time.