Tag Archive | publishing

How to Make Money From Writing and Exciting News

Hey, everyone!

It has been a while since I updated, and before we begin today’s topic, I wanted to post my updates:

  • I’m still working on my rewrite for COT. I’ve changed a few things and added more details about the mer world, so I want everything to make sense.
  • I’m writing a new novella about zombies. The earth has been overrun, so humans moved to space, but what happens when humans with powers return to find survivors?
  • I’m still working on my technical writing certification and freelancing.
  • I’m also learning how to be a front-end web developer, and right now, I’m creating a new writing website for original stories. I’ll talk more about this below.

Yesterday, someone asked how they can make money from writing. When I said they can look into copywriting, technical writing or grant writing, they immediately came back and said they can only write what they enjoy, nothing else. Of course, that’s how most people think. We usually only engage in activities we like. Basically, they wanted to do the fun writing, the creative writing.

For most writers, the ones I’ve met anyway, always want to know how to make money from fiction writing. Sadly, most fiction writers don’t earn that much. Of course, if you’re a writer that’s making a good income from your stories, please feel free to comment on this post.

Now, the universal fact is most writers will never be best sellers and make much money from their stories. That’s just a fact, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make money from writing. I tried to hint at this topic in this post Learning and Writing With Different Styles, but I didn’t get too many comments on it.

In today’s world, especially now, there are so many fiction writers. Hell, you can find more creative writing advice on Youtube than professional writing advice. Why is that? Well, because fiction writing is the fun writing. Most writers want to be the next big thing, but more than likely, it won’t happen. So if you love to write and you want to write regardless of fiction or not, you can make money.

When I think of fiction writers today, I think of:

fiction-writers-fiction-writers-everywhere

As I mentioned in another post, there are jobs for writers, but no, it’s not the fun writing. If fun writing easily paid well, then you wouldn’t have so many self-published writers, and these writing websites wouldn’t be overloaded with stories.

If you really want to make money from writing (while waiting for that big book deal), maybe look into the following careers:

  • Technical Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Proposal Writing
  • Freelancing (look into Upwork.com and Freelancer.com)
  • Video Game Writing
  • Scriptwriting

And I’m not saying you can’t make money from fiction writing, but it’s just hard. The few writers I know that make decent money from self-publishing worked full-time jobs first. They also tested the waters by publishing a book on Amazon to see how their sales would go. Once they established themselves and made enough sales, then they were able to quit their jobs to focus on self-publishing more books. Even freelance writers gather clients and save money (3-6 months worth) first before leaving their jobs.

The point is, making money from fiction writing isn’t easy, and it takes time. When I look for freelancing jobs, I sometimes see ads for story writing, but they only pay about $25 -$200. Most freelance writing is for articles, essays, and ghostwriting.

I have also noticed that more and more writers are selling their work to websites like Tapas and Radish. But readers will complain about buying the chapters and not getting physical copies of the stories. When you establish your platform, you should think about the impression you are leaving on your readers.

Overall, though, making money from fiction writing takes work, but it’s not impossible. If you love to write, you may also enjoy the other writing careers to earn a better income.

Question: Do you make money from your fiction writing and how? If you have a writing career, what do you do?

___________________________________________________________________________________

I know this blog post is longer than usual, but I have exciting news. So, recently, I found out yet again, other writing websites have corrupt business practices. This time, one website removes negative reviews from their paid content (to make them look better). When I checked into this further, I found out that this is a violation of the Consumer Rights Fairness Act:

The Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed in response to reports that some businesses try to prevent people from giving honest reviews about products or services they received. Some companies put contract provisions in place, including in their online terms and conditions, that allowed them to sue or penalize consumers for posting negative reviews.

You can read more here: Consumer Review Fairness Act: What Businesses Need to Know.

Honestly, that’s like Amazon removing bad reviews on some books. As far as I know, Amazon doesn’t do that. If you publish a book online and charge for it, you open yourself up to opinions. Not everyone will like your work, but I feel some writers (even me, sometimes) forget that.

Here are some reviews about best-selling writers, and I don’t think these would be removed: 32 Of The Worst Book Endings That Shouldn’t Have Made It To Print

Not only that, another writing website has shady terms of service. It states that whatever stories are posted on their site, they will own. And that website is run by a big five publisher!

When I learned these things, I finally decided to take a big step. As writers, we’re always told to write the book we want to read. Well, based on that, I decided to start creating the writing website I wanted to post my work on.

That’s right! I’m in the process of creating a new writing platform! I have a few developers I’m working with, and I’m hoping to get this live next year.

So far, I have the current plans for the website:

  • The website will be for original, mature stories. NA and Adult stories, no YA. I feel there are enough writing websites for young adults. I’m still debating on if I should let fanfiction in.
  • No “premium” or “featured” content! No, no, no! My goal is to have a place where writers don’t fight for popularity. I want to run the website like A03. You post your work, get readers, and just have fun writing.
  • Writing resources. I want to have a place where writers can post advice and help others.
  • A beta-reader program. This will be a dedicated program where we pair writers with a beta reader.
  • Classes. I want to provide writing classes for writers. I’m still working on this.
  • Jobs bored. A place where people looking for fiction writers can post jobs.  

When I think of the current writing websites, besides WDC, A03, and Fictionpress, I think of Hunger Games. It’s just a bunch of writers competing for these corrupt businesses’ attention hoping to get noticed, money, and recognition. Like Katniss, I’m ready to break the game and create a better writing community for my fellow writers.

So far, that’s is all for today, but if you want to leave some feedback, please post your comments =)

Question: What do you want on a writing website?

I look forward to reading everyone’s responses!

Advertisements

Diversity in Fiction

Hey, everyone! I hope your weekend is going well.

So, as I slowly expand my writing platform and join other writing communities, I noticed the topic of diversity comes up, a lot. Of course, it totally makes sense why more readers and agents are requesting stories with diverse characters.

In our modern society, people from all different backgrounds live together, work together, and form relationships. This post isn’t about how to write a story with diversity, but its asking, do you include diversity in your stories?

When some people think of diversity, they think this:

diversity

(taken from https://giphy.com)

Recently, I started a post about this on another writing site, and someone made a good point. They said that diversity isn’t limited to skin color, but also includes personality.

Many of you already know this, but one of my goals as a writer is to write black female characters as the protagonists. I’ve already started that with Elena, and I have a new character, Jada.

First, I’m curious to know if you have any diverse characters in your story. Second, how do you feel about “forced diversity”? Another issue with diversity is forced diversity. To explain further, forced diversity has diverse characters just for the sake of it.

Many writers feel that forced diversity doesn’t work, but how do you feel?

When we write our stories, we need to consider the setting, timeline, and the theme we’re trying to show. For our work to be believable, we need to write it as realistic as possible. Of course, with fantasy, you have some more wiggle room, but you still want to consider your readers.

I think for diversity in stories, we also need to determine our audience. In the US, there’s a lot of room for diversity in stories, but can we really expect the same for countries outside of the western world? For example, think of Japan. Growing up and even now, I love anime, but alas, there aren’t many black female characters in their stories. But of course, that makes sense given the country. Should we hold other countries to the same diverse expectation?

I know this post is short for today, but I wanted to make this more of a discussion post. Personally, I didn’t want to do a post on how to write diverse characters, as I feel that’s understood. However, if anyone wants a post like that later, please let me know. From what I’ve seen, agents are looking for diverse books, at least on Twitter, anyway.

To get the discussion started, please post your answers to the questions below:

  •  Do you include diversity in your stories?

  • How do you feel about “forced diversity”?

  • Should we hold other countries to the same diverse expectation?

 

 

Life, Updates, and Your Safe Writing Space

So…

Longtimenosee_1

I want to say, sorry for being MIA for the past month. Life isn’t easy for me right now, and I want to tell you what’s going on. For starters, I’m working on the following:

  1.  Still switching careers. This hasn’t been easy, but I’m determined to get there.
  2. I started a new writing venture, so I’ll be busy with that =)
  3. Clash of Tides is still going through beta! I got some great feedback, so I’m making notes for the rewrite and hoping to start that soon.
  4. 9/Nine Realms isn’t dead! I’m changing the first few chapters, and I want to continue writing the story soon.
  5. I want to self-publish a book of horror short stories, so I’m also working on that.
  6. I’m still learning web development and graphic design.
  7. As always, I’m practicing the craft of writing to be the best writer I can.

Yeah…it’s a lot, but I’m determined to make 2018 the year of change. For a while now, I’ve felt stagnant, and I want the upcoming year to be better. I want to leave behind my old thinking process and move to a year of growth.

If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve left some of my social media profiles behind, but don’t worry, I plan to use them again soon. I know it’s essential to grow our platform, and once I get my new venture done, I will return to the world of social media.

As for my stories, they are being uploaded in bulk to Tapas. So if you’ve been waiting to read the end of Clash of Tides, it will be posted soon. I will not post the rewrite online, as things will be changed and edited for submission.

Now, for today’s topic, I want to talk about Perfection and a Safe Space. As writers, especially beginning writers, we want to think our work is good, but sometimes reality is different. Everyone who reads this blog knows my writing journey has been full of ups and downs and all around. I’ve been writing for almost four years now, but I still haven’t published a book. To be fair, for the first two years, I mostly wrote fanfiction, but  I was still writing and working on my craft.

Today, I wished I was further along on my writing journey. I don’t want to just be a good writer, I want to be a great one, to be a perfect…and that’s when I stopped myself. In this world, there is no such thing as perfect. We all know the dream is to be a best seller, but more than likely, that won’t be the case.

So, before we even submit our work to agents or post online, we need to remind ourselves, “I am not perfect; I am going to make mistakes.”

Remember, when you post your stories online or submit to agents, nothing is going to be perfect. The best thing to do is forgive yourself. All you can do is keep working on your craft and improving your skills. You won’t reach perfection, but you will keep growing your skills. In the end, all you can do is read, practice, and keep writing.

tobeagoodwriter

If you find posting on websites where you’re ranked against other writers is too much, then find yourself a Safe Space. You’re probably wondering what I mean by Safe Space. Well, a space where you can post your writing, not feel overly judged, and not question your own writing worth. To me, a Safe Space is a place where you can write and not have your self-doubt grow over your confidence.

There’s nothing wrong if you want a Safe Space while you’re perfecting your craft. The important thing is you find betas you trust, who you can work with without having drama.

So for all of you, how did you get over the perfection problem? What is your writing Safe Space?

Writing Community Warning Signs

Hello_1

 

Hey, everyone! Sorry for the late blog post. Life has been a tornado these last few days, but I’m finally back with an update!

Here are a few things happening with me:

  1. If you haven’t noticed, I finally took the words “unworthy writer” off my blog. For me, that’s a significant accomplishment. For so long, I felt my writing was awful, just downright terrible, but I want to view myself differently and have confidence.
  2. Please follow me on Twitter! I’m trying to build my author platform, so I want to grow my Twitter account. The link is here: My Twitter.
  3. I’m really, really not a fan of Tapas, but I needed a place to host my online stories. Since Writing.com is more of a private site, I’ve uploaded some work on Tapas. If you used to read my old stories on Wattpad, please follow me on Tapas here: My Tapas Account. As I said previously, I won’t be deleting this account. This is my permanent home, along with my blog, Writing.com, and Twitter.

Today, I was originally going to discuss determination, but, something ugly happened over the last few days. Instead of determination, I want to mention warning signs that new writers and writers new to online writing communities should look out for.

So far, this is the list I have (but please comment if you feel more things should be added):

  1. Bullying from other writers! – If you notice any bullying between writers, and if it happens frequently, then leave! I can’t stress this enough. Writers shouldn’t be attacking each other on these online communities, especially in forums and threads. If you are old enough to surf the internet, you need to understand that everyone will have a different opinion. We can’t control how someone else thinks, but you can control how you respond to it. Also, if the website lets the bullying slide or shows favoritism, you’ll see how the management thinks.
  2.   Rant books! – We all need to rant at times, it helps us blow off steam. However, there is a difference between ranting and shaming other writers. To be fair, I used to enjoy rant books back in the day, but as I’ve grown as a writer, I realized how childish they are. In the end, calling out other writers for their personal decisions with their work is childish. Sure, you can use examples from various writings you’ve seen to make points on your blogs, which is the same as using published work, but actually shaming a writer for selecting a particular publisher or leaving a website is silly.

    Here are my thoughts:
    Writing Community Memes_2

    If you see an overwhelming number of rant books on a writing website talking about other writers, move on. It shows most of the writers there are angry (and sadly, I used to be one of them, but I’ve freed myself from it), and instead of focusing on anger, move on. Lord knows I did, and now I’m better for it.

  3. Plagiarism! This is a huge one! As mentioned in another blog post, we know posting our work online is risking, but hear me out. If you notice well-known writers on a writing site talking about getting their work stolen, pay attention to the frequency.  If it happens, let’s say, once a month, maybe shrug if off. We all know free online communities will have this problem. Many younger readers read online, and of course, sometimes, they copy what they enjoy. However, if you notice messages going out every week, there’s a problem, especially if you see other well-known writers copying each other. The scary thing is, many well-known writers on these websites are trying to publish. Think about that for a moment. You write a remarkable story, get lots of readers, but another well-known writer copies your ideas, wanting to publish the said book. No!

    In the end…
    Writing Community Memes_1

Don’t waste your time on a writing community like that, seriously, it isn’t worth it. I merely write this post to help others decide where to upload their work. Online writing communities are a great way to make friends, share your work and get readers, but it’s risky. I always tell people now to test out a community for three months and see how it goes. If you see those warnings signs, walk away.

For writers, above anything, your goals should be this:

Writing Community Memes_3

This post is way over my 500-word limit, but I hoped you learned something from it. My question to you is:

What writing community do you use? Have you noticed any of these things?

 

(PS. I haven’t noticed any of these things on Writing.com or Tapas. Gif is from giphy.com, and I made the memes.)

 

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

First and foremost, this post isn’t about the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. There are already plenty of blog posts, books, and articles about the various methods of publishing.

Today, this post is about which path I should take for my stories. As Clash of Tides goes through beta, rewrite, and then editing, I’m getting ever closer to the publishing phase. For the past few weeks, I kept thinking about what route I want to take. Honestly, I already know the benefits of both, but the scary thing is knowing which one will work for me.

With self-publishing, I’m in control of everything, so I do like that aspect. When I originally wrote Clash of Tides, it was for New Adults, especially for other black women who don’t see diversity with lead female characters. I know for a fact that publishers will have writers change their stories to fit more of a Young Adult audience. For Clash of Tides, I want Elena to be in her 20s, period. Personally, I don’t like how publishers will force writers to change their work, but I get why they do it.

Then again, maybe I’m just scared. Submitting a query letter to an agent isn’t has nervewracking as self-publishing. Sometimes, I wonder if I want to spend all that money myself – cover design, editor, marketing, etc.

Basically, all the below:

publishing

(taken from giphy.com)

Right now, I’m tired of feeling the disappointment and failure with my work. It feels no matter how hard I try, I never get a payoff. The thoughts of self-publishing and then barely seeing any reviews on my work would probably depress me, especially after all the money I spent. Then again, I know other writers go through the same things all the time. However, there is just something unsettling knowing that writers who write fanfiction online get paid more than a writer who actually tried to self-publish decent, original work. I mean, I know for a fact that some fanfiction writers get $300-$600 every three months from ad-revenue for stories that aren’t their own. And yet, a self-published writer who got betas, paid for cover art and an editing service won’t even crack $50 a month. Maybe that’s just the age we live in, but it doesn’t make me want to jump on the self-publishing thing. Mostly, it makes me want to quit writing and just learn something else.

Also, with how readership is these days, most readers don’t want to buy books. They want everything for free. I question how I would feel posting my hard work for only .99 cents and not getting one purchase. Sadly, readers rather pay $5 for a Starbucks drink than a writer’s story.

Ultimately, it’s a tough decision, and me, and you, as a writer have to decide. I’m at that point where I don’t even want to post my work online anymore. I mostly just want to write the stories I want to read and then store them on my hard drive for my eyes only.

As a writer, I know it’s not good to think that way, but the road taken has already broken me, and the road not taken may destroy me. Decisions Decisions. Well, at least with traditional publishing, if my stories got accepted, I would be overjoyed!

Now since Clash of Tides is almost put to rest, I have so many new stories I’m working on. All characters will be in their 20s, so New Adult to Adult stories. I don’t want to change that. There is already enough YA stories, and sadly, I feel most of them are the same. They are pretty much different settings, different characters, and the same storylines. A special teenage girl snowflake goes on a journey, meets a hot guy, defeats the villain, and then has a happy ending. I feel it’s time for something new to come along.

Whoa! That was longer than I thought it would be. Sorry if this came off like ranting, but I felt these are important things to consider. Thanks for reading, and I want to know,

“Do you have any fears about self-publishing or traditional publishing? If you already have done either, what was it like?”