I’ve never been part of something like this before but I’m super excited to see how it works and promote the heck out of it. The organizer, Alexa Bigwarfe, is my walking buddy, neighbor, friend, and publisher.
There’s a ton of great content accessible for free. And even more accessible for the small fee. But ALL ACCESS is the best option and it’s where you’ll get the most out of the Summit. Trust me.
So, my topic was “Make a Living as a Writer” and Alexa and I got talking so that I forgot to include my five tips. So here they are:
- Find alternative sources of revenue — you can speak, create online classes, critique others work, present at conferences, and freelance. Whatever you choose, create a spectrum of work for yourself to stay busy and maximize income.
- Find strategic partnerships — there are organizations out there promoting writers and their work. Find the ones that will support you and volunteer, serve, and sell until they’re not just a line on your resume, but a crowd in your audience.
- Streamline your content — every writer writes about writing so that may not be the best way to build alternate content. But not every writer 1) reviews others’ books, 2) leads discussions on others’ books, or 3) leads workshops on themes in their own work. Pick a topic and then video, blog, and social media the hell out of it. Five or six key things for which you’re known will help establish your expertise.
- Guest, like, and share others’ work. Zig Zigler says you can get anything you want if you help others get what they want. Becoming a champion of the writers you read is one way to establish your credibility as a contributor in the market. Guest blog for them and offer them guest space on your blog, too. Like and share their posts. Read and review their books. Support them and they’ll support you when it comes time.
- Organize collaborative writing work — consider starting a literary journal, editing an anthology for a publisher, or running a writing contest on your own blog or website. Writers who organize can find ways to get paid for that work. Sponsors and submissions are two ways to generate revenue on projects like collections and events.
Years ago, Actors would be contracted to work for a studio. They’d be paid well and expected to appear in a certain number of films per year. Anymore Actors are paid on a per-project basis. They find opportunities in films, commercials, audio work, and promotional work. Some of them get paid to hang out at certain clubs to raise the club’s stature.
Writers have to be more like actors. We need to surrender the fantasy of an agent or publisher loving us enough to contract us like a horse in a stable. Our careers are a string of gigs managed by us. Once we recognize the work a writer’s career will take, we can also see the freedom and opportunity available to us.
In this new landscape of writer autonomy, there is so much opportunity to maximize your skills not just to promote your work, but to create more work — more value — in the literary world.
Alexa and I brainstorm often about how writers can expand their skills and their marketability. We also talk about streams of revenue and how writers can do so much more than write. Register for the Write|Publish|Sell Women in Publishing Summit to access inspirational and instructional videos on this and other topics.
Have some thoughts on how to make a living as a writer? Leave a comment. I’m teaching a course on it in the fall and I’d love to get your take!