While you can earn money online from home as an indie author, it’s true the average indie brings in a whopping $500 a year in royalties, and 99.9% of these authors bring in significantly less, a lot of hope exists for indie authors. Here’s the difference separating the 99.9% from the 0.1%: The 0.1% did their homework, and many belonged to the 99.9% before doing their homework.
Authors like Nick Stephenson and Joanna Penn struggled to earn a living as an author for years and as such, were forced to rely on dreaded day jobs just to get by.
But they found a way, and one way that exists are the amounts of cash flows indie authors should take advantage of.
Want a list?
Here are just a few:
1. Publish Wide. Don’t limit yourself to just Amazon and call it.
2. Use Affiliate Marketing. You can start a book review site and review other peoples’ work whose genre or theme is similar to yours and include an affiliate buy-link.
3. Freelance Writing. So many opportunities exist for freelancing and any author can query other authors who simultaneously have blogs.
4. Publish in print and hardcover. Don’t limit yourself to just e-books.
5. Start an Affiliate Blog. Something like Ditch Corporate America is perfect, as not only does it help new authors, but I can include affiliate links to the products I use, like Jaaxy, Wealthy Affiliate, Authorcats, etc., and earn affiliate commissions whenever someone buys a product through me.
6. Start your own course. Nick Stephenson has marketing courses. Mark Dawson specializes in ads. Jerry Jenkins has one in self-editing. If you have a specialty, offer a course.
Are you limiting yourself to just Amazon and KDP Select?
While this method may work for some, publishing wide gives you a greater base.
Many readers who read novels on their iPads will go with iBooks rather than Amazon. Kobo is right up there with Amazon in Canada. Tolino is head-to-head with Amazon over in Germany. Amazon might be powerful here in the US, but there are so many options out there.
Further, KDP Select’s benefits are null and void these days. And if you have a series, you can simply publish wide, set the first in series for free, email Amazon to price match the work with links to their competitors showing the book is free, and they’ll manually price match. In short, KDP Select’s five free days are worthless and it’s especially true if you have a decent-sized backlist. Amazon is in the business of making money and they understand ‘loss leads’ better than anyone else. They will price-match at free if you tell them to.
Don’t sell yourself short to Canadian or German audiences and publish far and wide. Places like Draft2Digital are great aggregators to use so you don’t have to individually go through the processes.
Affiliate Marketing for Book Reviews
If you love to read you may as well start making money on reading books and in today’s world this is possible. You can start a book review blog and review works in your niche and do this often, like twice a month.
With each review, you can place an affiliate link below each article, something like Amazon affiliates, where a reader can purchase the work through your site and Amazon gives you a commission. While Amazon’s commissions are small (between 6% and 10%), to earn a small income will go a long way and it adds up.
This is especially true if you have a niche. Is it creative writing? Author marketing? Or do you simply have a knack for English and can show others how to write in an effective manner?
Whatever the case, you can freelance your work and earn money by selling your work to others, and some places pay a decent amount. While not all guest posts or freelance sites pay, they will grant you decent exposure which can go a long way for your indie author/online business.
Also, don’t be afraid to be told ‘no,’ as submitting your work will come with more no’s than yes’s. Your work may’ve been too similar to recent work or it might not meet a current need. Keep submitting, as perseverance pays.
While most creative writers aren’t freelancers, we can easily earn a few hundred a week in this endeavor, especially if we have a given niche.
Publish in Print and Hardcover
Yes, this is another avenue to take and you can even throw in an audiobook, too. In other words, you’re providing readers options rather than just a simple e-book.
You can do audiobooks through Amazon or D2D, you can even do paperbacks via Amazon as well and there are places online where you can even do hardcover works. Each will allow for another cash flow because if you’re old school like I am, a paperback or hardcover is my preferred reading methods. Those who drive long distances to work might opt for audiobooks. They key is to never let an opportunity go to waste.
Start an Affiliate Blog
Start one up using the Wealthy Affiliate Platform, which will give you up to date training, live training, the Jaaxy Keyword Search Tool, access to 25 of your own domain names and 25 sub-domain names, site engagement, feedback, and affiliate options to earn solid commissions with each referral you make to WA and promote writing-related products or any product in your niche.
Affiliate marketing can and will be lucrative and in today’s day and age, I’m surprised that we all aren’t involved in this endeavor. While many workers today worry about working conditions, wages, and benefits, or even if robots won’t someday take over their jobs, I’m here to assure you there’s a way out.
And it’s one you can control because just about every company in the world today has an affiliate program.
Kind of cool, right?
And affiliate marketing really is a straightforward endeavor, even if it takes time, and I mean you need patience, to earn a full-time income.
But when you do you can earn money from Pattaya Beach, Thailand, or anywhere in the world. Even from the comfort of your own home.
And that’s really damn cool.
All you need is a laptop, internet access, and the will to publish content.
I think as writers, we all have these three elements at our disposal and they all require an investment. We may as well earn money so they pay for themselves.
Just like my book review blog example earlier, the same concepts apply. You create content and build a trusting audience, you start promoting products within your niche as I do on this site, you sign up for affiliate networks, and you earn a commission.
Pretty, pretty good deal.
Start Your Own Course
You don’t have to be a big name to start a course. Neither Nick Stephenson nor Joanna Penn has names like J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin, but their products and courses sell. I don’t even think Stephenson and Penn have Wikipedia pages, but their work sells, both in and out of the indie author arena and they earn more than a full-time living.
So, if you have a niche you’d like to share with the world, why not start an online course? You do all the dirty work upfront and the rest is automation. You simply upgrade and update the content.
You literally can’t go wrong here and trust me, there are a lot of authors looking to learn from your work.
Conclusion: DON’T SKIP THIS!
While there are numerous methods to earn money from home or anywhere in the world as an indie author, it’s also appropriate for me to warn you that you will need to implement multiple methods of branding into this. For example, if you write fiction but want to start your own marketing course or affiliate blog, you must use different brands for each. Lord of Columbia and Lord of Columbia Series are even two different brands, as each domain serves its own function.
I purposely went heavy on blue with Ditch Corporate America for this same reason; I didn’t want anyone confusing this brand with others.
Now, if your brands are intertwined, you can make them similar, but always be clear about their differences as well. The point of my new book review blog, Liberty Reviews, should be clear that it has nothing to do with Lord of Columbia except it engages in books from other authors within an identical theme. Ditto for Lord of Columbia and Lord of Columbia Series.
So, with each affiliate niche avenue you undertake, always, always, always create a new blog. Your blogs shouldn’t cover three topics in one. Separate them, or you’ll lose an audience fast.
That’s my warning to you, now go make a full-time income from Pattaya Beach.