Simple New Ways for Writers to Make Money!

in Articles On Writing

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Simple New Ways for Writers to Make Money!

So I’ve been having conversations with writers in the real world and on twitter about the difficulties of making money from literary writing. For instance  Timmytink expressed how difficult it can be to make money from publishing in literary magazines, and she’s right. As a poet or a short story writer traditionally we have been very limited on making money from the craft of writing, but with the internet everything has changed.

You may not be able to make a living at writing short stories or poetry and submitting them to literary magazines. The vast majority of those magazines will not pay you for your writing or submissions. The money simply isn’t there. Even so there are something you can do to maximize your chances of seeing a pay day from your writing.

1. Get a Website/Blog

It is paramount that you have a central place to build an audience AND showcase your ideas. DO NOT use a social network page. If you do not know anything about web building start with a blog. There are two places I recommend you look into. There are many more options than these two, but these are dependable and easy. First I recommend blogger.com. It’s a great place to start and very easy to use. The second is http://wordpress.com/. Both of these blog sites are free, and they give you options to go with a paid site later down the road. On your blog, post as much as you can. Post once per day if you can. If you can’t post at least once per week!

2. Twitter This is a must!

Better than a mailing list, it gets people interested in what you are doing on the web. If you have a twitter account, build, build, build, and link it to your site.

3. Ads

Yes, it is okay to have an audience and run advertisements. Once you have people coming to your site, go to Adsense and get an account.

4. Kickstarter!

This is a great site. If you are writing and submitting your work to literary magazines put a link to your kickstarter.com in your bio. Kickstarter is a fund raising site. It stands to reason that if you are submitting poetry or short stories to literary magazines you are most-likely writing a collection. Get that collection funded! Start a Kickstarter project, tweet it, and put it on your blog.

5. Take donations

Along side that kickstarter project begin collecting donations from your readers. Go to Paypal and pick up a donation button. Let people know you are trying to fund your writing, and start taking donations. You can use this money to fund the book you are writing.

6. Ebook

Many people believe that if they publish an ebook it might hurt their chances of getting published in a traditional publishing house. If you are writing poems and short stories this should not be the case. You can take a mix of poetry and short stories and put them in a ebook through Smashwords or Kindle Direct and sell that ebook. There are few stories of people making millions of dollars on their short story or poetry collections. If you publish a poem or story in an ebook you don’t have to give up the idea of publishing it with a publisher. A collection can be reworked! It doesn’t have to be the same format that you published in your ebook. Also, publish essays on writing with the poems and stories. Promote your ebook to supplement your writing.

These are quick and simple ways to make some money on your writing. You can use your publications in literary magazines to promote your fund raising efforts. You probably won’t make a living this way (some ebook authors, and some bloggers do), but you can still earn some cash off of your hard work. The best thing about the above suggestions is you don’t have to do any extra writing. You use the writing you already have and profit from it.

If you want to make money writing more than just poetry or short stories look at our other 2 articles: 10 Ways for Writers to Make Money Online and Sites That Pay Writers to Write.

Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal...check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles

4 Comments

  1. I don’t assume that at all. There’s a venerable tradition of literary writers working as journalists, scriptwriters, copy editors, greeting card authors, not to mention teachers, professors and instructors at all levels from grammar school to high-security prisons. The jobs are out there, they’ve always been out there. But most folks will get along just fine in life without ever having to read a poem. And of those that suffer through the experience, they’ll likely be less pained having to read Joyce Kilmer than something by Mei Mei Berssenbrugge. While on the other hand damn near all of us, at some point, are going to require the services of a doctor or plumber. And I know when I’ve needed their services I’ve wanted them to be practicing their arts at the highest level they’re capable of. When I seek out services I pay for them. I think that I’ve payed for a copy of every poem that I’ve read by Berssenbrugge. And if you try and foist Kilmer on me I’ll make you pay for it. Same with EL James.

  2. You assume that art and writing are only worth art and writing. No one would ever say that you should be the best doctor or plumber or electrician you can be, and some day you might get paid for it. Words are the basis for the entire world wide web, but they are not valued, even by writers. Not a single product in the world would sell without writing. The web has brought vast opportunity to writers. There is no need to starve to death while you write your novel. You can run a website or write and ad. In the old days this outlet didn’t exist, so writers worked construction jobs or in food service. This was equal to a plumber bagging groceries instead of doing side jobs. If you have the skill, use it.

  3. The links at the bottom are broken.

    The old, traditional model for politicians was to work a job, and if you worked hard enough for long enough and enjoyed a bit of luck and achieved a modicum of success and financial security then you might consider throwing your hat into the political ring and become a public servant. It wasn’t traditionally about the money, fame or opportunities it could open for you in the corporate world. Are we better off for politics having become primarily a career path?

    I have nothing against making a buck. But if that is your primary goal then expression through creation of works in any of the fields of fine art may may be a poor career choice. If your goal is to be the very best exemplar of an artist working in whatever genre then you just might find that your hard work and perseverance could possibly, eventually have financial benefits as well. And if not, then hopefully there has been a generous amount of self-fulfillment and self-actualization realized along the way. On should never expect more reward than that from the production of fine art. Hope for? Yes. Expect? No.

    My two cents. Yup, it’s all I got. No one is going to get rich listening to me.

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