Before I start, I want to let you guys know that today is the final day for the Acceptance series to be on sale. Starting tomorrow, these books go back to their regular prices. If you're planning to pick them up, better do it now. :)
One of the downfalls I currently see in marketing advice is that seasoned pros forget what it was like to be a brand new newbie with all the hopes and dreams still swimming around with all the fear and anxiety that a nebulous future can provide.
I've stopped cringing every time I need to buy swag or pay for an outstanding proofreader. But that wasn't the case when I published my first book. I was counting every penny, weighing the pros and cons, and deciding what was a must and what I could do without and still give my book a fighting chance.
Because when you self-publish, you fund the whole darn thing. Instead of an advance paid to you, you pay for all the publishing costs before you know if your book will may a single dime. It's scary, and overwhelming, and for a lot of authors it's reason enough to forget self-publishing all together, even if they really want to.
Which makes me sad.
So, I came up with a quick list of ways for authors to make money to publish their book. I realize that some of these will require a lot of work. For some, you might have to work for months to save anything. But if you believe in yourself and your work, it's worth it. Now, on to the list.
1. Sell all the **** you don't need
Stop what you are doing and look around the room you are in. How much of the stuff sitting around you do you really need? Could you get rid of some of it and be fine? Would getting rid of it possibly make your home happier?
Time to break out the boxes and fill them up with all the what-not you don't need anymore. A garage sale can be a ton of work, but it can also be highly profitable. I made several hundred dollars at my last sale. If that's not your thing, try posting your items on Craig's List or check FB for local sale pages. I also suggest looking at consignment stores or children's sales if you have that sort of thing, they can be a great way to unload and rack up the dough.
This isn't an option for everyone, but if you work at a place that offers overtime, start raising your hand. Even and extra hour of two a week can really start to add up and chances are you won't miss the time. Just make sure when your paycheck comes in, you siphon off that extra and put it right into your savings jar. Otherwise, you'd be shocked how quickly that extra bit disappears.
3. Sell your body parts
Not your organs. You need those and it's very illegal. But selling plasma is totally legal and a completely legit way to make money. The process takes about an hour and you can do it up to twice a week. Generally, the more often you give, the more you make. Plus, it's an inactive process, so you could take a notebook and get some writing down while you make money. That sounds like a good deal.
4. Give up the splurge
This one requires more of a sacrifice, but then again, all good things do. Time to give up your Starbucks and brew your coffee at home. Instead of going out for lunch, pack a sandwich at home. Put that new shirt back on the rack and wear something you already own. Many Americans spend way more money than they realize on small items. We tell ourselves it's only a few bucks. But a few bucks, a couple times a time, every day in a week really adds up. Cut back on those little expenses and you'll be surprised by how much you save and probably shocked at how much you were spending without realizing it.
*Bonus: if you're a smoker, you know exactly how much you could save by quitting. The question is, how bad do you want to publish that book
5. Offer your services
Are you a graphic designer? Set up a fiverr account and offer to make logos or design social media headers for other authors. Are you handy with book formatting tools? There's money to be made there as well. Maybe you don't have a skill that other authors will want. What else can you do? Can you sell arts and crafts? We have several local individuals who do well by making up meals and selling them to third shift workers who have a hard time finding decent meals at midnight. If you are without skills (besides writing of course) then elbow grease is always an option. Maybe you can mow lawns or clean houses. Ask yourself what you're willing to do to make your book dreams a reality.
You'll notice none of these are get rich quick schemes. Newsflash, neither is being an author. But if you're willing to put in the time, make some sacrifices and work hard, you can save up to make sure your book publishes they way it deserves. And those same skills will serve you well as an author, too.