Writing Income: How To Manage Time Thieves

Writing Income: How To Manage Time Thieves

For a writer, time is definitely money. Your writing income depends on your time, and your time’s limited, even if you’re a full-time writer. We all waste time, but what if our time is stolen?

I started thinking about people who steal our time last week. A  new writer was struggling with a client. He’d commissioned her to write the content for his company’s website.

A straightforward assignment, you’d think. Unfortunately the client turned out to be a micro-manager, calling New Writer at least once a day. He also flooded her inbox with ten messages a day.

“Charge him,” I said briskly when New Writer told me her tale of woe. “He’s stealing your time.”

She sent me an estimate of the time she’d spent dancing around with this client over the past couple of weeks — conservatively, some three hours.

New Writer said she couldn’t charge him. “Sure you can,” I said. “Send him an invoice for the three hours, at your usual hourly rate. Include a little statement, reporting that all of your time which isn’t covered by the brief, is chargeable. And that anything over 30 minutes is charged as a full hour. You can also say that going forward, you’ll invoice weekly.”

New Writer did it. The result? She was paid for her three hours, and the client’s stopped calling her.

She’s much happier, and she’s gained a little confidence in working with clients. You need to train your clients to behave well. Most will be professional. Unfortunately, you’ll run into the occasional bully; but time thieves can only steal your time  if you allow them too.

“Free” in “freelance” applies to you, no one else

Once you’ve accepted a brief, negotiated your fee, and sent the client your terms of service, as well as the invoice for your retainer (deposit), watch for scope creep.

Suddenly, the client’s problems become yours. You’re delegated all kinds of activities, none of which are covered by your project brief.

Again, this is time thievery. When it happens, call the client, and say, calmly and professionally: “This is outside the brief. Thank you for thinking of me. I’m happy to do it. I’ll invoice you for it (whatever he asked you to do) immediately.”

Here’s the point. Good clients won’t steal your time. They expect you to invoice for anything outside the scope of your brief, and will often tell you to invoice for incidentals. When a client doesn’t, speak up.

Achieve the professional writing career YOU want with Team Up

Team Up Writing Coaching

Never have there been so many writing opportunities. We writers are very spoiled. You can achieve almost any writing goal you care to set. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. You need to create a strategy to achieve your goal, and a plan. Team Up’s been helping writers to achieve their goals for several years.

YOU can begin to build a great writing career too. Write with Angela — Team Up is fun. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

How To Make Money Writing Fiction: 5 Tips

How To Make Money Writing Fiction: 5 Tips

Over the past few weeks, since Amazon’s update of Kindle Unlimited to version 2, we’ve had lots of questions about how to make money writing fiction..

Many authors are concerned about Kindle Unlimited (KU.) In Kindle Unlimited Makes Sales For Authors, I shared my experiences. I had my doubts about the update, and didn’t enroll my new publications in KU 2. That was a mistake. I’m making three times the income from KU 2 that I’m making from direct ebook sales.

Of course, your mileage may vary. If you’re making good sales on other ebook vendors, it makes no sense for you to give Amazon an exclusive.

Today, you can make a lot of money writing fiction. If you can tell stories that readers want to read, you’ll make more money than you ever expected that you’d make as a writer.

Let’s look at some tips which will help.

1. Focus on writing and publishing: be professional

Today, self-publishing is mainstream. It’s no longer publishing’s poor relation. In fact, major publishers are scrambling to catch up with indie authors. As an indie, you don’t need a publisher.

That said, you do need to be as professional as possible.

You need:

  • Editing help and beta readers;
  • Professional ebook covers;
  • A publishing program which makes sense for you;
  • Patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, etc. :-) Be aware that the more you publish, the more income you’ll make, all things being equal.

2. Study what sells: write what’s selling, if you can

Yes, self-publishing gives you total freedom. You can write what you like, and publish what you like. However, you do need to study what’s selling, and try to work out why it’s telling, if you want to maximize your income.

In my fiction writing career round 1 (back in the 1980s), I subscribed to Publishers Weekly. At great expense. It cost a lot, back in the day, to have the magazine airmailed to Australia.

However, keeping up with the publishing industry — I read the magazines cover to cover — meant that I knew as much, and often much more, as the three literary agents with whom I dealt. That was immensely useful. It meant that I could trust myself.

No one know you as well as you do. Study helps you to make bets on yourself. Yes, occasionally you’ll lose a bet — a book you thought was a sure hot seller turns out to be a dud. However, that loss will be immensely valuable to you going forward. You learn much more from mistakes than you do from successes. To your own chagrin, no doubt. :-)

Then as now, you need to keep your wits about you.

To repeat: you need to study what’s selling, and why.

You also need craft.

3. Learn to write well: each and every one of us can improve

Are you a talented writer? If you are, kudos. you’ve been blessed. It’s up to you to make the most of your talent.

On the other hand, if you feel that there’s lot of room for improvement in your writing skills, welcome to the real world — we can all improve.

There’s a lot to learn, and you never stop learning. While you’re learning however, don’t stop writing. You need to put what you learn into practice.

4. Your success depends on YOU

When someone else publishes your books, you can make excuses. Your agent dropped the ball on your contract. Your editor coaxed you to write books you hated — and readers hated them too. Your covers were horrid. Your distribution was lacking. Your books weren’t marketed… and on, and on. Excuses, one and all.

As an indie author, the buck, so to speak, stops with you. You’re your own publisher. You can make the wrong decisions — but don’t make excuses. There’s no point.

Take the sensible attitude that although you’ll make mistakes, you’ll learn from them all, and you’ll keep moving forward.

All that counts is that you keep writing. There’s a lot to learn, and a lot to do.

5. Do or die: keep writing

There’s no magic fairy dust. There’s just you — your writing. And readers. Love your readers, and keep writing.

That’s all you need to do — keep writing, until you’re successful.

You can do it. :-)

Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less)

How To Write Commercial Fiction With Hot Plots

The big secret of making money from your fiction is writing a lot. And publishing strategically and consistently. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program ensures that authors can make money from short stories, and all kinds of fiction. Moreover, whatever you’re publishing, you have a global audience.

You’re about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you’re writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. Discover Hot Plots.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Writing Fiction Made Easy: Hot Plots Offering

Writing Fiction Made Easy: Hot Plots Offering

Many freelance writers are making the move to writing fiction. Their challenge? Writing fiction is very different from writing nonfiction. It requires a completely different mindset.

That said, professional writers can make the switch much more easily than someone who’s completely new to the idea of writing for money.

Can you short-cut your transition process from nonfiction to fiction?

A common question we receive from professional writers is: “How do I write salable fiction FAST?”

Usually I respond with: “How much fiction do you read, and what kind of fiction?”

If you’re a keen reader of cosy mysteries, or New Adult fiction, you’ll have an easier time writing these genres than someone who doesn’t read those genres. You know what readers expect from those genres — you’ve internalized it.

Therefore, my advice to writers transitioning is firstly to read heavily in genres which appeal to them. They’re looking for a genre which screams to them: You can write this! If you think you can — if your mind’s hatching new plot points as you read, you can write in a genre.

The biggest challenge for new writers of fiction is creating plots which work. Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less) is a bestseller for that reason.

A time-limited offering on Hot Plots

We give Team Up students a special deal on Hot Plots. The news of this got out, so of course we agreed to extend the offering to those who’d heard about it.

Julia said that this wasn’t fair — in the interests of fairness to our loyal readers, we needed to create a time-limited offering on Hot Plots for everyone for a short time.

I agreed, so until September 7, you’ll receive Hot Plots as an offering. The program includes coaching, so the special offering is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who’s making the switch to writing fiction. Enjoy. :-)

Let’s talk about Kindle Unlimited for a moment.

Kindle Unlimited Version 2: more income (if you’re publishing regularly)

Readers have been asking about Kindle Unlimited 2, and its “pages read”.

For me, and for my students, it’s been a very good deal indeed. In August, I not only made good sales, but my Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) read earning was twice that of sales.

The mistake I made when I didn’t enroll new ebooks in KDP Select cost me money. The more you publish, the more pages you have for readers to read, so the more you get paid.

If you’re a writer who loves fiction — both reading and writing it — today you’re in heaven. You don’t even need to write in the top-selling genres to make a good living. You get paid per page… what’s not to like about that? 😉

Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less)

How To Write Commercial Fiction With Hot Plots

The big secret of making money from your fiction is writing a lot. And publishing strategically and consistently. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program ensures that authors can make money from short stories, and all kinds of fiction. Moreover, whatever you’re publishing, you have a global audience.

You’re about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you’re writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. Discover Hot Plots.

Writing Fees: How To Develop A High-Income Strategy

Writing Fees: How To Develop A High-Income Strategy

Over the past month, we’ve had many students asking about pricing their writing. Writing fees are an on-going challenge for many writers. Are you charging too much? Too little?

Please be aware that there are no “standard” fees. Also, be aware that clients fib. (It’s called negotiating. :-))

Be aware too, that there are writers, and then there are writers. In other words, an experienced writer can and will charge much more than a writer who’s just starting out.

Getting the writing fees you want isn’t about the money

New writers, and some established writers who should know better, make statements like: “my clients won’t pay more.” You’re right. They won’t, and there are many reasons for that which you can’t control. However, your confidence, or lack of it, is the paramount reason your clients won’t pay more.

Let’s say that you’re a new writer, with less than a couple of years of writing experience. You have no mailing list of clients with whom you’ve worked. You need to make money, so you worry about writing fees.

That worry hamstrings you. The result? No confidence, and you’ll get much less money overall than you’re probably worth.

Let’s look at a strategy which will, over time, ensure that you’re making as much money as you want to make. The benefit? You can spend more time relaxing, and enjoying your life. You’re a freelance writer for the freedom it gives you, when all’s said and done.

1. Start with a baseline fee: it’s your line in the sand

How much is your time worth? Decide. Then work out how long a typical copywriting project, blog post, ebook, and website takes you.

Let’s say it takes you an hour to write a competently researched, 600-word blog post. You decide your time is worth $100 an hour. That’s your baseline fee for that kind of project.

Stick to it. If you have the fortitude to stick to it, you will get it.

2. Think about your IDEAL client (get one, and then get more)

You’ve just worked with a wonderful client. You enjoyed working with the client, and decide that he’s pretty much your ideal client.

Make a list of what you liked: the client’s industry or profession, the brief, the fee… whatever it is, write it down.

All you need to do is get more clients just like him. Make it your mission to do precisely that. Start by asking the client to give you the contact details of any of his contacts who might be able to use you.

3. Set goals: set your fees lower, when your aim is experience

Experience is everything. Your experience adds to your confidence. Every successful project in an area gives you more confidence. Before too long, clients will gravitate to you because of your experience.

Let’s say you want to break into a new area. You’re enrolled in our Copywriting Mastery program, and you’re looking for clients. You can say to a client: “Although I’m a new copywriter, I’d usually charge $n for this kind of project. However, I’m eager to get clients in the financial services (or whatever) sector. So, in exchange for a testimonial, I’m happy to complete your project for $n.”

Tip: beware however, of making a habit of setting low fees.

4. Over-deliver, always, and you’ll form long and healthy relationships with your clients

Tell yourself this, and believe it: my client’s success is all-important to me.

Believe that about every client. You’re a freelance writer: your business depends on goodwill. Be proactive in looking after your clients. Take the initiative. If you can see that something needs doing, and you can do it, do it.

Let’s say that you look at a client’s About page. You think it’s much too sales-orientated. Rewrite the page. For free. Your client can use your content, or not.

Get into the habit of putting clients’ needs before your own. They want a quick turnaround on a project? Do it.

When you put clients first, you’ll form long-lasting relationships. Clients will remember you, and they’ll hire you again.

And they’ll be more than happy to pay you your writing fees.

Copywriting Mastery 2016: Build a Six-figure Copywriting Business

Copywriting Mastery 2016: Build a Six-figure Copywriting Business

Copywriting is highly lucrative. Word for word, you’ll make more money as a  copywriter than you will with other kinds of writing.

Could YOU become a copywriter? I’ve often said that if you can write an email message which gets a response, you can write copy. Yes, YOU.

We’ve updated Copywriting Mastery for 2016. It remains the most powerfully effective, and easiest, copywriting course ever.

Of course, you receive personal guidance from me. Join us. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Write More: 5 Tips For Becoming A Productive Writer

Write More: 5 Tips For Becoming A Productive Writer

My students get tired of hearing me say: “write more.” Very few writers write as much as they can, and as they should. If you’re experiencing challenges with your writing, ask yourself whether you’re writing enough.

Could you:

If you could do more of these things, what kind of an effect would that have? Would you increase your income? Get better clients?

Although we’re living in a golden age for writers — we have many more opportunities today than writers have ever had — we need to be active, and proactive, to take advantage of all those opportunities.

I try to be a productive writer, but when I review my own processes, I know I could be more productive. For me, that means more time focused on writing, and a little less time chatting on the phone, and browsing news websites.

A tip: keep a time log for a few days. You may be shocked, as I was, at the many minutes spent in useless activities.

My students find these tips useful. I hope that you do too.

1. Do your goals inspire you? Scrap any goals which don’t

We’re almost in the final third of 2015. Spend ten minutes thinking about your progress this year. How many goals have you achieved, or surpassed?

Your goals must excite you. If you’ve created “should” goals, that is, goals you think you should achieve, but don’t care about, scrap them.

Perhaps you’re struggling in a dying industry. Several ex-journalists have joined Team Up because they’ve seen their income drop year by year. When something isn’t working, do something else.

Look around. Your writing skills are valuable. It’s hard to leave your comfort zone, but take a step or two out of it. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can make the switch into more profitable forms of writing.

2. Brainstorm solutions to your writing challenges

You’re your own best coach. You use brainstorming to help you to write. Brainstorming is also useful for finding solutions to challenges. One “mommy blogger” discovered that she was more productive when she collaborated with another blogger, and hired a personal assistant.

3. Separate writing from editing: this instantly increases your productivity

Without a doubt, this is the number one reason we aren’t as productive as we could be.

Writing and editing are two very different mind states. Over time, you’ll be able to tell where your head is at. For example, yesterday morning, I found that I was stubbornly in an “editing” mind state. I had a mile of projects due, and allowed myself to panic. My “I’ll never get all this done” panic eclipsed my creativity.

Luckily, I had a couple of projects to edit, so I gave in. I stopped trying to force creativity, and edited the projects.

My lesson learned — stop overbooking myself.

When it’s time to write, relax. Let yourself write. Writing is discovery; it’s not typing. Accept what you write, when you write it. Fix it tomorrow. Write a project through to completion. Then edit.

To be in a “writing” mind state, you need to be relaxed, both mentally and physically. Have fun — it makes you more creative.

4. Visualize success: see it, be it

Before you start a project, imagine it completed. See yourself writing, in your mind’s eye. I try to do this with every project, but I tend to forget.

When I remember to visualize, and see projects successfully completed, I write more.

5. Protect your time: use “NO!” more often

If you don’t protect your writing time, you’ll find that others’ demands crowd it out. Don’t explain why you can’t do whatever it is that’s asked of you. Just say “no”, calmly.

Over time, your family and friends will realize that writing is important to you, and they’ll protect your time for you. Be willing to stand up for yourself until that happy day arrives.

Instant Author, and Instant Ebooks — a complete self-publishing system

Instant Author, and Instant Ebooks -- a complete self-publishing system

If you find it a challenge to sell more ebooks, we solve the problem in our new program. You have everything you need to not only publish easily, but publish regularly. Regular publication is the key to selling more and more ebooks.

Write more, publish more, and publish more easily with Instant Author.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Ebook Publishing: Avoid Your Single Biggest Mistake

Ebook Publishing: Avoid Your Single Biggest Mistake
Light your fire…

Want to avoid the biggest mistake in ebook publishing? Complete your ebooks. Publish them.

You start writing an ebook, and stop. You tell yourself you’ll get back to it “tomorrow”. Of course, you never get back to it, and weeks, sometimes years of work, is wasted. Part-completed ebooks clutter up your hard drive.

You’ve not only wasted time, you’ve damaged your self-confidence. I see this often with Team Up students. They’re writing an ebook, and tell me that they’ve got a couple of ebooks they haven’t finished.

Why don’t they finish their ebooks?

Sometimes it’s because they don’t have a cheer squad. As I said in Writing and Publishing Your Book: Finish It!:

Many writers live in an unsupportive environment, and it’s a challenge. When someone says: “Why bother writing, you know you’ll never make real money at it” you may be able to stand up for yourself at the time, but that drop of poison has lingering effects.

With Team Up, they finally have someone to support them. I’m beyond thrilled when they not only finish their ebooks, but are shocked when they see that their “failures” sell. Writers are rarely good judges of the quality of their writing.

In Writing and Publishing Your Book: Finish It!, I gave you three tips to help you to complete your ebooks:

  • Written more than 80%? start editing;
  • Copy-type 500 words;
  • “200 reasons this book will fail”…

Please read the article for more on those tips. I published the article a year ago, and I’ve worked with many more writers since, so let’s look at tips to help you to publish more.

How to publish MORE

Today, self-publishing is HOT. Kindle Unlimited, in its latest incarnation, is a real boon for writers, for many reasons. The biggest reason it’s a boon is that the more your readers read, the more you get paid. Happy days. :-) Of course, that means that you need to prod yourself into publishing more.

1. Find your false starts, and analyze them

New authors stumble with self-publishing. They begin with high hopes, and stop writing. This start-stop process can go on for years.

That’s perfectly fine. If you’ve stopped writing several times, relax. Sooner or later, you’ll have a breakthrough. You’ll keep writing, and will become a professional, as soon as you’re ready.

If you’ve got uncompleted ebooks on your hard drive, analyze them. Use the tips above to kickstart them. Join Team Up, if you’re not sure how to reframe these ebooks, and build your confidence in them.

2. Use what you have (see Instant Author for more on this)

Often, authors just don’t see what they have. Go through your archives. If you’ve published magazine articles, and have the rights, you can turn them into ebooks.

What about your blog? You can turn some of that material into ebooks too. Instant Author may show you that you have a treasure trove of material you could publish.

3. Develop a publishing schedule now, to make money in 2016

Make a list of ebooks you’d like to publish over the next 12 months. Write it down. Merely writing a schedule will inspire you to consider the amazing possibilities you have to write and publish.

4. Go slow, to avoid overwhelm: be satisfied with daily writing (no matter how few the words you produce)

I know it’s a challenge to write and publish ebooks. That challenge is minimized when you write every day.

Yes, every day. If you can only manage 50 words in one day, that’s fine. Be satisfied with a single sentence daily, if that’s all you can do. Over time, writing sneaks up on you, and you’ll write more.

Why daily? Because daily writing trains your brain. I write every day, of course, and I’ve done it for many more years than I care to think about. I learned that I can write more, and write more easily — but only if I write every day. So I do it. Because it’s easier.

5. Get support from a writing buddy or three

If your loved ones make unkind comments about your writing, you need support. Today, support is everywhere. There are many writers’ groups online.

Join a group where the focus is on writing, rather than on socializing, or on critiquing.

If you do join a critique group, ensure that it’s a group which focuses on helping you to brainstorm, and write. New authors aren’t ready for harsh and clumsy critiques from their peers. And established authors know better than to hunt for “free” critiques. They hire professional editors to help them to make their ebooks better.

You’ll get most benefit from a writing buddy who’s merely an accountability partner. You share writing goals with your buddy, and you cheer each other on to success.

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial fiction has been around since the days of Charles Dickens. Self-publishing authors love it. Discover how to write serials in our new four week class. Coaching is included — you’re not writing alone.

By the end of the program, you’ll have published several episodes of your serial fiction. You’ll also be steadily marketing, while you’re writing and publishing.

Join us: you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll boost your fiction writing career.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..