Hot Writing Opportunities In 2016

writingopps

How to find the BEST writing opportunities for YOU

Here we are in 2016… yet another writing year. Let’s make it a good one. :-)

Before you get started on your writing this year, take a little time to prepare. You’ve got a limited amount of writing time each day. Commit to finding the best writing opportunities for YOU, so that you can make the most of that time.

I see many writers working on projects for pocket change, when they could be making a great income. Listen up: you can and SHOULD be making more from your writing than you can at any day job. If you’re working a day job that brings in $50K, you should be making double that as a freelancer. Your opportunities are unlimited.

All you need to do is find the best opportunities for you, with your special talents, and experience.

Here’s a big tip. Stop. Read this article. Then do the exercise, over the next couple of weeks. You’ll be doing yourself an immense favor — and you’ll be surprised and delighted with the results, I promise.

Here’s your secret weapon…

If I had ten dollars for each time a writer asks me “what’s the best opportunity” for him, I’d be able to book myself a spa day every month.

Here’s the thing. Opportunities are everywhere, but only you know the perfect opportunity for you… and chances are, you’re completely unaware of your own perfect opportunities.

Why? Because you haven’t thought about it, and you don’t know your own interests and talents. It’s all about passion. Discover your passions, and look for opportunities. They’re available.

Here’s your secret weapon to stay on top of your writing opportunities — your BUSINESS PLAN.

I can hear the moans from here… (giggle.) Stop moaning. A simple ad hoc business plan is fun to create. You won’t be showing it to anyone. It’s for your eyes only.

Here’s what your business plan contains. The image below is the outline of the business plan I created for 2016 a couple of weeks back.

business plan for writers

Here are the headings, right from Wikipedia:

  • Exec summary
  • Mission statement
  • Biz description
  • SWOT(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • Industry background
  • Competitor analysis
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Operations plan
  • Management summary
  • Financial plan
  • Milestones

Grab a heading, and start writing: give yourself ten minutes per heading

Another hint: please don’t research! (Except for the Industry Background, and Competitor Analysis, maybe, if you have to look things up.)

If you do have to look things up (like your competitors), spend minimal time on it. You want your own thoughts, and your opinions. You have them. Unfortunately, many of us rarely listen to ourselves.

This business plan is for you, and it’s by you. You’re asking yourself questions, and the answers can only come from you.

Set a timer, and give yourself ten minutes per heading. Write as fast as you can. Don’t stop to think. If you can’t think of anything, write “I can’t think of anything” until you do think of something.

At ten minutes per heading, creating the plan will take you a couple of hours — but don’t try to do it all at once. Do one or two headings a day, only. There’s no rush, and there’s no way you can do this wrong — whatever you write, is fine.

You’ll surprise yourself, and your writing life will change

Remember:

  • Ten minutes per heading
  • Time yourself
  • Don’t stop writing until your timer sounds

You know yourself better than anyone else does. However, few writers pay sufficient attention to themselves. On any writing forum, you’ll find writers who are little square pegs, and they’re trying to squeeze themselves into little round holes.

It’s true for my writing students, and it’s true for you, too. This little plan will surprise you.

It surprised me. I create a new business plan every year or two, and each time I learn something that shocks me. Usually bone-headed attitudes I wasn’t aware I had, rabbit holes I was digging deeper, and many opportunities I missed.

You’ll discover what you really want, and opportunities will JUMP at you

What do you really want? What do you want to write? Your own desires are a reliable guide to what’s possible for you. If you have passion for an area of writing, then you can succeed at it. You’ll need to work for it, but you’d be working anyway. You may as well work at what you enjoy. The income will come. Then you’ll spot more opportunities than you can handle.

Your operations plan — try sub-contracting and outsourcing to free up time

What if you spot a HOT opportunity, and don’t have the time to pursue it? This happened to Sara, who was one of my writing students from 2013. Sara contacted me to tell me about something she wanted to do — it was a perfect opportunity for her — but she didn’t have time.

The answer was simple. I suggested that she sub-contract as many of her bread-and-butter projects as she could. It took her just a week to find writers to take over these projects.

This shocked her. Here’s why. She saved 80 per cent of her time on the projects, and she doubled her income, because she took on the new opportunity.

If you want to take on new, higher paying projects, try sub-contracting out your current projects. Not only will you be more relaxed, you’ll make more money.

Try outsourcing too. Make a list of all the things which nibble away at your time. You’re bound to be able to outsource many tasks. This means that you can focus on your top-paying gigs.

Make more ebook sales of all your fiction, when you write a serial

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

Fiction serials are platform-builders… consider writing at least one. Not only does a serial build your confidence, it also builds readers’ confidence in you. They’ll join your mailing list, and this has huge benefits for ebooks you’ve already published, and ebooks you’ll publish in future.

Write a serial with our new four-week class, Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST.

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

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

Ebook Marketing: One Way To Sell Your Novels

Ebook Marketing: One Way To Sell Your Novels

Befuddled by ebook marketing? Many new (and established) authors find marketing a challenge. In some cases, authors hate marketing. So, they don’t do it… and their sales tank.

I’ve been helping a couple of authors to develop their self-publishing careers using a very simple strategy: short stories.

Ebook marketing the easy way: write short stories

One of the easiest ways to sell your novels is via short stories.They take little time, and you can write them while you’re writing your novels. As you publish your stories, you not only build interest and anticipation for your next novel, but also for all your other novels too.

The biggest benefit of this strategy is that it’s low pressure, so it’s fun. You just need to do what you’re doing already: write and publish.

Let’s look at the kinds of short stories you can write.

They include:

  • Prequels (what were your characters doing before a novel started?), and sequels (what happens to the characters after a novel ends?)
  • Character back stories (imagine events in your characters’ lives which you don’t cover in a novel)
  • Character development (drop a novel’s character or characters into a new, very short, story)

Make connections for the best results

Important: be sure to connect your stories to your novels — relate them in some way.

As you can see from the list of ideas above, your stories need to be related/ connected in some way to your novels. If readers enjoy your stories, they can read more: in the related novel (or indeed, novels.)

Currently the holiday season is in full swing. Check out what authors are doing on Amazon — bestselling authors are using this strategy. They publish a novella, or a series of short stories, which are related to their novels.

In effect, your short stories are advertisements for your novels.

Vital: build a list

Before you start writing your short stories, take the time to develop a reader’s mailing list. Include a link to your list in every ebook you publish.

In 2015, the Kindle store has become more crowded than ever. If you write short stories, you’re building your Amazon catalogue. This means that your readers have more opportunities to find you.

Your mailing list ensures that once readers have found you, you can let them know when you publish future ebooks.

Another benefit of writing short stories: you get to know your characters — and you write better novels

Consider your favorite novels. Do you remember the novel itself? Or do you remember the characters? Of course you remember the characters, rather than the plot of the novel.

I know that many writers struggle with their plots, and with character development. Writing short stories about your characters helps you to get to know them, and the more you get to know your characters, the easier it is to build exciting plots.

Now let’s consider short story collections.

Should you sell your short stories individually, or sell collections?

Writers ask me this question whenever I recommend that they sell short stories as a form of promotion for their novels.

Why not do both? You can sell your short stories individually at first, and then collect them into collections when you have 5 to 10 of them.

Here’s another tip.

Turn your short story collections into print books

Do you use Createspace? Over the past six months, writers have found that creating a print version of their books helps to promote the ebook version. Sometimes you’ll find that a reader will buy both the ebook version and a print version of your book as well.

Short stories sell your novels. If you got a spare hour or two, go ahead and write a short story – it can be the most useful form of promotion you undertake.

Kindle Short Fiction Domination: Today’s Blueprint For Writing Success And Income (4-week class)

Short Fiction Domination

Want to write short fiction and build a successful career? For the first time in decades, it’s possible to write short stories and make a great income. Each week, for four weeks, you receive a new lesson, in PDF format, via a download link sent to your email inbox.

As we move through the class, you’re not only writing your own short stories, you’re also discovering the Kindle short fiction BLUEPRINT… What to publish, and when, so that your Amazon income steadily increases. Join us. :-)

Short Story Secret: Set Your Deadline

Short Story Secret: Set Your Deadline

Want to kickstart your self-publishing career? You can. Here’s how: write a short story, and publish it.

Here are just a few benefits of writing short stories:

  • They sell;
  • They sell your other ebooks;
  • They give you confidence;
  • They help you to build your brand;
  • They can rescue “failed fiction”;
  • Etc.

The BIG Secret to Writing and Publishing Short Stories…

I love writing short stories. They’re FAST and fun to write, and to publish, of course.

One of our students asked whether there was a secret to writing and self publishing short stories. There is.

Here’s the big short story secret: set a deadline. Then meet the deadline. As several of my students have noticed, although you can write short stories more quickly than you can novels, you can also spend more time tinkering with them.

I’m ghostwriting three (yes, THREE) series of short stories and novellas at the moment. Although I write my first drafts quickly – remember, cr*ppy first drafts – I also tend to tinker. Then I need to mentally slap myself around the ear.

For example, this morning I had just another few hundred words to write on a story, when I found myself rewriting the first scene. This is just one form of tinkering. The scene was fine, as a first draft scene. I may not even want to include it in the final draft, but I got a sudden rush of blood to the head and decided to tinker.

Tinkering is a profitless exercise. Because, you need to…

Write in Series, and Set a Deadline for the Series.

As I said in Quick Fiction Tips: More Series Secrets (Make One Free):

You’ll sell more books, over time, when you write in series, and you can always bundle your short stories and novellas, and sell the compilations, as well as the individual ebooks.

Therefore, when you’re writing a short story, think about turning it into a series.

Plan the series as you write the story. You can start with four stories in the series. In the above linked article I gave you some ideas on how you can tie the stories in a series together, so I won’t repeat that material here.

Then, once all four are published, you can make one permanently free, and sell a compilation of all four stories, as a bundle. (You’ll keep selling the individual stories as well – this makes the bundle more attractive.)

Once you’ve planned the stories in the series, give each one a deadline. Then, no matter what, meet the deadline. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes to your output. When you have a deadline, it goes a long way to eliminating the temptation to tinker.

In summary: set a deadline for your short story. Do it today. You’ll get it done, and published. :-)

Kindle Short Fiction Domination: Today’s Blueprint For Writing Success And Income (4-week class)

Short Fiction Domination

Want to write short fiction and build a successful career? For the first time in decades, it’s possible to write short stories and make a great income. Each week, for four weeks, you receive a new lesson, in PDF format, via a download link sent to your email inbox.

As we move through the class, you’re not only writing your own short stories, you’re also discovering the Kindle short fiction BLUEPRINT… What to publish, and when, so that your Amazon income steadily increases. Join us. :-)

 

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

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

Professional Writing: How To Stop Leaking Money

Six-Figure Writer's Toolbox: From a Day Job to $500 a Day

You’ve developed a professional writing career, but you’re not making as much income as you believe you could, and should. You suspect that you don’t know enough, and this means that you’re leaking money. This “Money Leak” syndrome affects many writers, not just newbies, and it’s not your fault.

Today, you need extensive know-how to run a pro writing business — everything from time management to managing your financial accounts. Not to mention marketing, so that you get quality clients, who are eager to work with you. And that’s just the commercial writers.

Self-publishers have it even worse. There’s a huge amount to learn in this area, which is constantly changing, and there’s a mile of misinformation out there too.

Free writing programs to kickstart your 2016

Firstly, an apology. I haven’t been blogging as much as I usually do. The reason? I feel like Alice’s White Rabbit, “no time, no time”. A bunch of circumstances are taking up a lot of my time, and since I can’t clone myself, blogging has to take a back seat.

BTW — thank you if you sent me a message to ask whether anything’s wrong… No it’s not, and you’ll see why in 2016. :-)

Since I won’t have much time for blogging until late January, I was feeling horribly guilty, not to mention frustrated. I love blogging, it’s always a joy. I made list of blog posts I could write, but I’ve been too tired at the end of each day to implement them.

So, with the “money leak” challenge for writers at the forefront of my mind, and knowing that most writers could do better at their profession if they knew a little more, I’ve decided to offer you some of our older programs. Free.

You can download the first ebook here. It’s Six-Figure Writer’s Toolbox: From a Day Job to $500 a Day.

I hope at that somewhere in the material, you’ll have one major AHA! moment, which changes your writing life around.

Another apology — the material’s unedited, so I know that there are some dead links and other kerfuffles in there. Please forgive.

And watch for more freebies too.

We’ll be back in full strength in late January 2016

I’ll be posting here, and at the Just Write A Book Blog when I get a free moment, so I won’t be totally out of touch. You can of course contact us at any time. Happy writing. :-)

5 Tips To Make More Kindle Ebook Sales

5 Tips To Make More Kindle Ebook Sales

Kindle publishing is hot. You’ve written a Kindle ebook, and want to make more sales. Everyone does. “How do I make more sales?” is the most popular self-publishing question we receive.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy, one-size-fits-all answer.

Let’s look at some tips to help you to sell more.

1. Do something — do anything, it all helps

To sell more ebooks, you’ve got to ACT — see competition, below, in our fifth tip. We all have limited time however, so you need to choose what you’ll do, and that depends on how many ebooks you’ve published, and how many pen names you’re using.

Just written one ebook? In that case, your time may be better spent in writing more. Spending lots of time and money promoting a single title is wasteful. Once readers have bought your ebook, what then? There’s nothing else for them to buy. So spend your time building your catalogue by publishing more.

I have several pen names for which I do zero promotion. I never promote until I have at least five ebooks under a specific name. Think longterm. In the final quarter of 2015, your publishing plans for 2016 should be done.

2. Writing fiction? Consider writing short stories

You’ll find that you’ll get a bump in sales each time you publish a title. New titles keep your name out there. This can be challenging if you’re writing at novel length. Publish short stories in between your longer ebooks.

3. Use your “free” days wisely

As a promotional strategy, “free” doesn’t have anywhere near the effect it had even a year ago. But it still works. I gave you a strategy here — Kindle Fiction: Free Marketing Tips:

“Here are some tips on making the most of your KDP Select “free” days. They’re a brilliant sales opportunity, and used well, you’ll boost your ebooks’ ranks, and will make many more sales.”

4. Create a marketing plan, and follow the plan

After you’ve published at least three ebooks, create a little marketing plan. Your plan needn’t be extensive, and it needn’t take you longer than 15 minutes a day. Over a working week, 15 minutes a day mounts up, and you’ll get results.

You can create your own marketing plan, or use the plan I laid out for you in Ebook Dominance.

5. Competition is good: ACT to build visibility for your ebooks

Several students in nonfiction categories on Amazon have told me that their competition is much bigger — and stronger — than it used to be. That’s only to be expected, and believe it or not, lots of ebooks in your category or genre is a good thing. It increases the overall size of the market for your ebooks.

That said, you need to ACT. After you’ve published a couple of titles, start to promote, slowly. Increase your efforts when you’ve published more. As we said in our first tip: do something, anything — it all helps.

Most importantly: have patience. You’re building a future as a self-publisher.

Here’s a piece of advice which leads to success: enjoy writing and publishing. It’s a journey. Keep working towards your goals. You’ll get where you want to be. Along the way, accept that you’ll hit speed bumps. Everyone does. Keep working anyway. If you love what you do, that won’t be a hardship. :-)

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

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

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

Kindle Income: 4 Tips For Short Story Cash

Kindle Income: 4 Tips For Short Story Cash

Today, more writers than ever are writing and publishing ebooks. They have questions about their Kindle income. The most popular questions are about short stories — how do you make money writing them?

In Kindle Income: Make Money Writing Short Stories, we looked at three ways in which you can make money writing short stories.

In that article, I suggested:

Write short stories of 5K words or more, and publish them, enrolling them in KDP Select when you do, so that they appear for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Amazon changed Kindle Unlimited with version 2, so that now you get paid for pages read, rather than when someone reads 10% of your ebook. A couple of writers contacted me to say that a writer told them that you couldn’t make money with Kindle Unlimited 2.

I can’t comment on others’ experiences, but I can comment on my own, and my students’ experiences with KU2. I’m definitely making much more income with KU2 — my income for pages read is phenomenal. It’s much better than under KU1. It outstrips my sales. So, in short, if readers like your stories, you will make money with KU2.

Tip: everyone’s experience is different. You need to experiment, to see what works for you.

Now let’s look at some useful tips for writing and selling Kindle short stories.

1. WRITE! Choose genres which sell

You can’t get paid for what you don’t write. As I mentioned above, experiment. No one knows what will work for you, and the stories you want to write. You’ll only find out when you publish.

Short stories sell brilliantly in romance, as well as in the mystery genre. Write stories of around 10,000 words each, so that you make money with KU2.

2. Gear up for Christmas: consider YA short stories

I’ve suggested to a couple of my students that the Young Adult genre is hot, and that they might try writing some stories for the holiday season. So I pass that tip along to you, too.

Christmas and holiday-themed stories are always popular. A friend is writing a collection of kids’ stories, based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. She has no idea whether they’ll sell or not. She’s using her own children to test the stories. It’s a fun idea.

I’m completely unfamiliar with children’s fiction, but if you’re familiar, you know what’s selling in that market — so write some stories.

3. Publish individual short stories: use your “free” days for promotion

Now let’s talk about publishing your short stories — I recommend that you enroll your shorts in KDP Select.

Some ideas:

  • Publish your themed stories individually. Aim to write between 5K and 10K words.
  • Ensure that your ebook covers make it obvious that you’re writing a series.
  • Don’t spend too much money on covers. Keep your ebook covers for stories SIMPLE. Use Canva or similar to create free covers.
  • In KDP Select, you get 5 days in every three month period when your can make your ebook free, for promotion. Don’t use all your free days at once. Spread them out, and promote an ebook when it’s free.

4. Bundle your stories when sales slow

Six months after you’ve written a series of short stories, your sales will slow. Bundle up five or so stories, and sell them as a collection.

Have fun. :-)

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

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

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