Writing for money is fun, and you work with great clients. However, there comes a time when you want to break free. Several of my writing students have asked about going client-less, by creating products and selling products like ebooks, so let’s look at how you can do that… fast.
A tip: you need to understand the basics of marketing, to successfully create and sell products. Seriously. Do a copywriting course, or a marketing course. It’s an investment. Also, consider an easy program like Instant Author to get started creating products.
Writing for money: write fast
Let’s look at three tips which will help you to create products FAST. Without products, you have nothing to sell. (By “products” we mean ebooks, reports, courses, novels, short stories… anything you write and sell, over and over again.)
1. CREATE! Write, write, write, and then write some more
You’ve got a day job. Or, if you’re a full-time writer and you’re writing all day. Your product-creation time is limited. However, somehow you need to carve out two to three hours a day to write.
It isn’t easy. When I started to write novels, I had three small children, and a full-time job. I wrote late at night, or very early in the morning. Stop doing what someone else can do, and eliminate time-sinks, like social media.
One of my students wrote several nonfiction books in his lunch hour at work. Another writes during her daily commute on the train.
2. Be yourself. Trust your own intuition. Writing needs to be fun for you (and the likelihood that you’ll sell goes up)
One of the most common questions I get from people new to product creation is: will it sell? Honestly, no one knows. That’s why big publishers publish so many books. Most won’t become bestsellers. Indeed, most will be lucky if their authors “earn out” — that is, they earn more than the advance against royalties which was paid to the author.
The best advice anyone can give you is: trust yourself. Believe in your own ideas. Yes, keep the marketplace in mind. New Adult is a highly popular fiction genre at the moment, and if you read these books with pleasure, you can probably write them.
However, if you think to yourself: “New Adult is popular, and I want my novels to sell, so that’s what I’ll write”, ask yourself whether you read New Adult. Readers read fiction for an emotional experience. You’ll understand the experience when you read books in the genre you’re targeting.
Here’s why your writing needs to be fun if you’re creating products:
- You’ll write, rather than procrastinating;
- Your enthusiasm will come across in your words;
- You’re likely to know what the marketplace (fiction or nonfiction) is looking for, because you read the kind of material you’re selling;
- You’ll market your products.
Writing is challenging. If you hate what you’re writing you’ll soon stop writing.
3. Set deadlines, and meet them… ready or not: eliminate perfectionism
Perfectionism is based on fear, and fear can cripple you. I wrote about the one big secret of writing — writing. If you’re anxious, you won’t write your ebooks quickly. You’ll second-guess yourself.
If you’re self publishing, building your catalogue on Amazon is vital. Author K. Matthew wrote 1 Year, 100 Titles. Take a lesson from “100 titles”. If you’ve published three books on Amazon, and you’re not making enough to replace your full-time income, you know what the solution is, don’t you? Yes, publish more.
Set deadlines. Do your best to meet them. You won’t always meet them, and that’s fine. Having deadlines helps you to beat perfectionism.
When I talk about perfectionism, I’m not implying that you don’t need to write well, edit your writing, and get beta readers. However, everything needs to have a deadline. If you’re editing a book, know exactly what stage of the editing process you’re at, and work to a plan. Otherwise “editing” will stretch on forever.
You’ll know if you’re a perfectionist or not. 🙂 Get it under control with deadlines.
So there we have it. Three tips to help you to make the switch from working with clients, to creating and selling your own products.
How to get started creating your own products
Article updated: August 1, 2016
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