Friday, 5 September 2014

Let's Get These Stories Written!

During the past four years I have been on an exciting journey as I became a wife, a mother, and a published author. It has taken me until now to realise exactly where my writing career is likely to advance. I hadn't really considered the possibilities of how to earn a regular income and how to make my business viable. I am still figuring that out. True to my creative nature, I try not to think about facts and figures unless I need them in a story. I much prefer the freedom to follow my heart and go where my spirit takes me.

But, needs must, and we live in a society that is reliant on monetary income. It is time I returned to the land of paid employment. At the moment I am still working out how to do that as a self-employed businesswoman. My business is writing. I just have to establish which forms of writing I want to focus on. I had tried a little freelancing, and I secured a few jobs writing blogs for obscure websites in countries I have never visited. The pay was low, and after almost a year I decided it wasn't really worth my time and effort.

I have four published novels, and three published short stories that are all widely available for sale both online and in bookstores. My problem is advertising them effectively when I have literally no budget and no means of marketing beyond what I can manage for myself. It is very hard to rely on word-of-mouth sales when my friends and family rarely talk about books. I am still trying to get the word out, but I am not what you would call a vocal person, and I find it quite difficult to confidently sell myself to strangers without feeling nervous and self conscious.

Anyway, aside from that, I need a regular income. My book sales barely cover the cost of a pad of paper at the moment, and the freelance article writing I had considered just doesn't sit right with me. Now I have decided to start entering story competitions. I have entered a few in the past; indeed that is how I got my very first short story published, in the teen anthology Devils, Demons and Werewolves. But then I trailed off. I entered a few more competitions without success, but then allowed myself to be distracted. Now I need to get back on it, so to speak. My stories must be written, and I will earn some money from them so I can promote my novels and support my family. Let's do it!


  1. I know exactly what you mean - there is a friction between be creatively free and needing to pay the electric bill. I find it hard when things are financially tough, to just sit down and write - massive guilt trip about 'wasting' time when I should be 'working'. I'm lucky in that, being quite a bit older, I have more time to myself and can be flexible about when I write. Also, freelance proofreading and editing is working really well for me - like you I gave up the blogging for other people. I now allow myself about £10 per month for promotions - hardly a massive amount, but it means I can boost my 'visibility' on Facebook, and hopefully one day, that will boost my sales. I would be very happy to carry an ad for your books on my Wordpress blog, and a link to here - but I only have 212 followers at the moment - however that's gone up by 50 in the last week, so it could grow more... If there's anything I can do, just ask. Hang in there.

  2. That is very kind of you, thanks Caron! Perhaps we could do a few guest author features as well, promote each other?

  3. I'm sort of in the same boat as you ladies... Caron and Catherine. But, fortunately for me, I'm in no danger of being homeless or not having my bills paid. I am in the same boat where my marketing efforts for my book are concerned. Ugh. Remind me again why we are writers!? LOL *but crying inside* ;)

  4. I know, Lorraine, why do we do this to ourselves?! Aw, but I do love the writerly life though... ; )