–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads
There are a number of ways to go from starving writer to paid author, if you’re willing to put in work. With Christmas rapidly approaching, I want to share tips on how you can flip your favorite pastime and make it a cash cow. Are you up to the challenge?
The go-to career of a lot of new writers is ghostwriting, which basically entails writing material for another author. You give up your rights to the content and usually have to sign a privacy contract stating you’ll never tell that you wrote this brilliant work, but if you can bear to part with your literary baby, you get paid for it.
On the low end of the scale, ghostwriters get as little as $0.01 per word, but on the high end, some get as much as $0.10 per word. Might sound like chump change, until you multiply the pennies times the word count of the average novel—approximately 100,000 words. Then, we’re talking $1,000 to $10,000!
Sound promising? Not so fast. This is a job that requires you to be your own boss and put out the highest quality work you can in order to be taken seriously. And before you consider taking on this career, you might want to read what this writer has to say about The Brutal Honest Truth about Ghostwriting.
If you’d like to give it a go, try out this site to get your start building a reputation as a serious, professional ghostwriter: www.Upwork.com. Here, you can create a resume, show samples of your work and apply for jobs. While it may take a few weeks to set yourself apart from other freelance writers, the key is to provide quality content and get high reviews to lure return and new clients.
Selling to Publications
This tried and true method of getting paid for writing works for you two ways. You create something, you shop it around, and if someone likes it, you get paid for it. You also get to add another credible writing accomplishment to your portfolio and resume.
Keep in mind that, again, you will be giving up the rights to publish—although not handing over your work entirely to someone else. Most publications require exclusive publishing rights in First World countries for a specified amount of time, which means you won’t be able to take the same story and publish it somewhere else.
But before you gear up to be featured in every major publication from The New Yorker to Reader’s Digest, pump your brakes. It’s important to note you may not have break-out success, and you’ll have to prepare yourself for some rejection letters. You should definitely use any constructive criticism you receive to improve your writing where you can, and you should keep submitting.
So in terms of steady income, selling to publications may not be as lucrative as ghostwriting work, but you can make money and build your reputation as a serious author. Ready to try it? Start here with this handy list of Where to Submit Stories.
I did a whole article here on the benefits of entering writing competitions. To reiterate, as with getting published in magazines and circulars, winning writing competitions can not only pad your pocket but your resume.
Again, you’ll have to deal with some rejection. Not every editor or judge will consider your brilliant writing, well, brilliant. Not to worry, however. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Here’s a wonderful list of free, reputable writing competitions to get your creative juices flowing: 27 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions with Cash Prizes.
It’s been said that those who can’t, teach. I’d like to cast incredible doubt on that sentiment by pointing your attention to Bustle’s list of 25 Famous Authors Who Could Be Your Next College Professor.
If you know your stuff, consider giving back to the writing community by becoming a teacher. There are a number of public schools, colleges and universities looking for creative writing teachers. There are also grant-funded programs keen to hire dedicated teachers to lead summer programs for kids, teens and adults.
You can find a number of open teaching positions, but it will require actively searching using job search engines. Writer For Dollars has a small list of links called For Writers Who Teach: How to Find Job Announcements to help you get started with professional jobs. However, for new writers, I would recommend searching locally for programs that could use your expertise until you can build up experience points.
Creative Writing Meets Craftiness
My final recommendation may be a little unorthodox. Many writers have figured out making money performing their craft requires out of the box thinking, and you can do that, too. Sites like Etsy allow artists to marry different mediums and create new masterpieces. Have a look at (and do shop!) KatSavageCreations on Etsy. Poet, Kat Savage, presents masterful poetry in art and home décor.
Other writers like PlasticFly, sell books on Etsy. You can and should buy from his Etsy page. Take a look at his work:
Now that you’ve got some idea of how to get paid for writing, hop to it. If you’ve got any witty ideas that I haven’t listed here, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you! ❤
Are you serious about books? There are ways to make money with your favorite pastime, too! Visit this beautiful slide show from PopSugar with 9 Jobs Bookworms Will Love.
Today’s article is crammed with links for you, but if you’d like more (MORE? 🙂 ) Then, click on over to our Writer Resources page.
Haven’t read my book yet? You can get your copy of Jonquille right HERE. 🙂
A tarot reader and a poker player walk into a bar.
Jonquille is just out to have a little fun and get over her cheating ex, but the sexy gambler, Pierce Princeton, has something more serious on his agenda—striking it rich. Different cards, different games, but the same high stakes. The unlikely players throw caution to the wind and have a one-night stand, despite uncertain futures and undisclosed pasts. It’s the secrets they hide that may break them.
Pierce is betting against time, and the odds aren’t good. When the two find themselves running from Jonquille’s jilted ex-lover, death is in the forecast. But who’s? And, who can win the game when love and lust are two sides of the same card?
Emotion-driven from beginning to end. Brace yourself for an engrossing love story. This book will make you feel again!