Freedom Business #4 – Writing / Publishing Ebooks

May 28

Freedom Business #4 – Writing / Publishing Ebooks

This post was originally published on January 28, 2014. My fiction book Hillbilly Rockstar is no longer available. 

Ebooks, at least non-fiction, have been around for years. PDF copies of “make money online” ebooks have been floating around since the mid-to-late ’90s, ranging in price from $17 to $97 or more.

Today’s world is different. The fiction genre has now entered the ebook world, and thanks to affordable technology and the drop in ebook prices, more and more people are able to read a variety of stories from thousands of writers.

Ebook readers have been around for some time, starting with Sony’s Libre in 2004. Amazon’s Kindle came on the scene in 2007. Now we have various styles of Kindle e-readers, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and the Kobo reader. These are the most popular. And even if someone doesn’t have a dedicated e-reader, many people are reading through apps on their smart phone or tablets or on their computer screen.

This is where our next freedom business comes in.

Traditional publishing is going away. A writer no longer has to send their book into an agent or editor and wait months to find out if it’s been accepted. Anyone  can now write and self-publish using a variety of online formats and earn money through their writing.

I won’t go into all the detail about the changes in the publishing business. I’ll leave that to best-selling authors like J.A. Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith. But the fact is that self-publishing is no longer the stigma it used to be. Best-selling authors are turning down six figure contracts from publishing houses so they can control their intellectual property and keep the majority of their money. Did you know that most authors only earn $24,000 annually? I always wanted to write for Harlequin and write romance novels. Well, I found out a Harlequin advance was barely $5,000. So much for Richard Castle’s swanky New York apartment.

However, we’re now in the technology age, and while I don’t believe paper will ever be dead – after all, vinyl records aren’t dead, they’re collectible now – writers who never had a chance with New York publishing are getting their little bit of fame and are making a living with their writing. Midlist authors and romance writers are getting rights back to stories written years ago and republishing them electronically. These writers are now making more money than they ever did while writing for New York.

So this brings me back to our next freedom business – writing and publishing ebooks.

I’ve wanted to write ever since I can remember. I wrote and illustrated – badly – my own stories all through elementary and middle school. Mystery – Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown – were my first loves. Romance was my second love, but it soon overshadowed the first, although I now read a bit of everything it seems.

I’ve published one fiction novel and three non-fiction books. The fiction is for sale on Amazon, Nook, Smashwords and Kobo. The non-fiction is on Amazon and Nook. I’m also considering doing a trade paperback through Amazon’s CreateSpace.

I’m not rich, but I make a steady $40 or so each month from my published books. I need to write more and put more out, but my latest stab at a mystery novel is a bust. It’s horrible, and I need to go back and rewrite it into something different if I’ll ever put it out.

I have several ideas for both fiction and non-fiction works. I doubt I’ll ever run out of ideas, so you can be sure that I’ll be putting out more books in the future. The more books you have available, the more money can be earned.

Writing and publishing ebooks is a great freedom business. It can be done from anywhere. All you need is an idea and the time to write. You can hire and editor to help with mistakes and really polish your writing, then hire a graphic designer to help with a book cover. This can cost under $500 per book, depending on the editor and designer you hire. There are skills needed to do this – both writing craft and technological – but these skills can be learned. 

I’m glad we live in the technology age and that I have the opportunity to publish my writing, but it comes down to this – I would be writing no matter what. When you have a calling you can’t help answer it.

Have you thought about writing a book and self publishing? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Remember to visit the Fight Lipedema T Shirt Campaign and buy a shirt to support me and fellow lipedema sisters with health care needs.

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